Congratulations to the amazing 16 winners of this year’s West Country Women Awards. What a glittering, action-packed evening at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth celebrating the achievements of business and community leaders who make a huge difference in people’s lives.
I was pleased to attend with my wife as a guest of Andrew De Groot of ActionCOACH Exeter, one of the sponsors of the evening. Andrew is a long standing supporter of women in business and coaches many women entrepreneurs, so it was a privilege to share in his enthusiasm for the event. What’s more, we loved hearing the many inspirational stories of local women heroes who have overcome diverse challenges in life and in business to succeed in their own way and become a shining light to others.
Hats off to these 16 women each a winner in their category. Also to broadcaster, Alexis Bowater OBE who acted as MC. Alex is the co-founder of the West Country Women Awards, along with Tess Stuber. Both are movers and shakers in their own right who have created a highly influential women’s network that uplifts and empowers.
West Country Women Awards Categories
While I was expecting to mainly see recognition of business successes, the awards categories are diverse and include women in various disciplines including inspirational leadership, sport, charity, arts and culture as well as business.
I was particularly impressed by the Phoenix Award, this year awarded to Jan Ford, pictured left, who is the author of The Loving Abductor. Now based in Saint Agnes, Cornwall, Jan’s book is the real life account of how she had to remove her own child from France in order to protect him. The Phoenix of course exemplifies rising from the ashes, and Jan risked everything to rebuild her life. How fitting for her son, now grown up and dressed in black tie, to be alongside her as she received her award.
You can see a run through of all the winners in the embedded video below. Including business awards in the different industry sectors such as: Women in Food and Drink, Women in Tech, Women in STEM, (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and Women in Property and Construction. There was also an award for the Small Business Of the Year and one for the Green Business of the Year.
Well done to all the semi-finalists, nominees and winners! And to the West Country Women Awards for celebrating the many achievements of women across the Southwest. It was also commendable to see how the network supports charity and over 3,000 was raised for Georgia’s Voice during the course of the evening. This worthy cause helps to prevent suicide in young women aged 18-25 in Cornwall.
It is also great to see so many local organisations / businesses support the Awards including, GoSouthWest and PL1 Events as headline sponsors. Plus each category had it’s own sponsor with their representative introducing each winner.
The large crowd of glamorous dinner guests also appreciated the wine, gin, and soft drinks on the tables and the delicious food served by the Crowne Plaza. All in all, it was a rather dazzling, memorable evening and I would encourage you to attend in 2024, when another group of amazing local heroes will take to the stage to receive the recognition they deserve.