South West Business & Community Award Winners Announced

By Anita Jaynes on 27 January, 2020

The winners of Great British Expos’ South West Business & Community Awards 2020 were announced at a glittering ceremony on Thursday 23rd January at Swindon’s DoubleTree Hilton hotel.

Over 250 guests attended the event that celebrates the region’s most ambitious, inspirational and exciting charities and individuals. The night was compered by Alison Edgar, the award-winning founder of Chippenham-based, Sales Coaching Solutions.

The awards recognise a wide cross section of entrepreneurs and innovators, highlighting those blazing a trail in their respective industries. 

Alec Jones-Hall, organiser of the awards, said, “We have winners from across the South West which speaks volumes for the reach of the awards. We have winners from Plymouth, Bath, Swindon, Bristol, Cheltenham and Torquay.”

Judges of the awards include serial South West entrepreneur James Phipps, property millionaire Roslyn Bell, and Anita Jaynes, Founder of The Business Exchange. 

THE SOUTH WEST WINNERS 2020

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION  TO THE COMMUNITY

Clean our Patch, Plymouth

Judges’ Comments: “To organise 20 volunteer groups with 30 ambassadors to pick up over 65 tonnes of litter is an incredible impact. A great example of local people coming together to have a huge impact on a local issue.”

Denise O’Leary presenting the Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT 

Joint winners: Shirley Ludford, Swindon 105.5 Community Radio Station and Steve Whiteway, Plymouth community champion

Judges’ Comments: “Impossible to split two people who have dedicated their lives to their local communities but in different ways.”

Shirley Ludford was presented her award by Neil Robbins, Sales Manager at Hills Waste Solutions, sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award

CHARITY OF THE YEAR

Harbour Housing, Cornwall

The Charity of the Year Award was sponsored by The Business Exchange and director, Anita Jaynes presented the award.

THE LEISURE & TOURISM AWARD

BookingLive, Bristol 

The Booking Live team collecting their award

NETWORKER OF THE YEAR

Lee Randall, Pybus (Devon Partnership)

Judges’ Comments: “To connect 200 businesses in four months in Devon and with plans to keep going was so impressive to us all.”

Lee Randall won Networker of the Year

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR

Leanne Finch, Sixways Surgery, Cheltenham

Leanne’s tutor collected the Apprentice of the Year Award on her behalf

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR 

Ben Lawton, Ottr Works, Swindon

Judges’ comments: “Ben comes over as a talented and driven young entrepreneur, achieving £100K turnover in the first full 12 months, making personal sacrifices along the way.”

Ben Lawton was presented his award by Jackie Chappell, the first female CEO of British Rail

FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Sophia Ali, Amma Life, Bristol

Sophia Ali (right) was presented her award by Fiona Scott of Fiona Scott Media Consultancy, sponsor of the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category

MALE ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

Aaron Cash, Finish Electrical, Paignton 

Karl Paul (left), Director of Smarter Media and sponsor of the Male Entrepreneur of the Year category presented Aaron with his award

START-UP OF THE YEAR

Bespoke Hub, Torquay

SME OF THE YEAR

SMD Ltd (Structural Metal Decks Ltd), Poole

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

Joint winners: Excalibur Communications, Swindon and Rocketmakers, Bath

Judges’ Comments: “It was too difficult to decide between these two worthy winners. They have both demonstrated their huge commitment to their staff and creating positive working environments.”

The Excalibur Communications team collecting their award

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Rocketmakers, Bath 

Judges’ comments: “Recent winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and a major grant from innovate UK should ensure they hit their target of 50 per cent growth. They clearly demonstrated their passion to engage in the community and help young people into coding.” 

The Rocketmakers team with the evening’s inspiring guest speaker, Olympic Gold Medalist, Derek Redmond.

Unique to the South West Business & Community Awards, all profits raised from the awards ceremony are donated to selected charities. 

To find out more about the awards visit: 

www.southwestbusinessawards.co.uk 

Pictured above: The South West Business & Community Award Winners 2020 on stage at the DoubleTree Hilton, Swindon