Winners Announced in the 2012 Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards
The winners of the 2012 Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards were revealed last night at a glittering gala Awards ceremony held at Carden Park Hotel, Chester. The winners and runners-up in the seven categories won a total of £115k in cash prizes as well as a package of professional services. The Awards were open to charities, social enterprises, businesses and entrepreneurs from Merseyside, Cheshire, Shropshire, North Wales and the Wolverhampton area.
Businessman Steve Morgan, the founder of the Morgan Foundation, said: "The Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards are all about 'Targeting Inspiration' – from young entrepreneurs with great ideas, to established charities changing lives across the region. As in previous years I have been heartened and humbled to meet some truly exceptional people during the judging process. At a time of economic uncertainty, stories of entrepreneurial success and social enterprise are even more meaningful and our aim is to give them the recognition they so deserve."
Barbara Richmond, GroupFinance Director, Redrow plc said: "Redrow is proud to once again be the main sponsor of the Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards. These awards are unique in rewarding entrepreneurship of individuals, businesses, social enterprises and charities in our communities not only with due recognition of their efforts but also with much needed cash and professional support."
The £20,000 first prize in the Best New Business category was presented by Pat Loftus of Deloitte to Cooper's Gourmet Sausage Rolls from Shrewsbury in Shropshire, founded by Ivan Watkiss. A real foodie, Ivan's entire family is involved in catering and when the recession came along he decided to diversify. His aim was to create the perfect sausage roll, and to change people's perception of the product. Coopers create products using only the best possible ingredients, all with local provenance. Once tasted, they are never forgotten.
Dogan Dogan, who established Hellofoto Booths in Walsall, won the title of Best Young Entrepreneur and was presented with a cheque for £10,000 by Steve Morgan and Karen Murphy of Brabners Chaffe Street for his business which offers fun photo booths for use at parties and events. Amazingly Dogan made a profit in his first year of trading and decided to expand further by purchasing a second booth. The judges admired his entrepreneurial spirit and were impressed by his vision for expanding the business.
Dogan Dogan was awarded a further surprise prize by Chris Arnold, Founder of Smaller Earth Group and World Merit*, to participate in the World Merit programme, culminating with Merit Month in January 2014. This will provide participants with a money can't buy life-changing experience taking them to London, Liverpool, Washington and New York.
Chris Arnold said, "The Morgan Foundation has been rewarding people for their determination and talent for many years. The Morgan Awards has a rigorous application process and World Merit is proud to be a partner. The job of World Merit is to provide life-changing opportunities to people who deserve them. We reward innovation and global citizenship; support people in reaching their potential; and create role models. The role models we find are to raise aspiration within anyone who hears their story and the Morgan Foundation Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Dogan Dogan, is about to have huge opportunities come his way."
The Best Entrepreneurial Charity or Social Enterprise first prize of £10,000 was presented by Steve Morgan to the Longmynd Adventure Camp, regenerated and run by a trustee board represented by Kim March.Based in Church Stretton in Shropshire, Longmynd Camp welcomes over 600 happy campers each year, many of them children who have never visited the countryside before. The judges recognized the work done by Kim and his team to raise funds to regenerate the camp for the benefit of the wider community.
There were two joint winners of the Charity or Social Enterprise making Best Social Contribution (turnover under £150k) category, with a prize of £5,000 each presented by Steve Morgan and Barbara Richmond of Redrow Plc. - Knowsley Cancer Support Centre and Women's Enterprising Breakthrough.Founded in 1983, Knowsley Cancer Support Centre provides support for people affected by cancer, and their family and friends. With the North West having the highest incidence of cancer in the UK, the group has grown substantially and the judging panel was impressed by the range of therapies and activities on offer.
Women's Enterprising Breakthrough is based in the deprived Bidston ward of Birkenhead and aims to support women and children with complex needs who may be isolated, victimised, discriminated against, have low self-esteem and lack hope. Established in the 1990s, the support WEB offers is wide ranging and the chief aim is to improve quality of life in whatever way meets the individual's needs.
The Charity or Social Enterprise making Best Social Contribution (turnover over £150k) went to The Brink Café CIC in Liverpool and was presented by Barabara Richmond of Redrow Plc. Although a commercial venue, The Brink has developed a reputation for support services and has secured two contracts with Liverpool PCT – one an alcohol counselling service and one for a 'Brink of Change' programme preparing people for longer term treatent options. The venue and concept has been the subject of a number of television programmes, all showing that The Brink is making a difference in lifestyle and life choices whilst also supporting on-going recovery.
A new category for this year, Best Individual Entrepreneur working in a Social Enterprise or Charity offered a winner's prize of £5,000, which was awarded to Lawrence Santangeli of Eldonian Group Ltd. Lawrence's commitment to the regeneration of Liverpool has seen the Eldonian Group develop from a grant dependent business to being a fully sustainable social enterprise delivering real social impact to the city and beyond. During his time at EGL, Lawrence has created over 2,000 jobs and apprenticeships for Liverpool residents. The judges were impressed by his innovative approach and his desire to challenge the status quo.
