Awards and honours
It's been such a rewarding and fulfilling experience establishing Think Pacific, from forming the seed of the idea to facilitate the local development aims in Fiji with the local communities and council, to developing the structure of our gap year projects at the University of Leeds back in 2007. Think Pacific has been a journey that we'll never forget. It's taken allot of hard work, sweat, tears and laughter as we've seen Think Pacific grow and we've taken so much pride from seeing our amazing volunteers achieve life changing aims in Fiji.
Along the way, we've been honoured to receive lots of encouragement for Think Pacific. We are sincerely appreciative of everyone who has believed in our concept and supported us from the beginning;
Think Pacific is honoured to have been recognised by:
University of Leeds - Enterprise of the Year 2007
In 2007, Leeds graduates Simon Darker and Harry Hunter were delighted to be chosen ahead of some exciting young businesses and charities from the SPARK programme at The University of Leeds to receive the annual University Enterprise Award for Think Pacific.
Yorkshire University Young Enterprise of the Year 2008
We represented the University of Leeds in a regional young enterprise competition. This enabled us to 'pitch' the concept of Think Pacific against the best young businesses and social enterprise ideas from the region. Following a 'dragons den style' process, Think Pacific was named as the most promising young enterprise in the Yorkshire region at a grand ceremony in Hull in 2008.
Sir Peter Thompson Award 2009
In April 2009, Think Pacific received the eponymous Sir Peter Thompson Award for our social enterprise. Upon presenting the award, Sir Peter Thompson stated; "We chose 'Think Pacific' as its two leaders showed determination and business acumen - and unlike many enterprises their cause is a noble one, as they want to help poorer nations."
Britain's Young Social Entrepreneurs of 2009
Founders Harry Hunter and Simon Darker were named by the Yorkshire Evening Post in their top 100 list of 'bright young people who will shape the future'. In the same month, Think Pacific's founders were named in The Future 100 List of Britain's top social entrepreneurs aged 30 and under.
Shell Live Wire Young Business of the Year 2009
In 2009 Think Pacific was named by Shell as one of the top 8 young business in the UK. This was a fabulous event and a grand ceremony in London provided a great platform to highlight poverty issues in Fiji and promote the great work of our team's volunteering efforts in the remote communities. In front of a packed house of leading social entrepreneurs, TV personalities, blue chip company directors and MP's, Simon from Think Pacific, presented to the auditorium and described the aims and ambitions of Think Pacific and our local Fijian partners, before collecting the finalist award from James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK.
University of Leeds Enterprise Ambassadors
In 2010, Think Pacific's founders, Harry Hunter and Simon Darker were named Enterprise Ambassadors by Leeds University. The role of 'Enterprise Ambassador' is a recognised formal association with the Leeds Enterprise group at the University of Leeds and in this capacity we contribute to teaching and business start-up support programmes at the University and support students to develop enterprise skills. Think Pacific is developing an initiative at Leeds University to support graduates in developing their own social enterprises.
Fiji Press and Media
In the Fiji Islands, the support from local press, TV, radio, the Ministry and international sports personalities has been immense. Our volunteers are regularly asked to provide interviews of their experiences and achievements for the Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Fiji TV and local publications. The fact that our projects are locally directed, achieve such huge project objectives for the Fijian Ministry and take place in a part of Fiji that few tourists would be ever privileged to visit, means that our volunteers can provide a true insight into life in the rural villages and the plight of local communities to improve their basic living conditions. The ministry in Fiji have even begun a radio show, which is broadcast weekly to update the rural communities of Think Pacific volunteer's achievements.
Alex Jenkinson, BelfastI had the absolute time of my life with Think Pacific. Everything was just so far beyond what I could have asked for, or expected.