Hyndburn Business Awards 2021 – The Finalists

Congratulations to each and every one of our finalists.

Large BusinessNew Business
sponsored by Haworth Chartered Accountantssponsored by WHN Solicitors
Advocacy FocusCornucopia Grocers
Carers Link LancashireEast Lancs Hot Tub Hire
Nurture Childcare Services LtdFeral & Funky Kids Co
System Hygiene Limited
Small BusinessCustomer Friendly Business
sponsored by Silverwoods Waste Managementsponsored by Community Solutions NW
Cover My Bubble LTDCover My Bubble LTD
Little Secrets Clothing Ltd.NORI HR & Employment Law
NORI HR & Employment LawSamantha’s Clubhouse Childminding Services
Westend Fish and Chips
MicroBusinessCreative Business
sponsored by Civic Arts Centre and Theatresponsored by Just Imagine UK
Hot Off The Press & The Balloon Emporium Feral & Funky Kids Co
Hyndburn CoatingsHouse Of Fusion – Dance & Community Arts
Samantha’s Clubhouse Childminding ServicesLittle Liv’s Bakery
Westend Fish and ChipsLittle Secrets Clothing Ltd.
Brie Mine
Enterprising PersonMedium Business
sponsored by Sundown Solutionssponsored by NORI HR & Employment Law
Katie ReadmanCommunity Solutions North West Limited
Rebecca Hodgson
Health & Beauty BusinessNot for Profit Award
sponsored by Pure Perfectionsponsored by Accrington Observer
Escape at ShelleysAdvocacy Focus
Karma Minds Training & Personal Development LtdCarers Link Lancashire
MaisonCommunity Solutions North West Limited
Independent RetailerWorkforce Development
sponsored by Cover My Bubble Ltd.sponsored by Nelson & Colme College Group
Brie MineAdvocacy Focus
Cornucopia GrocersCommunity Solutions North West Limited
Little Secrets Clothing Ltd.NORI HR & Employment Law
Sweet Reminiscing by SharonroseRosslee Construction
Westend Fish and Chips
Feral & Funky Kids Co
Made In HyndburnPride of Hyndburn
sponsored by Sundown Solutionssponsored by Acorns of Lancashire
Hyndburn CoatingsHilary and Paul Austin
Little Liv’s BakeryHyndburn Hub
Sweet Reminiscing by SharonroseHelen Bird
B2B BusinessSole Trader
sponsored by lovelocalnetworkingsponsored by Liz Pollard Consultancy
Ellison PrintingHouse Of Fusion – Dance & Community Arts
NORI HR & Employment LawKarma Minds Training & Personal Development Ltd
Rosslee ConstructionLittle Liv’s Bakery

Community Solutions NW

With just £5 in her back pocket, a borrowed computer and an office in a housing association’s building, Deborah Clark set up Community Solutions North West. That was in November 2010 – 11 years on and the charity that has people at its heart is a fantastic success story helping residents all over Hyndburn. Community Solutions is now based in historic Elmfield Hall, in the grounds of beautiful Gatty Park. The once semi-derelict Hyndburn Council-owned building will hopefully begin the final stage of its renovation later this year.

Chief Executive Officer Deborah said: “I worked for a long time in health and social care and I just thought there has to be a better way to make a difference to the people who need help. People were coming with lots of problems that needed addressing but organisations could only work on specific issues. Sometimes when people come here for our help they just have the clothes they stand up in, maybe they are escaping domestic abuse and have no family to turn to, so we become the family they need. We have a lot of people come to us in need of bereavement counselling and struggling with employment issues; we support people through whatever life changes they are facing. All the staff and volunteers are local so we know the area and know the problems and can relate to the people who need our help.”

The charity has more than 150 volunteers, who receive support and training and many become mentors themselves so giving back to their community. It works with more than 200 partnership referral agencies and has helped thousands of residents in their time of need. Last year, at the fifth Hyndburn Business Awards, Community Solutions won the Large Business and Workforce Development titles and Deborah also won the Enterprising Woman award.

Deborah said: “We were surprised to do so well. When we set up in 2010 not that much was known about food poverty, but we were delivering to homes and doing a lot of social isolation work. We have always seemed to be one step ahead of issues that the community is facing.”

