Celebrating the local community at our first Business Awards Last Friday, St Wilfrid’s Hospice held its first Business Awards in recognition of the generous ongoing support the charity receives from its corporate supporters. More than 120 guests gathered in the luxurious surroundings of Eastbourne’s Grand Hotel for the event, where they enjoyed a drinks reception and sumptuous three-course meal ahead of the awards presentation. Local actor, Greg Draven, acted as compere to keep spirits high and the event running smoothly. Corporate supporters both new and well-established, along with individuals who have made a significant contribution to the hospice’s work, were celebrated on the night. Barwells Solicitors, Eastbourne, who have been supporting St Wilfrid’s since the early 90s, received the award for Outstanding Long Term Supporter. Haulaway, based in Hailsham, won the award for Most Innovative Fundraising Initiative with their ‘Papers for St Wilfrid’s scheme,’ where it turns Hailsham residents’ used paper and card into monetary donations. In total, there were more than 20 nominees on the night and eight award winners. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a silent auction, a luxury raffle with plenty of fabulous prizes, followed by live music from the Eastbourne-based band Sound of the Crowd. Simon Cosham, St Wilfrid's Corporate Fundraiser said of the night: ‘For our first Business Awards I was delighted that we were able to thank our corporate supporters - both old and new - in such a lovely setting. ‘A massive thank you and well done to everyone that attended for making it such a great evening. Let’s hope next year can be even bigger and better!’ Full details of all award categories and nominees can be found below. Most Innovative Fundraising Initiative Haulaway (Hailsham) York House Hotel (Eastbourne) Caffyns Volkswagen (Eastbourne) Winner - Haulaway; Haulaway's 'Papers for St Wilfrid's' scheme has raised more than £21,000 for the hospice since it started in 2016. Outstanding Long Term Supporter The Bull's Head (Herstmonceux) White Swan Car Centre (Polegate) Barwells Solicitors (Eastbourne; Seaford; Hailsham) Winner - Barwells Solicitors; Barwells Solicitors has been supporting St Wilfrid's since the early 90s, and have taken part in the hospice's annual Pancake Race several times. They also participate in St Wilfrid's Free Wills Month each year, raising thousands of pounds for St Wilfrid's Hospice across their branches. Outstanding Individual Community Champion Kim Hatcher-Davis (Morrisons) Julie Eltham (The Athena Network) Neil Harvey (Redoubt Fortress) Greg Draven (actor) Winner - Julie Eltham; Julie is a member of The Athena Network and has championed the hospice since its nomination as The Athena Network's Charity of the Year for 2018/19. Best New Corporate Supporter Rajdoot (Hailsham) Hastings Direct (Bexhill-on-Sea) The Beach Deck and Treasure Island (Eastbourne) Winner - The Beach Deck and Treasure Island (joint winners); The Beach Deck and Treasure Island hosted this year's Starlight Stroll, took part in the hospice's first Golf Day and provided us with some fabulous raffle prizes for our events throughout the year. Best Corporate Team Town Property (Eastbourne) Woodside Hall Nursing Home (Polegate) PRG Marketing Communications (Eastbourne) Winner - PRG Marketing Communications; PRG's Managing Director, Simon Groves, took part in the hospice's Jail and Bail fundraising event early this year and the firm also entered two teams into Kapow!, the hospice's 5K fun run for everyday superheroes. Corporate Event Supporter Cornfield Law (Eastbourne) Birchwood Ford (Eastbourne) Langham Hotel (Eastbourne) Winner - Langham Hotel; Langham Hotel is responsible for creating and sponsoring the hospice's annual Pancake Race, which started in 2010. They have also put on several events in support of St Wilfrid's including its Christmas panto and Burns Night. Individual Event Supporter Paul Chipp-Smith (Jagtechnic) Vicki Blaber (Veritek) Ray Cruttenden (Lottbridge Golf Club) Winner - Paul Chipp-Smith; Paul organised a series of events in 2014 which saw him and some of his colleagues driving through eight countries in five days in a car they built themselves from just a chassis. The car was later auctioned and in just over a year, Paul raised nearly £15,500! Special Business Partnership Award Scheme This special award, which was presented by St Wilfrid's CEO, David Scott-Ralphs, went to Ansvar Insurance and Rita Crouch. The award was in recognition of Ansvar's continued support and in memory of Rita Crouch, who worked at Ansvar for many years and was a very active supporter of St Wilfrid's; she sadly died earlier this year. Here's a huge thank you to all who were nominated for an award or attended the event, and congratulations to all of our award winners! Put simply, we couldn't do what we do without the ongoing support of our amazing local community.