Jack Ovenden Award

Jack Ovenden became involved in vehicle recovery while serving in the British Army and eventually took charge of a recovery unit, with the REME, during the Second World War.

In 1958 he started his business, Ashford Auto Services in Kent, which included a vehicle repair business, vehicle parts factoring and several cafes. His son, Nick, joined him in the business and together they formed Ashford Recovery, which is now operated by both Jack’s sons Nick and Noel.

Jack was AVRO Region 11 Deputy Council Member for 11 years, assisting Brian Drury during his time as National Chairman and President. They, together with Geoff Gatward, travelled the country on AVRO business and remained firm friends.

In 1996 he was awarded ‘Life Membership of AVRO’ at AVRO EX and was made a Fellow of the Institute of Vehicle Recovery at the AGM in 1999. These were two of his proudest moments and he held the two accolades in very high esteem.

He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the early nineties, but bravely fought it and kept it at bay for more than 10 years, refusing to let it beat him. It never did beat him either as he died as a result of heart failure, brought on by a respiratory problem, at the tender age of 84.

His love of the recovery industry, commitment to training and loyalty to the IVR lives on in The Jack Ovenden Award. This award is presented annually at the IVR AGM Dinner to the ‘Outstanding Student of the Year’ and all finalists, who have been nominated by industry trainers, are invited to attend the Dinner.

One of Jack’s favourite sayings was ‘Assume Nothing’ and this is engraved on the award which is held at Ashford Recovery head office.

The IVR relies on sponsorship and past sponsors of the Jack Ovenden Award include  CB Motors, Lantern Recovery Specialists, Bollington Insurance Services, Vision Vehicle Hire, AVRO and the AA.

Previous winners of the award include;

2011     Shane Coates of Stoneywood Motors

2012     Sam Hall of the Mansfield Group

2013     Lisa Gillibrand of the Mansfield Group

2014     Jamie Craven of Craven Recovery