A chance conversation with an NHS official, led Community Solutions to run a pilot project in 2019 called Digital Pioneers; that experience proved vital when normal face-to-face services had to be suspended. They could swiftly switch befriending and drop-in services, along with vital support for lonely and vulnerable residents of Hyndburn, to an online service. Bereavement and counselling was offered by telephone. Some small group work has returned to the building and, as restrictions ease, the organisation is looking forward to welcoming back more visitors.

Deborah said: “Mr Gatty’s Tearoom will reopen in April and we will be setting up gazebos and serving food outside in the park. The afternoon teas are particularly popular.”

The not-for-profit business employs 21 people and will be looking to take on an extra four next month. Lessons will be learnt from the pandemic and some meetings will stay online rather than returning face-to-face, Deborah said forum meetings used to attract 10 participants but 30 have interacted over the video calls. As well as the tearoom and offices, Elmfield Hall also has community facilities, a training kitchen and rooms suitable for businesses to rent. All the income supports the charitable work to ensure that the model is sustainable.

For more information visit www.csnw.co.uk or www.elmfieldhall.co.uk

Nominations for this year’s business awards, organised by Enterprising People, are open until April 27 and to nominate a business, charity or enterprising person visit www.hyndburnbusinessawards.co.uk

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

Nominations for sixth Hyndburn Business Awards open tomorrow

NOMINATIONS open tomorrow Tuesday (March 23) for the sixth Hyndburn Business Awards.

At last year’s business awards childminders Laura and Andy Bradshaw had their hard work rewarded when Bright Beginnings won the Customer Friendly Business award, having been nominated by satisfied customers. They continuously evolve their home to provide the children in their care with new experiences to prepare them for school. Laura became a childminder in April 2014, having previously worked at Blackburn University Centre in Early Years. Andy joined the family business, based at their Accrington home, two years ago when the print finishing company he worked for closed down. Their son Reece, who is in his final year of his university degree in Accounting, also works part-time as the company’s financial planner.

Laura said: “When the first lockdown was announced I was scared to death. We had no idea that we were just going to get told we had to close the next day and we were worried about how we were going to pay the bills.”

Having already bought craft items for Easter, the next event after March 23 lockdown, Laura put them into kits and provided them to the children to use in their own homes. She said: “When the children could not attend, we had video calls with them, saw them on the doorstep and planned for their return. We used the time to carry out work on the house to improve what we could provide. We had also taken on an allotment that is just a short walk from here in Arden Hall and we made it ready for the children.”

Last June, when the children returned, the allotment had a messy play area and chickens, the children planted seeds and a new wooden play area with swings has been added. Laura said: “We have 13 children over the week and seven each day. It is always mad busy and there is a lot of ‘in the moment planning’ – especially when the weather is good because then we always go out. The children that come to Bright Beginnings are all good friends and so are their parents and they stay with use right up until they go to school.”

To prepare them for school, and so parents don’t have to worry about their clothes getting mucky, Laura introduced a bright purple uniform with a yellow logo. A first aid for children week will make sure they know how to use the telephone and raise the alarm in an emergency and have experience of bandages and simple first aid. The children are also going to be provided with litter pickers so they can clean the area around the allotment in Arden Hall in safety, while also learning about the environment and recycling.

Laura said: “We provide care around what the parents need and make it the best fun we can.”

Nominations are open until April 27 and the presentation, hopefully this year at Accrington Town Hall, is planned for June 22, but that may move if the national roadmap does not go according to plan.

The awards are organised by Enterprising People and to nominate a business, charity or enterprising person visit www.hyndburnbusinessawards.co.uk

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

Little Liv’s Bakery

WHEN her sister was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, Olivia Whittaker was determined that having a food intolerance was not going to mean Charlotte missed out. Olivia started out by making gluten free cakes that her sister, family and friends could enjoy, then in May 2016 she set up her own business Little Liv’s Bakery after her dad converted a former greenhouse at the family farm in Accrington.

She said: “A friend was having their conservatory removed and offered it to us and so my dad knocked down the greenhouse, installed the conservatory and fitted it out as my bakery. All of my baking is gluten free and I also provide vegan cakes, so I could not use the a kitchen in the farmhouse.”