The Against All Odds category was the emotional climax of the evening, with a prize of £10,000 awarded to the person or organisation that had overcome the biggest obstacles on their path to success. Steve Morgan said that reading through the applications had been an 'truly humbling experience'.
The winner this year is a inspirational young lady who has put her own problems aside to help others and to raise money to fund research which could potentially change the lives of people in the future.
Amy Garton-Hughes struggled from birth with undiagnosed symptoms that were eventually identified as Cockayne Syndrome – a premature ageing disorder that leads to shortened life expectancy. With the help of her family and friends she set up Amy and Friends in 2007 to help sufferers and their families all over the world. Despite battling her own debilitating illness, Amy and her organisation have raised and given money to medical research, resulting in the ground breaking identification of the carrier gene meaning that going forward, siblings will be able to be tested for Cockayne Syndrome.
The runners-up and highly commended in each category were:
Best New Business
Love Frocks, Runcorn – joint runner-up awarded £5,000
Love Frocks is a bespoke fashion design service, designing and making garments for all occasions. Customers can arrange a consultation and can have their chosen item made-to-measure to ensure the perfect fit.
Silky Bouquets Ltd, Liverpool – joint runner-up awarded £5,000
Silky Bouquets Ltd. has grown rapidly from an eBay shop into a well recognised retailer, sending floral tributes all over the world as the demand for lasting, luxurious floral tributes has grown.
Highly Commended were:
Navigate IT Ltd, Bretton, Chester
Navigate IT enable their clients to reach their business objectives by removing the potential headache of IT and allowing and supporting the business to focus on its core activities.
Jungle HR Ltd, Shropshire
Jungle is a unique HR and Business Consultancy that specialises in working with executive boards and leadership teams to revitalise organisations and deliver sustainable change through people.
Engage Web, Ellesmere Port
Engage Web is an all-round online marketing firm operated by two experts in the field offering everything from complete Internet marketing strategies to the nitty gritty of online content provision and social media management.
Best Young Entrepreneur
Liam Payne – LP Equestrian, Dudley - joint runner-up awarded £2,500
LP Equestrian is a tack shop and online retail emporium catering for both horse and rider. As well as everyday items such as horse feed, bedding and supplements, LP Equestrian also stocks clothing, footwear and accessories making this an essential stop for any horse owner.
Danielle Walton – Coco Hair, Wolverhampton - joint runner-up awarded £2,500
Danielle Walton opened Coco Hair in July 2011 with the help of the Prince's Trust and a good deal of entrepreneurial spirit. At only 22, she exceeded all her targets in the first 12 months of trading and now has plans to expand the business.
Laura Green – Serendipity, Runcorn
Laura Green has never let her Down's Syndrome hold her back. Having always loved fashion and having gained business experience as managing director of two school enterprises, Laura knew she had the skills, talent and determination to succeed as an entrepreneur, even if others had 'written her off' because of her condition.
Anna Jenkins – Silky Bouquets, Liverpool
Silky Bouquets Ltd. started out as a hobby but at the back of Anna's mind was the idea that well-made, luxurious silk flower arrangements could fill a gap in the market and, after lots of market research, she decided to go for it. Her aim is to develop Silky Bouquets Ltd into the silk flower equivalent of Interflora.
Best Individual Entrepreneur working in a Social Enterprise or Charity
Jacquie Johnston-Lynch, The Brink Café CIC, Liverpool, awarded £2,500
As Head of Service for Action on Addiction, Jacquie has been instrumental in leading the charity into the field of social enterprise. Across Merseyside her name is synonymous with passion, energy, exceptional relationships, visionary ideas and community expansion and regeneration.
Kim March, Longmynd Adventure Camp, Church Stretton, awarded £2,500
Through Kim March's entrepreneurial leadership and vision, Longmynd Adventure Camp has come back from the brink of closure to become one of the most highly regarded voluntary groups in Shropshire, welcoming over 600 happy campers every year.
Dawn Roberts, Empowering Youth Foundation, Wrexham
Discovering that many young people were being denied access to golf due to socio-economic barriers, Dawn Roberts researched and identified several programmes that could be offered – choosing 'The First Tee's Life Skills' experience which has had a huge impact on the communities where it has taken place.
Best Entrepreneurial Charity or Social Enterprise
Harlech & Ardudwy Leisure, Harlech, awarded £5,000
Formed as a direct result of Gwynedd Council's decision to close Harlech Pool, Harlech & Ardudwy Leisure refurbished and redesigned the facilities to include disabled access, a climbing and bouldering wall and cafeteria. Keeping the pool open has prevented the loss of a number of jobs and the new facilities have also created new job opportunities.
Diverse Road Safety CIC, Liverpool, awarded £5,000
Diverse Road Safety CIC provides specialist driver training to vulnerable road users, giving them independence through mobility. They provide training to people who find driving more of a challenge and work with individuals who suffer with learning difficulties and physical impairments.
Can Cook CIC, Liverpool
Can Cook was established in 2007 in response to the growing deficit of cookery skills amongst all ages in the UK. Since then they have trained over 9,000 people, written three cookery books, published a secondary school workbook and set up cafés in a health centre and a prison.
