Managing director of East Sussex company shortlisted for business hero award at national ceremony

A founder of a Brighton-based company has been shortlisted for a business hero award following his work to motivate staff during lockdown

Jon Malyon, managing director of We Are Tilt Ltd, is due to attend the SME National Business Awards 2021 at Wembley Stadium on December 3.

Jon, 40, is one of 12 people shortlisted for the business hero category of the awards.

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The SME National Business Awards are in their fifth year and open to all small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK with less than 250 employees.

Jon Malyon pictured during his icy dip in the sea at Bosham Harbour last December

Jon founded We Are Tilt Ltd with colleagues Dan Evans and Chris Cook in Brighton in 2010.

The business is a full service creative agency committed to driving changes in behaviour and attitude through digital innovation.

Its in-house team includes experts across strategy, design, development, film and motion graphics and works with some major multinational businesses.

As lockdown unfolded in 2020 and staff had to start working from home instead of their studios in Brighton, Jon came up with an idea to try and build team spirit and morale and also to help maintain good mental and physical health.

The Lockdown Laps Challenge was launched in November last year at the start of the second lockdown.

Staff were invited to run, walk, ride and swim and each week the total distance covered was converted into pounds and donated to charity.

“This award is not about me,” said Jon. “The success is down to the team that brought it to life.

“We wanted staff not to shut themselves off from the world. We wanted them to stay motivated, energised and united.

“We know that energising your body and mind is good for people and we could also do a little good for the community in the process.”

The challenge proved popular with staff and so far they have raised £4,500, half of which was donated to Fairshare and the other half to the charity of the winning staff member's choice.

Last December, Jon set the team a challenge of exceeding 200 miles logged in a single week. If achieved, Jon said he would take an icy dip in the sea at Bosham Harbour near where he lives.

The challenge was set in order to raise money for the Chichester Neo Natal unit that has provided life-saving care for his two daughters that were born prematurely.

The team achieved the highest weekly amount recorded of 219 miles and Jon spent eight minutes paddling in the freezing cold, much to the amusement of the team.

Jon added: “I am looking forward to going to the awards ceremony but it's not about me.

“It's about the staff and how they have pulled together to overcome adversity.

“And if I win, it will be dedicated to the staff."