At last year’s Hyndburn Business Awards, Little Liv’s Bakery was a finalist in the Made In Hyndburn category and won the Creative Business title. When Covid took hold, Olivia didn’t know how it was going to impact on her business, but as she works on her own, and had already introduced a postal service, she never stopped working.

She said: “I have baked every day since lockdown, apart from a week-long family holiday. My orders went up, however the price of gluten free products, which are already expensive enough, also went up and when they limited the number of packs of butter people could buy, it made it very difficult for bakers.”

Olivia, 24, sells all over the North West, has posted to London, Devon, Scotland and Wales and has a customer on the Isle of Man who said she should begin selling her cakes on the island as there is no proper provision. She completed both GCSE and A level Food Technology at St Christopher’s in Accrington and was always interested in nutrition. When Charlotte began having difficulties while completing her degree, she was able to use her knowledge to help.

Now Olivia gets a real buzz out of being able to give people with intolerances and allergies the chance to join in family parties and has been able to make children’s birthdays by baking them a bespoke cake that they, and their family and friends can eat and enjoy. She said: “Last August I was contacted by an auntie to see if I could make a cake for her three-year-old niece who had 30 different allergies. When her mum saw it she cried and it was the first time her daughter had been able to eat her own birthday cake. My most popular seller is my afternoon tea in a box; last week I made 50 and on Valentine’s weekend I must have sold 60. It gives me a great deal of pleasure. It is stressful too when you have to do everything yourself, but it is so nice when you can deliver it to someone and you see their face when they receive it.”

Her next plan is to complete work on her website and hopefully be able to offer a take away service on the farm which is just off the A56 on Hameldon Hill.

Nominations for this year’s sixth Hyndburn Business Awards will open on March 23 and the presentation, hopefully this year at Accrington Town Hall, is planned for June 22, but that may move if the national roadmap does not go according to plan.

For more information about the awards, which are organised by Enterprising People, contact Rob Carder by emailing rob@enterprisingpeople.co.uk

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

HAwards20 Sponsors

Here is a list of the wonderful organisations that supported Hyndburn Business Awards 2020. Please take the time to explore what they do by following the links. If you can use their services, please do so.

Sundown Group
The Cardboard Box Company
Little Voices Hyndburn
Nelson & Colne College Group
Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall
Globe Enterprises
Liz Pollard Consultancy
Acorns of Lancashire
Ellison Printing
Pure Perfection Beauty
East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Hyndburn Borough Council
Wyvern Pharmacy
Education Business Partnership (NW) Ltd
Unique Ladies Hyndburn
Shooters Media
Accrington Observer

HAwards 20 Winners

INSPIRATIONAL stories of adaptability, resilience and determination shone through in the entries submitted for the fifth Hyndburn Business Awards. When the first lockdown was announced on March 23, it was in the middle of the nomination period for this year’s awards so the time was extended. Although the final presentation ceremony had to be broadcast virtually, video footage of sponsors and organisers enabled a slick production to be broadcast via Facebook Live on November 17.

Click on the link to see the Facebook Live film: Facebook.

Rob Carder, from organisers Enterprising People, said: “Yes, we missed having a packed Accrington Town Hall for the presentation evening buzzing with business men and women who put Hyndburn on the map. However, on reading the entries organisers were extremely impressed by how businesses have coped with the totally unforeseen circumstances that COVID-19 brought. We read how they worked together, never gave up and how they have come back stronger, learning from what happened. Now, just as we were scheduled to hold the delayed presentation, many of those businesses are back in lockdown and the presentation had to go online.”

“Normally the Beacon Award goes to the most inspirational business, but judges agreed that each and every entry and sponsor in this year’s awards deserves to win the highest award for the impressive way they have dealt with this year’s challenges.”

Although permitted to stay open, Accrington dry cleaning company Acorns of Lancashire, winner of the MicroBusiness category, closed for six weeks to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment and produce a series of relaunch videos. The films were posted to the company’s social media to ensure customers understood the changes and felt confident to return.

Rishton’s Bevlan Office Interiors was able to help many local businesses stay operating by providing affordable protective screens, hygiene stations and office equipment for home workers.

