Suffolk Coastal Business and Community Awards Winners

The 2015 Suffolk Coastal Business & Community Awards took place on Thursday 12th March at The Hangar, Kesgrave Hall. Organised by Suffolk Coastal District Council, the Awards celebrated the business and community initiatives and successes that have taken place in Suffolk Coastal over the last 18 months.

The evening was hosted for a second time by Steve Allen a comedian, writer and presenter. With over one hundred entries for the awards this year, the judges had their work cut out shortlisting the finalists and agreeing the winners. On the night there were more than forty businesses and groups represented alongside the many individual finalists and distinguished guests.

To mark the 40th anniversary of Suffolk Coastal District Council, Cllr Bob Snell, Chairman of the Council, opened the evening with the new Chairman’s Award. An award brought in this year to honour the business that has made a significant contribution to Suffolk Coastal over the past 40 years. Woodbridge’s Brafe Engineering narrowly beat Notcutts and Revetts to win the award for their outstanding record of community involvement, employment and environmental policies.

Guests were well looked after in the impressive Hangar at Kesgrave Hall and enjoyed a delicious meal of watermelon & feta salad, braised shoulder of lamb with garlic peas and crushed new potatoes followed by chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream.

A total of thirteen awards were presented throughout the evening covering categories including Customer Focus, Services to the Community, People & Development, Encouraging Tourism and Charity Champion. The winners received an engraved trophy and all the finalists were awarded a bottle of Adnams Champagne with their certificates.


Cllr TJ Haworth-Culf, Cabinet Member for Customers, Communities and Leisure at Suffolk Coastal District Council, described the evening: “It’s been a fabulous evening. It’s a real privilege to celebrate with the people, businesses and groups that benefit Suffolk Coastal on every level. The breadth of entries shows how ingenious, committed and effective we can be at making improvements and creating opportunities within our community.”


Cllr Bob Snell, Chairman of Suffolk Coastal District Council, added: “It was the perfect way to mark 40 years of Suffolk Coastal District Council. The range of industries, interests and activities represented in the district is impressive by any standards. It is wholly appropriate that we share our successes and reward innovation, hard work and community spirit. These awards are growing every year, showcasing the many projects and people that benefit all of us who live and work here.”


Lin Barnes, Director at Christies Care – winners of the People Development Award, said: “I’m over the moon. Our training team has been doggedly focused on putting together a leading training programme for our carers for the benefit of our clients. Our decision to open the training up to family carers within the community for free has spread the knowledge and improved the standard of care and support for family carers in the district. I’m so proud of the team and thrilled that their hard work has been recognised.”


Nicola Cannon, Owner of Melton Day Nursery – winner of the Customer Focus Award, said: “Wow. It’s all a lot more overwhelming than you’d expect. To be recognised for our dedication to our customers is brilliant. It’s absolutely what we’re about. The families that we support are a big part of our identity and we work really closely with them to make sure we’re looking after their children in the best possible way. I’m delighted for my team. They deserve this recognition for believing in and working hard to create an outstanding, engaging and nurturing nursery”.


Geoff Dreher, Chairman of the East Anglian Sailing Trust – winner of the Enabling Communities Award, said: “We were voted for by the public! It’s brilliant. We really appreciate the support we’ve received from the Enabling Communities scheme it’s allowed us to bolster the sailing opportunities we can provide for people with disabilities and recruit more volunteers. To win this award will hopefully help more people to hear about us and encourage more to enjoy sailing with us.”


Mandy Hearle – winner of the Charity Champion Award, said: “I’m just so thrilled that people are still donating to MSF. I set out to try and make a small contribution to something that Poppy would have devoted the rest of her life to. Winning this award helps us to spread awareness of the great efforts of MSF and hopefully encourage more people to donate and fund raise on their behalf. It’s not just me that has made this happen, the Harvey family have been with me all the way. We all won this award for Poppy and she would be delighted!”






The Chairman’s Award, sponsored by Suffolk Coastal District Council:

Winner: Brafe Engineering

Runners up: Notcutts & Revetts


Team of the Year, sponsored by Suffolk Sport:

Winner: Home-Start Suffolk Coastal

Runners up: Kesgrave Parkrun & Felixstowe Hockey Club



Services to the Community Award, sponsored by Park Properties:

Winners: Group Winner: Level Two Youth Project & Individual winner: James Lightfoot

Runners up: Group: Choose Woodbridge & Individual: Maggie Lusher



The Great & Green Award, sponsored by The Hangar Kesgrave Hall:

Winner: Midas Productions

Runners up: East Coast Carbon Efficiency & Bawdsey Village Market



The Customer Focus Award, sponsored by Bruisyard Hall:

Winner: Melton Day Nursery

Runners up: Best of Suffolk & Suffolk Secrets



The Health and Wellbeing Award, sponsored by Places for People:

Winner: Sizewell & Leiston Karate Club

Runners up: Kesgrave Parkrun & SwimSure Swim School



Independent Business of the Year, sponsored by Suffolk Coastal District Council:

Winner: R & S Hardware & Garden

Runner up: Anglia Factors & Deben Travel



The Community Safety Award, sponsored by Adnams:

Winner: Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service

Runner up: Felixstowe Nightsafe & Stirling Askew



The Innovation Award, sponsored by the Local Strategic Partnership:

Winner: Midas Productions

Runners up: Derek and Ray of Wickham Market Library & Bawdsey Village Market



Charity Champion Award, sponsored by EB Carpets Felixstowe:

Winner: Mandy Hearle

Runners up: Woodbridge Shufflers & The Rotary Club of Woodbridge



The People Development Award, sponsored by EDF Energy:

Winner: Christies Care

Runners up: Sizewell & Leiston Karate Club & Derek and Ray at Wickham Market Library



Encouraging Tourism Award, sponsored by Suffolk Coastal District Council:

Winner: Best of Suffolk

Runners up: Woodbridge Tide Mill & Framlingham Business Association



Enabling Communities Award:

Winner: East Anglian Sailing Trust

Runners up: Easton Bowls Club, Framlingham Tennis Club, Waldringfield Flood Defence Group & Fresh Aspirations Forum