Like buses, the award nominations came in a bunch!
"I still have no idea who nominated me for the award..."
Wendy Gorham, who manages our East Sussex, Brighton and Hove area, writes about her experience of being nominated as NatWest Venus Awards Employee of the year…and other unexpected events!
Nominations for awards felt like buses this last term in East Sussex because as soon as you get nominated for one another one comes long!
It was a wonderful surprise for me to be nominated for the Venus Women in Business awards for East Sussex/Brighton and Hove and to reach the last three after a public vote was even more amazing!
Thank you to everyone who voted and although I did not win, it was wonderful to be part of the whole experience which included making a video for the voting site, having afternoon at a posh hotel to meet the press and sponsors and then the award evening dinner dance.
(Pictured right: Young Enterprise in Hastings and Rother won the Best Social Enterprise Charity at the Own Grown Awards! Here are Young Enterprise Board members Martin Searle (also the Regional Manager for FSB) and Marcia Dart picking up their award. The Award was presented by Keith Ridley (in the red tie), Editor of the Bexhill Observer. The Own Grown Challenge is for business in Hastings and Rother to pledge 1,066 commitments to help young people prepare for and enter the world of work.)
The dinner dance was a great opportunity to get dressed up as it was a black tie affair and who needs an excuse for that! It was also another networking opportunity! I certainly had to “learn by doing” as being asked to write a pitch for a short video, memorise it and then be filmed was very hands on!
I still have no idea who nominated me for the award in fact I initially thought the email informing me was spam so I sent it back (!) but it was not spam – so if it was you thank you so much.
It was great to be part of the process and to meet other amazing women in business – the networking of this event was very important. With women becoming a growing force in the business community the exposure of the awards has had a positive effect on the profile of Young Enterprise in Sussex.
The awards already enjoy a strong national profile with the search-string Business Women Awards listing the awards on page one of Google several times as a natural listing.
One of my smallest Area Boards, Hastings and Rother, then got shortlisted and won the Own Grown Awards in the Hastings and Rother area of East Sussex.
This was a real achievement and some of the Board members were able to attend on the night. Again this raised our profile within the local area and gave us an opportunity to tell people more about what we do. This was the first ever Own Grown awards night and during the year businesses have been making pledges on how they can help young people – as it is Battle of Hastings area they wanted to get 1066 pledges! Young Enterprise gave a pledge and this was how they became nominated to apply for an award.
The evening included speakers Amber Rudd MP and East Sussex’s Member of the Youth Parliament Solomon Curtis, as well as networking opportunities, with publicity in the local newspapers.
Finally, we won the Hastings Youth and Got Culture Award 2013 which recognises the great work that Young Enterprise does with the young people of Hastings and District.
This awards ceremony included showcases of young people and was a vibrant display of the positive side of the youth of today. The Mayor of Hastings was there presenting the awards and it was a privilege to win the award which I collected on behalf of the Hastings and Rother Board.
Everyone likes to be acknowledged for what they do and if this comes out of the blue somehow it feels even more special. We always speak in our work of valuing the young people and it is great to be able to value and publically acknowledge our volunteers and staff.
So if you get an opportunity to either nominate your Boards or someone nominates you be proud, take the plunge and use the extra publicity to raise the YE flag!