Winners announced at virtual South West Business & Community Awards

By Nick Batten on 8 May, 2021

The winners of this year’s South West Business & Community Awards have been named at a virtual ceremony.

The awards – which are organised by The Great British Expos’ – recognise businesses, charities, and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution in the region. They are judged by an independent panel of some of the UK’s most significant business leaders, entrepreneurs, charity ambassadors and regional influencers.

Due to Covid, this year’s event was held via a virtual online ceremony on Thursday 29th April. It was hosted by Paul Waite, Managing Director of South West-based accountancy firm, Aspen Waite and Natalie Gayle a Sky TV presenter.

Among the winners was Wiltshire Digital Drive, which won the  ‘COVID Community Champion’ category and Sara Tye of Swindon-based RedheadPR who picked up the ‘Lifetime of Achievement’ award.

Natalie Sherman, Director of Wiltshire Digital Drive, said, “This award is for everyone who has supported the project since we started in October 2020. To everyone who has donated a device, to the businesses who have backed us financially and the family & friends who responded to calls in their evenings and weekends, bagged laptops, changed hard drives and drove across the county to collect and deliver. We’re all Covid Community Champions together.”

Sara, Founder of RedheadPR, added, “I am so proud to win this award 37 years on from when I started my career, charity work and community involvement. A lifetime achievement award is the hardest to be awarded.  It’s been enduring, amazing and a huge roller-coaster. I have had a huge amount of support along the way.  People that trusted me and my very risky decisions at times. I have had to keep fit, continually learn, be empathetic, give so much and step back when sometimes I found that hard. I am truly blessed.”

This year’s judges were: Tina Fincham (PA to Paul Waite), Michael Hill (CEO of Hills Group), Jacynth Ivey (CEO of Ivey Global and Inspiring Hope) Lynsey Jones (CEO of Quote4Energy), Anita Jaynes (Founder of The Business Exchange), Sandra Berns (CEO of Centric HR), Greg Robinson (Editor of SME Today), Christina Briggs, (CEO of New World Insight) and Jackie Chappell (first Woman CEO of British Rail).

See below for the full list of winners:

Business of the Year


Female Entrepreneur of The Year

Sarah Lawrence

New Start-Up of The Year

Memento Vita

Young Entrepreneur of The Year

Renee Phippen

The SME of The Year


The Employer of The Year


COVID Community Champion

Wiltshire Digital Drive

The Apprentice of The Year

Yusra Shaeik

The Charity of The Year

The Defence Medical Welfare Service

Outstanding Contribution to The Community

Matt Jones Run & Repair

Lifetime of Achievement

Sara Tye

The Leisure & Tourism Award

Luxury Coastal

Male Entrepreneur

Brian Allen

For more information about this year’s ceremony or how to nominate someone for next year’s awards, please visit:  

Pictured above: Paul Waite and Natalie Gayle hosting the virtual event on 29th April