During lockdown Customer Friendly Business winner Bright Beginnings childminders from Accrington, provided craft bags, pictures to colour and worksheets to those children they would normally have cared for; they also used the time to transform an allotment for the children.

Staff at Not for Profit Award winners Carers Link Lancashire, based in Accrington, postponed annual leave and worked extra hours so they could make more than 70 welfare calls every day to potentially vulnerable at-risk groups.

Charity Community Solutions North West won the Large Business and Workforce Development awards and Deborah Clark won the Enterprising Woman title. Having taken part in a pilot project a year ago to develop digital services for health innovation, the company was a step ahead when switching normal face-to-face interaction to online.

Investing in IT early, before the lockdown was announced, ensured Small Business winner Cover My Bubble, an insurance company from Oswaldtwistle, was fully prepared. To keep morale high, weekly team catch-ups were held and surprise gifts sent.

NORI HR and Employment Law Ltd took the confusion out of the ever-changing Government announcements on job retention schemes and opened free advice lines. The company won the New Business title.

Sole Trader winner Accrington’s Sweet Reminiscing by Sharonrose expanded to provide a door delivery service while Independent Retailer winner Great Harwood’s The Lancashire Dog Company extended opening to seven-days-a-week and introduced personal 30-minute evening appointments.

Rob added: “These are just a few of the many accounts of inspiring businesses that showed a determination to succeed in spite of the turbulence and uncertainty that was and still is around; they all deserve our support to ensure continues success.”


Large Business sponsored by Education Business Partnership (NW) Ltd

Community Solutions North West Limited

Small Business sponsored by Little Voices

Cover My Bubble Ltd

Microbusiness sponsored by Wyvern Pharmacy

Acorns of Lancashire

Enterprising Man sponsored by Sundown Group

Andrew Grierson (Wyvern Pharmacy)

New Business sponsored by Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall

NORI HR and Employment Law Ltd

Customer Friendly Business sponsored by The Cardboard Box Company

Bright Beginnings

Creative Business sponsored by Globe Enterprises

Little Liv’s Bakery

Enterprising Woman sponsored by Sundown Group

Deborah Clark (Community Solutions North West Limited)

