Last Friday evening was another Teapot Creative big night out, this time over in Taunton at the Somerset Business Awards bash. It was our second time in the finals and whilst you’d think that we’d be a bit less nervous than last year, if anything it was even worse! The awards are now in their 11th year and with a record number of entries, the competition was stronger than ever.
Hosted by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and with sponsorship from a wide range of companies it wasn’t just a big night for us but for everyone there. The awards aim to celebrate business success across Somerset, raise the profile of the county across the region and nationally and finally, encourage start up businesses.
The Well Springs Leisure Centre on the northern edge of Taunton was transformed for the night into a glitzy venue befitting a county occasion of this sort. Hundreds of finalists, sponsors, judges and of course the Chamber of Commerce organisers were there all glammed up in ball gowns and black tie. Enormous lengths of coloured fabric stretched far above our heads and candles lit the dozens of beautifully decorated tables. There was talk at one point on our table of having dress up Friday at Teapot, so impressed were we with one another’s sartorial efforts!
It is perhaps a sign of how things are going for Teapot that whereas last year we managed to squeeze the whole team onto one table, our numbers have swelled somewhat since then meaning this time round we weren’t all able to make it along. The absent Teapotters were all greatly missed but most especially, Ade – fellow director, all round Mr. Motivator and the man who surely would win the Duracell Bunny award if there was one. Many a glass was raised for our absent Teapotters who were there in spirit and without their hard work and dedication the rest of wouldn’t have been there at all. I must give a mention to our guest and honorary Teapotter, Graeme Crosbie of Level Up South West business coaching. He has been guiding us for the last couple of years and has become an invaluable mentor and good friend of Teapot.
When it came to the presentation of the awards themselves, we had a rather long wait for the Somerset Business of the Year categories, which only served to increase the tension and the amount of wine drunk on the table… Three companies were finalists in the 11 – 25 employee group and when the envelope was opened on stage, alas, it was not Teapot’s name written on the card pulled out. Red Berry Recruitment took the prize and worthy winners they were too. Like us they have only been operating for 5 years and have gone from strength to strength in this short time. Our fellow runner up in this category, Somerdale Cheese would agree I’m sure, that it is a huge honour to have made the finals and that is a prize in itself. All at Teapot raise a teacup to the Red Berry Team, Somerdale Cheese and all the other award winners and runners up.
Somerset Charity of the Year
One other winner that deserves a special mention is the winner of the Charity of the Year category. Traditionally the last award to be presented and therefore in many ways the most hotly anticipated by all present. An enormous cheer went up from the Teapot table when School In A Bag lifted the trophy and a cheque for over a thousand pounds.
We came across the work the South Somerset based charity does just a few months ago when our Content Coordinator, Felix attended a Chamber of Commerce event hosted by School In A Bag at their Chilthorne Domer HQ. The difference that Luke and his team make to schoolchildren in developing world countries and disaster affected regions by distributing their ‘schools in a bag’ is simply remarkable. To date nearly 60,000 bags have been packed and sent out to schools around the world. Winning this award is one small way that Somerset can show how proud we are to have such a special charity based here. Find out more about the vital work they do by taking a look at their website.
And finally a huge thank you to all the organisers from the fabulous team at the Chamber of Commerce, all of the sponsors, the Bridgwater College students that came out and made our promotional video shown on the night and everyone else that helps make this marvelous celebration of businesses of all shapes and sizes in Somerset happen. You can find all the photos from the night, the list of sponsors, categories, how to enter and everything else on the SBA website.
Photo credit: Somerset Business Awards 2015 – Bill Bradshaw Photography