Business of the Year – Community Impact Award
Highly Commended: The Afghan Rug Shop Ltd
Owned by RAF veteran James Wilthew, The Afghan Rug Shop Ltd is the only retail shop outside of Afghanistan purely selling the country’s unique handmade rugs. James sources, imports and sells quality crafts and helps local weaving families to have sustainable incomes. He is the only UK retailer to be accredited with a Label-STEP licence for Fairtrade rugs. The Judges commended him for his international community impact, in supporting the Afghan families with whom he works.
Sponsored by: Cicso
James Wilthew said: ‘Being Highly Commended in this Award is most unexpected but a wonderful way to recognise the positive impact we are having on the community in Northern Afghanistan. It’s rare after an operational tour that you’re able to have any lasting impact, so it’s pretty unique that 15 years on we support over 200 weaving families in the region, which in turn provides economic stability and growth to a region that has suffered from conflict for too long. We hope that the coverage and exposure the Soldiering On Awards gives us results in more customers, which means we will be able to support many more families in Afghanistan.’