Gourmet Meals CIC, Kingswinford
Gourmet Meals CIC creates and delivers home-cooked British meals to local elderly residents in the Dudley Borough. Meals are delivered by friendly delivery drivers, ensuring that residents get a visit to reduce their possible social isolation. Last year founder Sarah Freeman won a highly commended Young Volunteer of the Year Award for her enterprising spirit.
Small Charity or Social Enterprise making Best Social Contribution
All Together NOW!, Liverpool, awarded £2,500
All Together NOW! is a newspaper and e-magazine providing vital news and inspiration for anyone affected by disability and age. The free service also raises much needed awareness about disability. Based in Liverpool, it is the only publication of its kind in the UK – and is has doubled its readership in the past year to nearly half a million.
Rural Community Services, Tarporley, Cheshire
Rural Community Services (RCS) benefits socially isolated, housebound elderly people struggling to participate in social activity in their rural community. Local volunteer input enables them to reconnect with friends and the communities, improving quality of life and sense of wellbeing.
Power Pleas Trust, Wolverhampton
Power Pleas was founded in 1987 through the co-operative effort of local paediatricians, phsiotherapists and occupational therapists, teachers and other interested parties. This local, totally voluntary registered charity aims to meet the mobility needs of Wolverhampton children with physical
disabilities. Some 70 plus recipients have benefited from equipment that could not have been obtained under the state provision.
Charity or Social Enterprise making Best Social Contribution
Multiple Sclerosis Support Centre, Saltney, Flintshire, awarded £5,000
The MS Support Centre is a local charity in Saltney offering support, therapies and helpful strategies to manage the symptoms of MS and other neurological conditions as effectively as possible in a happy, supportive and understanding environment. Since its inception in 1985, it has grown from a small, volunteer-run charity to one with 300+ members employing 12 staff and supported by 25 plus volunteers.
YKids, Bootle, awarded£5,000
Ykids works to benefit the lives of children and young people living in deprived communities in Bootle and Merseyside. They run a variety of innovative programmes to raise aspirations and self-esteem, enabling young people to break negative cycles and give them hope for a positive future. They work with 2,000 children a week and the impact of their work has been noted by schools, parents, local authorities and the police.
Active Community Enterprise, Prescot, Merseyside
ACE is a value-for-money support agency with the aim of changing the general perception that adults with a learning disability do not have the capacity to learn new skills and undertake employment. The ACE ethos has proved a resounding success and the organisation has grown to employ seven permanent support staff, two office staff and numerous bank staff and volunteers who are both disabled and able-bodied.
FRC Group, Liverpool
Through running commercial businesses that produce financial profits, FRC Group creates a social dividend by giving people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives. Their 'Driving Change' and 'Launch Pad' training programmes offer work placements and training for people who need to gain skills and confidence before returning to work.
Against All Odds
Rachel Cooper, BNR, Brierley Hill
In 2007 Rachel Cooper contracted an illness which attacked the nerves to her brain. Her life as she knew it was over and she had to start the long painful process of rehabilitation. Rachel found the strength to walk again but struggled to regain her confidence and to see a purpose in life.
Despite this Rachel looked at what she could do – and that evolved into BNR – a family run business providing high quality services such as printing, clothing, trophies, promotional gifts and much more.
Jayne Fletcher, Signsong, Walsall
Born profoudly deaf, Jayne's love for music was a source of comfort during a difficult and isolated childhood. Her dream was to perform with singers and sign to their songs on stage with them. An introduction to the Prince's Trust enabled her to think about turning her dream into a business and Signsong started trading in April 2010.
Jayne's aim is to give deaf people access to music, inspire hearing people to learn sign language and to raise deaf awareness to prove that deaf people can do anything except hear.
Dave Kelly –Daisy Inclusive UK, Liverpool
Dave Kelly is a blind man with a vision - the inclusion of all disabled people to reach their true potential by breaking down the barriers within society. Dave lost his sight 18 years ago at the age of 30, resulting in the loss of his career and his marriage. Although his world was turned upside down, blindness became his catalyst to move forward.
He went on to found Daisy UK – encouraging disability and visual awareness through sport courses for children and youngsters and for staff and volunteers as well as the creation of inclusive sports clubs for young people with a disability, siblings and friends.
Hayley Wright – Romantic Eccentric Jewellery, Wolverhampton
As the victim of severe domestic abuse, Hayley Wright still bears the physical and emotional scars. Left scared, depressed, and living on benefits in the belief that she didn't deserve to get a job, Hayley knew she had to try to turn her life around to support her young son.
She made the bold decision to take an open learning degree in gemology. Within an hour she knew it was what she wanted to do with her life and soon started creating jewellery at home. Hayley and her jewellery recentl
featured on a BBC2 programme featuring the talent of artists in the UK.
Notes to Editors:
- The main Award sponsors are Redrow plc. Co-sponsors are Deloitte and Brabners Chaffe Street. Event partners include: DRP Group,m Insider Media, World Merit and NMC Design+Print