Worthy people and businesses of Kenilworth were honoured at the inaugural Worthies award ceremony held at the Woodside Hotel last week.
There were 11 different categories of awards during the ceremony held on Thursday May 26, which all sought to recognise the achievements of Kenilworth’s residents and businesses.
Chairman of the Kenilworth Chamber of Trade, Richard Hales, said: “The night went really well, even better than we thought it would actually. 121 people were there and there was a really good atmosphere.
“It was nice to have a mix of businesses and community awards. The Milan Patel award was especially poignant.
“I’d like to thank Seanna Holland, vice chair of the chamber of trade, for her hard work in helping organise the event.
“We’re going to sit down in the next couple of weeks and plan for next year. We’ll probably know more details around the beginning of August.”
We have been serving the Kenilworth public now for 35 years and it’s fantastic to still be here doing what we do.Paul Crowe
Before the winners were announced, three nominees were chosen in each category after a public vote last year.
Once the nominees were decided, they were assessed by an external judging panel before the winners were revealed at the ceremony.
Paul Crowe, of Steve Crowe and Son Butchers who won the Retailer of the Year award, said: “We would like to give a big thank you to everyone who voted for us, we are over the moon with our award.
“We have been serving the Kenilworth public now for 35 years and it’s fantastic to still be here doing what we do.”
Catherine Colby-Johnson, whose shop Aunty Agatha’s won the Small Business of the Year award, said: “It’s a great honour to receive the award and very unexpected. Our category was strong and with other businesses I admire.
“A huge thank you to all our customers, supporters, friends and family.”
And Jack Gibson, who took the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for founding the gym Fitness Worx, said: “I’ve always been a Kenilworth boy and my main business is in Kenilworth so the award means a lot to me.
“I was quite shocked to win because I was up against some big names.”
Along with the more conventional awards, there were two categories dedicated to Kenilworth residents who deserve special recognition for their service to the community.
The Milan Patel Award, given in honour of the Kenilworth schoolboy’s memory for someone who has overcome adversity was given to Kenilworth schoolgirl Lucy Edwards.
And the Worthies Award was jointly awarded to founder of The Spring Playgroup Jackie Cross and Kenilworth Wardens coach Paul Calver after Richard Hales admitted it was impossible to split them.
Jackie had formed the playgroup over 27 years ago which is still free to all, and Paul had raised over £45,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust through several fundraising activities, including the recent Abseil for Milan at the Holiday Inn.
Jackie said: “As a Christian, I was encouraged to start our group by a verse in the Bible which says ‘he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
“We named the Spring Playgroup after this and hope we will continue to support families in Kenilworth for many years to come.”
The winners are as follows:
Business Person of the Year: David Garlick – Kenilworth Barbers
Organisation of the Year: Kenilworth Round Table
Sports Team of the Year: Kenilworth Runners
Pub of the Year: The Engine
Retailer of the Year: Steve Crowe & Son Butcher
The Milan Patel Award: Lucy Edwards
Restaurant of the Year: The Indian Edge
Business of the Year: Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Gardens
Small Business of the Year: Aunty Agathas
Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Jack Gibson – Fitness Worx and Personal Training
The Worthies Award: Jackie Cross – The Spring Playgroup and Pre-School; Paul Calver