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Bromley Celebrates “Above and Beyond” Business Heroes


The best of the Bromley Borough’s business heroes were celebrated on the 9th November for their commitment to going ‘above and beyond’ and supporting their local communities.

Following months of anticipation, the winners of The Above & Beyond Bromley Business Awards (The ABBBAs) have now been announced. The best of Bromley’s business heroes were celebrated for their commitment and support of their local community at the inaugural Above and Beyond Bromley Business Awards (The ABBBAs).

More than 200 attendees from businesses across the borough attended The ABBBAs to hear who had won each of the 12 categories, which included Best Startup, Best Social Impact Company and Business Personality of the Year

Lauretta Wright, founder of The ABBBAs and Editor and Publisher at Life In…Magazines, said: “Local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and play a crucial role in serving as the foundation for economic growth – that’s something that needs celebrating on a local level in Bromley – London’s largest borough.

"The past few years have been particularly testing for local businesses as they have navigated their way through the pandemic and now through a cost of living crisis. Businesses continue to innovate, pivot and step up to meet customers’ demands and needs and the event was created to promote and celebrate these unsung heroes and inspire others in the community and across the country.

“The Above and Beyond Bromley Business Awards celebrate the hard work and achievements of those going ‘above and beyond.’ Given that the event sold out in just three weeks and from the feedback from the inaugural event, it’s clear that it was a much-needed initiative and we’re looking forward to building on this next year.”

The Mayor of Bromley, Cllr Mike Botting, was in attendance. Addressing attendees, he said: “In my role as Mayor of Bromley, I’ve been fortunate and privileged to have visited many small businesses across our borough and have even had the honour of opening some new businesses. Many do truly go above and beyond for the benefit of their customers and their communities. A can-do attitude, communicating at the right level, adaptability, self-belief and creativity are the bedrock of many businesses. I am certain that you all possess these basic skills and indeed many others. But please remember, whether you’re successful or not, you are all winners for even being here.”

Attendees were treated to a Champagne reception, three-course meal and after-party entertainment, which included a fun photobooth, sweet cart and live music from ABBA tribute band, ABBA Magic. They also took home a goody bag, which included donations from local companies and news of a third magazine launch in Beckenham in 2024 for Life In…Magazines.

The event also helped raise money for local charity The MumMum Foundation, which offers support to families given a cancer diagnosis, with a ‘head and tails’ game for attendees and the winning prize being a hamper worth over £50. The total amount raised on the evening was £1,050 which, for a small local charity, will make a big difference to local families.

The winning companies of 2023 were selected by judges from a wide range of ages, experiences and backgrounds and included Lee Thomas from The Fairlight Group; Kristel Valaydon from KV Comms; Bromley resident judge, Aysha Best-Forbes; Chandra Sharma from Elmcroft Business Services; and Gary Valentine-Fuller from Valentine & Turner.

The ABBBAs attracted nearly 300 submissions and nominations which were judged on a points system instead of a popularity vote to ensure complete impartiality and transparency.

The 12 categories and overall winners represented a wide range of industries from across the borough’s business community.

The 2023 winners were:

Best Startup: Zap Kids Club

Designed for children with complex needs, learning difficulties and ASD, ZAP’s vision is to create a truly accessible arts/crafts and sports holiday club that is fully inclusive for all children regardless of their SENd. Their motto is “Where your difference, makes no difference to us!”

Best Charity/Non-Profit: Bromley Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum (BCFVSF)

BCFVCF bring together charities and voluntary groups in Bromley to enable them to better support children, young people and families in the borough of Bromley. Their motto is Together We Are Stronger and over the past year alone they have supported over 2500 children and young people

Community Hero: Jane Knight

Jane set up Successful Mum’s Career Academy as a result of her own experience of having nowhere to turn and wanted to provide a platform where mums could find work, start a business and get their mojo back after having a family. She set about to help 100 women but has since helped over 8,000 including vulnerable women who have been victims of domestic abuse and ex-offenders.