Health and Beauty Business sponsored by Pure Perfection

The Wellness Centre

Independent Retailer sponsored by Cover My Bubble Ltd

The Lancashire Dog Company

Made In Hyndburn sponsored by Sundown Group

Hoyle Bottom Spirits Ltd

B2B Business sponsored by lovelocalnetworking

Barcode Logistics Ltd

Not for profit Award sponsored by Unique Ladies Network

Carers Link Lancashire

Workforce Development sponsored by Nelson and Colne College Group

Community Solutions North West Limited

Pride of Hyndburn sponsored by Acorns of Accrington

Church and Oswaldtwistle Branch of The Royal British Legion

Sole Trader sponsored by Liz Pollard Consulting

Sweet Reminiscing by Sharonrose

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

HAwards20 Finalists

Large Business Sponsor: Specialist Training & Consultancy
Carers Link Lancashire
Community Solutions North West Limited
The Stanhill Pub & Kitchen
Small Business Sponsor: Little Voices
Cover My Bubble Ltd.
Education Business Partnership (NW) Ltd
Wyvern Pharmacy
Acorns of Lancashire
Hoyle Bottom Spirits Ltd
Bright Beginnings
Enterprising Man Sponsor: Sundown Solutions
Andrew Grierson (Wyvern Pharmacy)
Cameron Mason (Barcode Logistics)
Sam Newsham (Just Imagine UK)
New Business Sponsor: WHN Solicitors
Dance Nation School Of Dance
Molly Elizabeth Studio
NORI HR and Employment Law Ltd
Customer Friendly Business Sponsor: The Cardboard Box Company
Bright Beginnings
The Lancashire Dog Company
Cover My Bubble Ltd.
Creative Business Sponsor: Globe Enterprises
Hoyle Bottom Spirits Ltd
The Wellness Centre
Little Liv’s Bakery
Enterprising Woman Sponsor: Sundown Solutions
Deborah Clark (Community Solutions NW)
Laura Bolton (Simple Accounting NW)
Emma Astley (CoverMyBubble)
Health & Beauty Business Sponsor: Pure Perfection
Molly Elizabeth Studio
Tessa Clemson Yoga
The Wellness Centre
Independent Retailer Sponsor: NW Logistics
Acorns of Lancashire
The Lancashire Dog Company
Wyvern Pharmacy
Made In Hyndburn Sponsor: Sundown Solutions
Hoyle Bottom Spirits Ltd
Little Liv’s Bakery
Wyvern Pharmacy
B2B Business Sponsor: lovelocalnetworking
Barcode Logistics Ltd
Bevlan Office Interiors LTD
Simple Accounting NW Ltd
Not for Profit Award Sponsor: The Balti House
Carers Link Lancashire
Community Solutions North West Limited
Workforce Development Sponsor: Nelson & Colne College Group
Community Solutions North West Limited
Education Business Partnership (NW) Ltd
Wyvern Pharmacy
Pride of Hyndburn Sponsor: Acorns of Lancashire
Church & Oswaldtwistle Branch Royal British Legion
Clayton Park Rangers
Sole Trader Sponsor: Liz Pollard Consulting
Tessa Clemson Yoga
The Lancashire Dog Company
Sweet Reminiscing by Sharonrose

Evonne Harwood Event of the Year

Its time to nominate for the Evonne Harwood Event of the Year. Remember all those wonderful events that take place in Hyndburn every year? Back when we weren’t socially isolated? Anyway, please nominate your favourite from the last year (it will have been open to the general public, and taken place between April 1st 2019 and March 31st 2020) in a comment to this post. You can nominate your favourite event until the end of May, and the winner will decided by a public vote (on our Facebook page) during June and July.

The Bridal Lounge of Accrington

EVERY bride is on a journey and one of the most important parts of that road is finding the perfect gown. At The Bridal Lounge of Accrington in Blackburn Road, owner Lee Douglas ensures every bride-to-be knows she is extra special and her business acumen and success led her to win two trophies at Hyndburn Business Awards. A past winner of Sole Trader in 2017, and highly commended in 2018, she won that trophy again last year and added the much sought-after Independent Retailer title.

Lee said: “When I was on the stage and won the first trophy I was delighted, then I was a finalist in a second category and I was waiting to applaud the winner and was shocked to hear my business read out again.”

Originally from Dublin, Lee adopted Accrington nine years ago when she moved to live with her partner. The Bridal Lounge will have been trading for nine years in June and now the ‘big shop on the corner’ is visited by brides from Liverpool, Manchester, Bolton and all over Lancashire because of the exclusive sought-after designer gowns.

Lee, who has retained her charming Irish accent, said: “I had a bride come to my boutique for her gown that came originally from Accrington, but was living and working in Dubai with her fiancé. She was getting married in the Ribble Valley, but having previously lived in Hyndburn she knew of The Bridal Lounge. I have always worked in retail and I was offered the chance to work in a bridal boutique – Caroline Castigliano – in 2003 and that is when I got the bug. I found myself working with brides and their families, I became part of the experience, I was able to help them search for their dream gown.”

The experience begins from the moment the bridal party enter the boutique for a private appointment and they are greeted by a personally addressed welcome message and refreshments. Lee gets to know the bride and her wedding plans while the bride and her loved ones browse the bridal collection.

She added: “I have been invited to the wedding reception by some of my brides and it is great compliment, but it is their day and I am just happy for them to wear their beautiful designer wedding gown on the biggest day of their lives.”

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

Hyndburn 2020 Update: Ceremony Postponed To November

Ceremony (now November 17th)

It is still unclear when our increased local lockdown will ease, or indeed when events providers like Accrington Town Hall will be able to open and operate at anything like full capacity.

On reflection, and after further discussion with the organising team, we will either have a physical or virtual ceremony on Tuesday November 17th. We have our fingers crossed that we can still a proper celebration where we can all get together, but we need to be pragmatic. Hyndburn Business Awards 2020 needs to complete in 2020, and if we have to go virtual to do that, that’s what we have to do..

Stay safe, please!

Rob Carder Coordinator Hyndburn Business Awards