A grand charity ball for business people at Weston
By Prue_Reid | Thursday, October 18, 2012, 12:18
Nearly 150 business people from across North Somerset gathered for the 14th annual charity ball at Weston on Saturday.
Pictured from left Rob Vivian, of Pure Comms; North Somerset Enterprise Agency chief executive Angela Hicks; Karen Morledge, of Plum Communications & PR and Wayne Kelly, of Thermal Roof Ltd at the business awards
The glittering event at the Winter Gardens was organised by North Somerset Enterprise Agency's Business Club raised thousands of pounds for local charities and good causes.
The 2012 charity ball was sponsored by Santander Business Banking and North Somerset Business Leader.
Guests included North Somerset Council chairman Terry Porter and Weston mayor and majoress David and Carol Hitchins.
Tickets to the dinner dance and a raffle raised £3,500 and this amount was generously match-funded by Santander Business Banking.
Among those to beneift will be the sponsor's chosen charity for the year, Weston Hospicecare.
The evening also saw the presentation of the 2012 Siân Lloyd-Jones business awards, a scheme run annually by North Somerset Enterprise Agency and co-sponsored by the economic development team at North Somerset Council, to recognise business talent in the local area.
North Somerset Enterprise Agency's team, which acts as a 'one stop shop' providing free or low-cost advice, information and training to start-up and small businesses in the area, has run the awards annually since 2000 in memory of their former colleague and friend, Siân Lloyd-Jones.
Siân worked tirelessly to support local businesses in her role as client services co-ordinator for the enterprise agency before a brain haemorrhage cut short her life at the age of just 32.
First place went to Clevedon-based telecoms provider Pure Comms.
The company was established in November 2009 by local entrepreneur Rob Vivian with the aim of creating bespoke solutions for customers through investing in resources and expertise – a radically different approach to the price slashing mentality of many of its competitors.
The company already employs seven staff and has doubled its office space within the Radius Enterprise Centre at Clevedon Hall to accommodate its growing team and prides itself on providing a modern vibrant place to work.
Its success means that the company has been able to join the High Growth mentoring scheme provided by North Somerset Enterprise Agency and judges were also impressed with the company's five year growth plan which revolves around measured investment in people and technology.
Mr vivian said: "Starting a business can be hard but North Somerset Enterprise Agency has been incredibly supportive of our business and I would like to thank the team and especially their business advisor and our high growth mentor Abdullah Ali-Ahmadi.
"We've been hugely encouraged by all the support that's been out there for us. North Somerset is truly a great place to set up a business."
Second place was awarded to Thermal Roof Limited, which was launched by roofing specialist Wayne Kelly in March 2010 to supply flat roofing systems to domestic users after he spotted a gap in the market for a durable quality product that would outlast most other flat roofing systems by many decades.
Having identified a superior system, Thermal Roof invited its clients to invest in products which are 'designed to perform and guaranteed to last'.
Based in Banwell the company which employs three members of staff plus sub-contractors is a sponsor of both the under 9s Hornet rugby team plus Banwell's youth football team, has already exceeded its growth expectations.
The judges were also impressed by its commitment to using and supporting other local businesses, investment in up-to-date equipment and on-going training for its team in a range of business skills.
Third place in the awards was won by Plum Communications & PR of Weston Super Mare.
Founded in 2010 by director Karen Morledge, the creative communications agency has grown to a team of five marketing and public relations experts, as a result of the team achieving consistent client wins.
With its commitment to recruiting on the basis of experience and attitude and its investment in making staff happy, Plum Communications & PR prides itself on providing its clients with a high level of service, a forward thinking approach to working and its commitment to supporting the growth and success of other North Somerset businesses.
Judges were impressed by the company's steady sustainable growth and transition planning, its five-year business plan for further expansion whilst remaining committed to providing its clients with high quality flexible services and its pro-bono work.
Presenting the awards Hayley Beaumont, of Santander, said: ""This year's grand charity ball has proved to be another amazing success and has given us the opportunity through the Sian Lloyd-Jones Business Awards to celebrate local business talent.
"Starting a business can be daunting but, as the saying goes, fortune favours the brave and it has been our pleasure to present awards to three people who have shown courage and determination to make their businesses succeed."
North Somerset Enterprise Agency chief executive Angela Hicks said: "Every week our team is meeting exciting start-up and growing businesses here in North Somerset and we were delighted to see this reflected in the excellent entries to our award.
"North Somerset is a great place to start and grow a business, with a supportive business community, free or low-cost business expertise and local knowledge right on the doorstep and some incredible local success stories to turn to for inspiration.
"We look forward to working with even more people in the year ahead who are looking to turn their dream or idea into a successful business venture".
Charities and community projects who would like to apply for help from the money raised from this year's charity ball are invited to write to Hazel Wintle at North Somerset Enterprise Agency Ltd, The Link Centre, Oldmixon Crescent, Weston-super-Mare, BS24 9AY.