Business leaders gave a standing ovation when the most inspirational Ribble Valley business was announced as not-for-profit Castle Supported Living.
Twelve members of the Clitheroe charity team, six staff and six service users, took to the stage to applause and three cheers and they collected a beautiful bespoke trophy made by Hot Frit.
More than 240 people packed Stirk House, in Gisburn, to find out who would win the 16 prestigious awards and trophies made by Ribblesdale High School at the fifth Ribble Valley Business Awards.
Castle Supported Living Quality Co-ordinator, Janet Duffy, said: “We didn’t expect to win after we had heard the information about the other businesses; it is absolutely amazing.
“This award is for everybody, for the people we support and the staff and it is recognition of everyone working together.
“It is great to get the recognition for the support workers who work day in day out 24 hours a day.”
Castle Supported Living was founded in 1992 and has 62 members of staff providing support to adults with learning difficulties to enable them to live in their own homes.
They help adults like twins Debbie and Jane Anderson. Debbie said: “We live in a housing association home with support from Castle and it makes a big difference to us. They have helped us to live on our own.”
The awards are organised by Enterprising People and Rob Carder told the guests: “There are 3,300 businesses in Ribble Valley. Only 157 were nominated for an award and only 40 were picked as finalists - that makes you among the top one per cent of businesses in Ribble Valley.”
Mayor of Ribble Valley Coun. Stuart Carefoot was attending his third business awards.He told the finalists: “We don’t have all the chains of all the same shops; we have individual ideas individual shops and individual attractions.
“It makes me proud to be in front of so many people who are driving this borough forward.”
Finalists ranged from hi-tech engineering and communication companies to an artisan soap manufacturer selling across the globe and a gourmet milk company run by a candidate in the current series of The Apprentice Camilla Ainsworth.
The Innovation award went to Anywhere SIM, a Clitheroe company that not only provides the best mobile phone connectivity but also devices to aid independent living.
The Medium to Large Business trophy was won by Spiroflow Limited which manufacturers mechanical conveyors. More than half of supermarket items have been in contact with the company’s products during processing.
This year’s Pride of Ribble Valley award went to Whalley In Bloom, a group of volunteers who this year achieved a Royal Horticultural Society Gold Award on the first attempt and will be attending a ceremony in Belfast.
Jean Lord, a member of the Lavender Ladies, said: “We didn’t know each other before we got involved in this. There are about 18 of us in the Lavender Ladies with a few Laddies. The feedback we get for our work is tremendous.”
Beacon Award: Castle Supported Living
Artisan Business Award sponsored by lovelocalnetworking
Winner: The Keep
B2B Business Award sponsored by Lancashire Business View
Creative Business Award sponsored by The Grand, Clitheroe
Winner: Heart Of Your Home Kitchens Limited
Customer Friendly Business sponsored by Clitheroe Chamber of Commerce
Winner: Ribble Valley Chequered Flag Ltd
Food Business Award sponsored by Napthens Solicitors
Winner: Spread Eagle Mellor
Highly Commended: Brizola Bar and Grill
Independent Retailer Award sponsored by FS Accountants
Winner: Valley Living Ltd
Highly Commended: Stork & Alphabet
Innovation Award sponsored by DSM Chartered Accountants
Winner: Anywhere SIM
Made in Ribble Valley Award sponsored by Houldsworths Solicitors
Winner: Raine & Bea
Highly Commended: Spiroflow Limited
Medium to Large Business sponsored by Forbes Solicitors
Winner: Spiroflow Limited
MicroBusinesss sponsored by Evans Accountants
Winner: BEK Enviro
Highly Commended: Canine Health and Hydro Ltd
New Business sponsored by Silverwoods Waste Management
Winner: RejuvaMed Skin Clinic & Vein Centre
Highly Commended: Curves @ Kates Bridal Room
Not For Profit Award sponsored by Community Futures
Winner: Ribble FM CIC
Pride of Ribble Valley Award sponsored by Enterprising People
Winner: Whalley in Bloom
Small Business sponsored by Harrison Drury
Sole Trader sponsored by Boundless Networks
Winner: H.A.B Domestic Appliance Repairs