The 2019 East Suffolk Business & Community Awards took place on Thursday 3rd October at The Hangar, Kesgrave Hall. Organised by East Suffolk Council, the Awards celebrated a vast array of business and community successes and initiatives from the last 18 months.
The evening was hosted for the fifth time by Steve Allen, the comedian, writer and presenter of BBC2’s The Mash Report. Parker Communications provided a stunning set and flawless AV support throughout.
This year saw a record number of entries for the awards, with over 60 businesses and groups represented on the night - alongside the many individual finalists and distinguished guests.
Coderus, The Hearing Care Centre, Student Life and Woodbridge Rugby Club were among the winners. A total of thirteen awards were presented throughout the evening, covering categories including Customer Focus, Services to the Community, People Development, Encouraging Tourism and Business Growth (full list below). The winners received an eco-friendly wooden trophy and all the finalists were given a bottle of Prosecco with their certificates.
Guests enjoyed an impressive meal of smoked chicken and ham hock terrine followed by roast Silverside of Dedham Vale beef with vanilla panna cotta for dessert. After the awards guests celebrated with live music from The East Coast Collective.
Cllr Letitia Smith, Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, said:
“It was a real pleasure being able to celebrate the dedication and commitment shown by local groups, individuals and businesses in supporting their local communities. It says a great deal about the fantastic community spirit across East Suffolk and is one of the reasons it is such a great place to live
“I would like to congratulate our well-deserving winners whose hard work and commitment has helped improve their local area and the lives of the people who live there.
“I would also like to thank our sponsors and those who took the time to nominate for these special awards.”
Kelly Scoot, owner of JoJo’s Kitchen & Bar, said:
“We’re delighted to have won New Business of the Year and represent Lowestoft at these awards. We’ve had an excellent start for the business, made extra special thanks to the support of the Lowestoft community. We would also like to acknowledge the support we have received from Magnus PR over the past 18 months, which has been outstanding.”
Rob Simpson, Chairman of Woodbridge Rugby Club, added:
“We’re celebrating 50 years of Woodbridge Rugby Club this year and are so proud of our club’s inclusiveness with teams for Men, Women, Boys, Girls, Vets and Wheelchair users. To win Club of the Year is a wonderful way to acknowledge and pay tribute to the tireless work of our committee, coaches and volunteers. Following the recent loss of some of the Club’s stalwarts, I’ve witnessed how, although a love of rugby is what brought us together, this Club is about so much more. It really is a family.”
Louise Richardson from Student Life, enthused:
“To win both the People Development AND Great Idea Awards is amazing! We’re thrilled with our success and the opportunities we provide, and we’re very proud to have earned the recognition and support of the East Suffolk community.”
New Business of the Year sponsored by Ufford Park
WINNER: JoJo’s Kitchen and Bar is a small, family-run eatery in Lowestoft. After opening for business in February 2018, it was number 2 on TripAdvisor within six months - and went on to win Best Newcomer at the EAT Suffolk Food & Drink Awards this year.
RUNNERS UP: Magnus PR, Sir & Co. Barbers
Business Growth Award sponsored by Riduna Park
WINNER: Hearing Care Centre Ltd – the staff offer excellent customer care and strong financial performance. Sales for 2018-19 were the highest ever - up 17% up on the previous year. Plus, the team managed to cut almost £68,000 from its operating costs.
RUNNERS UP: Heavenly Hair and Amaya Spa, Suffolk Canine Creche
Services to the community (Group) sponsored by Places Leisure
WINNER: Muncheon Mingle Inter-generational Events - East Suffolk Council worked with schools in Beccles to organise the ‘Muncheon Mingle’ inter-generational events as a response to the Suffolk Hidden Needs Report. Over the last 2 years five separate events offering fun informal activities, music and refreshments have taken place.
RUNNERS UP: Suffolk Family Carers, Waveney Enterprises Craft Workshop
Services to the community (Individual) sponsored by East Suffolk Norse
WINNER: Julie Hedge -Julie has been a volunteer for Home Start for almost 5 years - and the families supported by her have nothing but praise and thanks for her input into their lives. Julie is described as a kind, supportive and caring individual and a delight to work with.
RUNNERS UP: Melanie Lord, Richard Broom
STEM Award sponsored by EDF Energy
WINNER: Coderus is an innovative software development and consultancy company that offers educational visits to its site at the prestigious Innovation Martlesham tech hub. The aim is to inspire and give the children an understanding of some of the career choices available in the tech space.
RUNNER UP: Chicane Voice & Data, SimpleClick
Great Idea Award sponsored by SuffolkWire
WINNER: Student Life is a Suffolk wide initiative based around 10 core subjects and aims to encourage young people to take on an active leadership role. Student Life allows students across Suffolk to make their voices heard through print, online, film and via interactive workshops.
RUNNERS UP: The Ron Harrod Foundation, Access Community Trust
People Development sponsored by East Suffolk Council
WINNER: Student Life gives young people the opportunity to seek advice about topics they often feel too embarrassed to discuss. Originally piloted at the University of Suffolk and Kesgrave High School, the project is now being rolled out to all high schools, sixth forms and colleges within the county.
RUNNERS UP: Coastal Leisure Learning CIC, Framlingham College
Health & Wellbeing sponsored by East Suffolk Council
WINNER: Level 2 Youth Project is a well-established service for young people aged 7-25yrs living in Felixstowe and surrounding villages. The vision is to promote the welfare of local young people through supportive relationships and positive experiences
RUNNERS UP: Student Life, Suffolk Family Carers
Encouraging Tourism sponsored by The Suffolk Coast and East Suffolk Means Business
WINNER: Choose Woodbridgeis a business and tourism organisation representing 184 businesses in Woodbridge and the surrounding area. It has proudly promoted and raised awareness of Woodbridge and East Suffolk as an excellent tourism destination.
RUNNERS UP: The First Light festival, Nearly Festival
Customer Focus Award sponsored by Chicane Voice & Data
WINNER: Deben Travel Ltd - Founded by husband and wife team Lee and Sarah Hunt in 2012, Woodbridge-based Deben Travel are enjoying their 9th year of trading. The independent travel agency has shown continuous and impressive growth over the years.
RUNNERS UP: Suffolk Canine Creche, David Button Independent Funeral Directors
Team of the Year sponsored by Ian Culf Roofer & Builder
WINNER: Realise Futures BBO Employment Team – deliver a variety of employment programmes across Suffolk and Essex. The dedicated team of Employment Advisors help people learn new skills and find the right job for them, offering a range of supporting activities.
RUNNERS UP: Suffolk Family Carers, Friends of St. Mary’s Primary School
Club of the Year sponsored by David Button Independent Funeral Directors
WINNER: Woodbridge Rugby Club - Since 1969 Woodbridge Rugby Club has provided RFU Core Values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship to young and old, men and women and, recently, able and disabled lovers of the game. Run by volunteers the club was voted Eastern Counties Rugby Union Club of the Year 2016.
RUNNERS UP: Kesgrave Cricket Club, Woodbridge Tennis Club
Enabling Communities Award sponsored by East Suffolk Council
WINNER: The Woodbridge Dementia Project was launched in 2018 by the Seckford Foundation in a drive to make Woodbridge a dementia friendly community. Working in partnership with a coalition of organisations in and around Woodbridge, the aim is to engage the local community including businesses, family carers and people living with dementia.
RUNNERS UP: The Hour Community Trishaw Project, Headway Suffolk