The Wood Awards came onto my radar in 2009 when the Kings Place concert hall was awarded the Wood Awards Gold Award.

I was completely impressed by the quality that was so evident in the work of Sir Robert McAlpine as the contractor, Swift Horseman as the joiner and engineering by Arup.

Layered within this excellence was the incredible story of the material itself. All the oak veneer in the interior came from the same 500-year-old German oak tree. The tree, named ‘Contessa’ by its owners, grew in an ancient hunting forest that now belongs to the local community.

The woodsmen were very keen for the veneer to be used for a major architectural project and sold in a single lot. That one tree produced an acre of superb veneer, which has been used to cover the panels, columns, roof coffers, the backs of the seats, the doors and the desks.

The fact that such quality material and work was being produced in the midst of a recession was very exciting and we at Arnold Laver wanted to support this type of great work. From that point on, I tracked the Wood Awards and continued to be consistently amazed by the level of the short-listed nominees and the winners. In 2014 we decided we wanted to become an active supporter and now sponsor the Arnold Laver Gold Award, which was won by the Ditchling Museum in Sussex, and last year the Fishing Hut in Hampshire picked up the award.

Craftsmen are craftsmen – they will produce to the best of their ability and will produce whichever way the financial winds are blowing. However we want to ensure they are given more opportunities to produce their best work. We all know there are a lot of people doing increasingly amazing things with wood in construction and design. However relatively few of us are getting the word out.

Whether you are a small UK wood merchant supplying material to a craftsman making a chair, or a large company supplying timber for a major architectural project I would really encourage you to talk with your colleagues and clients, and enter your customer’s project into this year’s Wood Awards before the deadline of May 27.

The concrete and brick boys shout about their successes, perhaps because it’s more unusual to see a stunning building or object made out of these materials, whereas we often see beautiful things made from wood.

However as an industry we must not become complacent just because we often see wood being used in incredible ways.

We must always be proud of the material and the work and put these stories, in front of as many people as we can. If we don’t tell the stories like the ones of ‘Contessa’ then who will?