Southern Business Awards: Who are the winners?
Cheers and applause erupted at this years Southern Business Awards as 19 awards were handed to the best businesses along the Hampshire Sussex Coast.
Overall winners of the night were Bognor Regis based Woods Travel Limited who have been serving West Sussex and surrounding areas for more than 47 years. A family business, Woods has an enviable reputation for customer service with over 75 per cent of customers having travelled before with them or been recommended by some one who has.
Woods Travel Limited also walked away with the Medium-sized business award.
Managing director Alison Waterfield-Jones put the victory down to 'great staff, great customers and great customer service'.
She said: "We like what we do and we all like each other which helps.
"Thank you to our customer base and staff. We soon be celebrating our fifty years. We are ready for big celebrations after this."
The event was held at the Brighton Grand on Friday (September 7) and saw more than 80 businesses get wined and dined before the moment they had all been waiting for.
For the full list of winners, click here.
Spirit FM's charming presenter Vicky Edwards hosted the event.
She said: "Those of you here this evening, you are officially in the winners' enclosure. But it does mean that the competition is now fierce and each category comprises only the cream. The question is, which businesses will rise to the top?"
Among the prestigious awards were the Outstanding Contribution to the Community, won by Brad Ainsworth from Cathedral Wealth Management in Chichester.
Brad has given a considerable amount of time and effort to a variety of community based activities and raised thousands of pounds for worth causes.
Vicky Edwards said: "I once had the pleasure of interviewing Brad and I say now what I said then - the world needs more Brads."
Brad recalled some words of wisdom he had once received: "There was a chap I knew, and he sat up and said 'You have got 86,400 seconds in a day and if you don't use them, you lose them.
"In my life I don't want to lose out on them.
He added: "It wouldn't be without my beautiful wife Emma. Thank you for letting me do that"
Green Business of the Year went to co-educational independent school Great Ballard School for its 'excellent work in not only educating children to understand and protect their environment, but also to carry that message forward'.
Vicky said: "The thing that really stood out for the judges was that a new generation is learning the importance of recycling and of taking care of the environment."
She added: "We know now that the potential impact of ignoring the green issue is disastrous. As David Attenborough said, 'The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see and elephant except in a picture book?' At Great Ballard School the answer is an emphatic no, and they aren't content just to speak out, they are taking action."
Managing director at the school, Sue Jay said the ethos of the school has always been to respect the environment and enjoy nature.
She said: "We do many things to try and protect the environment as much as possible. The students have masses of gardens to run around in.
"I think our children are very good and very protective of what they have around them."