THERE were smiles all round as businesses were handed top awards for their efforts during the pandemic.
More than 300 people came together at Coombe Abbey for the fourth Ladies First Network Business Awards awards ceremony, hosted by BBC radio presenter Sandra Godley.
Winners were revealed across 30 categories ranging from Rising Stars, Young Achievers and Excellence Education through to Woman of Achievement,, Woman of Courage, Advocate for Women and Lifetime Achievement.
They were selected from more than 270 nominations across the UK by a panel of 18 judges.
The awards marked a return to a live event following the pandemic, while also raising £4,000 for two West Midlands charities, St Basils and Suited For Success through an auction and raffle.
Special guests included The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor John McNicholas and Lady Mayoress Dr June McNicholas; Nurse May Parsons – the nurse who gave the first ever Covid injection in Coventry and former member of The Drifters, Roy Hemmings.
The awards were organised by entrepreneur Tracey McAtamney from Balsall Common.
Tracey said: “I am absolutely buzzing from such an uplifting evening, celebrating the achievements of women, men and talented young ladies from the age of 10, whilst also raising funds for our Charities Suited for Success and St Basils.
“I was delighted in particular to acknowledge the wonderful work of unsung community hero’s, Christine Eade and Sarah Laughton from The Pod Café and John Coote and AJ Evans from Coventry Comfort Carers Homeless Outreach Project – these people support those suffering from mental health issues and homelessness on a daily basis.”
Suited For Success helps unemployed residents in the West Midlands prepare for a job interview by providing free coaching, employment preparation skills and interview clothing.
St Basils works with young homeless people across the region to enable them to find and keep a home, grow their confidence, develop their skills and increase opportunities.