Claudia Weeks, Community Content Lead for Fuel Oil News, spoke with Aaron ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, Transport Director, to find out more about the business and what the team have planned for Christmas!
A family-run business
Prince Energy is an independent, family-owned and run business. Aaron has been working with Prince Energy since 2004, and is a key part of the Prince Energy team.
“Prior to being employed by Prince Energy, I served 18 years in HM Forces,” Aaron explained, talking about his introduction to the fuel industry. “Part of my role was providing ADR and Fuel Tanker training for HQ Land where I’d be sent to train any unit that required training prior to a deployment.
“As part of my resettlement training, in preparation for civilian life, I completed the Dangerous Goods Safety Advisors course, All Classes (DGSA). Whilst in my final year, and actively seeking civilian employment, I was fortunate to obtain an offer of employment from David Prince at Prince Energy. My commanding officer granted me gardening leave for my final six months enabling me to start my new career at Prince, on the condition that I ran two more ADR courses during that time.
“I commenced my employment with Prince in the June of 2004, initially employed as the artic driver. A year later, I took on the role of transport manager, whilst still driving. As the company has grown over the years, my role, and the time afforded to the transport documentation, has increased to such a level that I had to hang up my driving gloves. I do still get the opportunity to get behind the wheel to cover things like driver sickness and holidays.
“In 2020, David made me a director at Prince Energy. My time at the company has been amazing; it’s been so nice to work for a family business. When I first started, David’s father Victor, who founded the company, would still pop in frequently to say ‘hi’, and see how things were running!”
The local community and charity
Prince Energy is a big part of the local community and does a lot for charity. Aaron explained more: “We are a local, family-run business with owners that have grown up and still live in the local area.
“We want to make sure that, as a company, we can give back to the community that has supported us for the past sixty years. David Prince, Managing Director at Prince Energy, has afforded me the time over the past nineteen years to undertake a lot of these charity ventures.
“The main charity the company supports is Rainbows, a charity for our local Children’s Hospice. Rainbows cares for hundreds of families every year who have a baby, child, or young person with a serious or terminal illness that means their lives will be shorter than most.
“There are two events for this charity that we get involved with each year. Every October, as a company, we sponsor the Champion’s Events annual charity rugby dinner. Then, of course, in December, I don the big guy’s red suit to ride to the hospice with as many toys as I can squeeze onto the sleigh!”
This isn’t the only charity that Prince Energy supports. “The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal is another charity that we care a lot about,” Aaron continued. “I used to be the Poppy Appeal co-ordinator for Blaby in Leicestershire (unfortunately work and family commitments meant I had to take a step back) but I still get involved with the local street collecting for the charity.
“I also organise, through the Lord Mayors office, the Ride of Remembrance to the Leicester Cenotaph for the Armed Forces Scooter Club, Royal British Legion Riders Branch and local clubs. We have somewhere around 200 Bikes and scooters in attendance for this event each year raising much needed funds for our ex-servicemen’s and women’s charity.
“We also take part in the Santa Run to Barnes Heath House, a children’s home and respite home for disabled children in Leicestershire and, of course, we support Movember, the charity that supports men’s mental health and suicide prevention. Ben, our sales manager, embraces the clippers each year in support of this.”
Every Christmas is busy for Prince Energy, and not only because they deliver a lot of fuel! “Last year was an exceptionally busy year around Christmas. Word got out about the epic adventures of Santa’s Scooter Sleigh. Radio Leicester invited me to take part in a live broadcast outside their offices at St Nicolas’ Place announcing the forthcoming toy runs to Barnes Heath House and Rainbows Childrens Hospice.
“Following each of these toy drops, the sleigh completed a six-hour ride around the streets of Leicestershire stopping to meet and greet the local children with selection boxes kindly donated by Tesco (with the two-stroke oil, my fuel bill was horrendous!)
“At one of the villages, Santa was met by Claudia Webbe MP, Christmas carollers and hot spiced gluhwein! At request, an extra stop was also made to a local retirement home to distribute personal hygiene gifts to their residents.”
Father Christmas must have needed a big rest that night!
Christmas at Prince
“Each year the company likes to spread a bit of cheer amongst our own employees, to say thank you for all the hard work throughout the year. Paid for by the company, we either attend a Christmas function with partners or organise a joint activity for our office staff and drivers. Last year was activity time! An indoor carting track was booked where our office staff gave the drivers a run for their money! (No cash exchanged hands, except the bill!) We followed this up with a meal and drinks at a local restaurant!”
Aaron and the team are huge fans of Christmas and are very much looking forward to getting into the Christmas spirit this December. Wanting to find out more about the festive fun that happens at Christmas, we asked Aaron:
• What’s your best Christmas joke?
My children’s wish list!
• What’s your favourite Christmas song?
‘Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, and ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’, by Wizzard.
• What will you be eating on Christmas Day?
CHOCOLATE – for breakfast!!
• What’s your favourite thing that is associated with Christmas? (A food, activity, tradition etc.)
As a family we’ve always had a tree present saved for boxing day, dinner, Christmas movie and then presents.
• What’s your favourite Christmas film?
Got to be Miracle on 34th Street with Richard Attenborough.
• What are the values that you would like Prince Energy to be associated with?
Our honesty, openness, and fairness.
Fuel Oil News wishes Aaron, and all the team at Prince Energy a very happy Christmas and New Year and we look forward to catching up with them again in 2024 when we will discuss their 60th anniversary.