Best Individual Award: James Broomfield
James, through his company Our Tech, has helped hundreds of customers in the borough of Bromley and beyond. The judges reported that there were a number of nominations which referenced James’ dedication to getting the problem solved, to explaining things in simple terms and without jargon, to always being on time and contactable, doing as he says, always up to date with the latest knowledge and information and being a truly wonderful, dependable professional. James’ work doesn’t just involve fixing IT issues - he has even helped children with an interest in technology to build their very own computers.

Best Environmental: Anastasia's Pantry

Anastasia’s Pantry was inspired by her own struggles and hunt for healthier food which led to her developing her own granola and protein balls with honest ingredients and no hidden nasties. Anastasia mentioned in her submission that she “lets her sustainability beliefs take charge in decision making and will take the sustainable route over the more profitable route any day.” She operates a zero waste policy (all food is either used or donated), offers her products packaging free wherever she can and provides her products as recyclable, biodegradable or compostable packaging.

Best Social Impact Company: Successful Mums Career Academy

Successful Mums Career Academy offers a multitude of courses including back to work and confidence courses, business start up courses and autism awareness qualifications. They work in partnership with the Job Centre Plus to reach women from low income backgrounds and also HM Prison enabling them to reach ex-offenders. They have also worked with women who are victims of domestic violence.

Best Business – Independent: Judge & Priestley LLP

Judge & Priestley has been established since 1889 and has served thousands of Bromley residents with legal matters of all kinds. In their submission, the company referenced the charitable work that they do including annual participation in the “Will Aid Free Will” campaign where they waive their fees for writing wills in exchange of voluntary donation to the Will Aid charities such as Age UK, British Red Cross, Actionaid, NSPCC, Sightsavers and Save the Children.

Best Business - High Street: Ollie Polly Play Café
Ollie Polly Play Café was inspired by Amy and Neil’s own two children. They wanted to create an environment where parents and carers can relax, build friendships and enjoy great food whilst their children play and learn together. They said in their submission that they believe “it is important to feel able to take the whole family out for a nice meal without the constraints of traditional restaurants and cafes.”

Best Business – Micro: Bigoh Coaching
Bigoh Coaching was founded by certified business coach Bayo Igoh to help people get the tools they need to change their lives for the better. Bayo said in his submission that “he founded Bigoh Coaching because he realised that his true passion is empowering others to succeed.” He finds joy in helping others identify their highest potential, then providing the mindset shifts, frameworks and motivation needed to make it a reality.

Best Hospitality Business: Churchill Theatre

The Churchill Theatre is the only theatre of its size in Bromley! They are dedicated to delivering excellent entertainment including everything from children’s shows, concerts and comedy acts. They are very involved in the local community; support charity fundraisers, offer work experience to young people, offer workshops for everyone from children through to older people with something for everyone including SEN and Specialist schools as well as looked after children and young careers.

Best Innovation Company: Charitable Travel
When you book a holiday or cruise with Charitable Travel, they sacrifice travel agency commission so their clients can make a free 5% donation to a registered charity of their choice. Charitable Travel say, “Every penny of profit earned by Charitable Travel, everything we do and everything we offer our customers, supports charity fundraising and good causes.”

Business Personality of the Year: Chas Jordan

This nomination was made by a group of people who are in resounding agreement that Chas has offered incredible support through the Bromley Business Network. The nomination described Chas as “a mentor to many” whose “considerable business knowledge is freely shared.” The nomination went on to say that Chas always calls, checks in with them and gives whatever support he can. And encourages other members of the group to check in with one another: “He has a big heart and his personal values mean that he is constantly looking for ways to help other people.” This not only includes the members of the BBN but also extensive charity work and fundraisers.

The ABBBAs 2024 event will take place in November and submissions will open online at www.the-abbbas.co.uk on 27th March 2024. 

The ABBBAs can be found on Instagram at instagram.com/theabbbas and on Facebook at facebook.com/theabbbas

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