Gallery: Companies' success at business awards night

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:55 11 May 2010

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Sharon Windebank of Saffron Insurance with Richard Hardiman of sponsor Business Link.

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Sharon Windebank of Saffron Insurance with Richard Hardiman of sponsor Business Link.

© No Limits Exhibitions Ltd.

THERE was double delight for an insurance firm at this year s Royston and District Business Awards. The awards, held at Royston Town Hall, were attended by more than 100 guests, who enjoyed a Night of the Stars movie-themed bash. Saffron Insurance was nam

THERE was double delight for an insurance firm at this year's Royston and District Business Awards.

The awards, held at Royston Town Hall, were attended by more than 100 guests, who enjoyed a Night of the Stars movie-themed bash.

Saffron Insurance was named as Business of the Year, while office manager at its Royston branch, Sharon Windebanke, picked up the Employee of the Year award.

Company directors David Befwick and Daniel Wardley collected their prize from guest of honour, former Formula One racing driver Mark Blundell.

Mr Blundell, who now runs his sports management company 2MB from offices in Royston, said: "There's a great turn out here tonight.

"It's very impressive to see so many progressive businesses in what I consider to be my home town."

Judges described Saffron as a local business which is "continuing to be successful in the face of fierce competition from national and international insurance brokers".

Meanwhile Sharon, who was runner-up in the Employee of the Year category in 2007, was complimented for her "attention to detail and commitment to customers".

This was highlighted by one occasion in which she drove travel insurance documents to a customer's house so he would have them in time to go on holiday the following day.

Elsewhere, The Banyers hotel was recognised as the best new business, while Royston Library once more collected the prize for Outstanding Customer Service.

The Investing in Royston award went to Townhouse publishing, which publishes The Listing magazine.

Judges said that owner Kath Boughton and her staff deserved "continuing recognition for the investment they have made in Royston, in terms of both time and money".

More than 50 nominations saw the Royal Bengal Indian restaurant pick up Best Place to Eat or Drink (restaurant), largely because of its "exceptional service".

In the best take-away category "great grub and gorgeous girls" led to Take Five sandwich shop scooping the award for the second successive year.

Also retaining its crown was the Stationery Cupboard, which again was awarded the Best High Street Shop title.

Palazzo restaurant, which provided the food for the awards ceremony via its Palazzo-a-go-go service, was given the Outstanding Contribution to the Community award.

Judges noted that Palazzo "sponsors and supports a host of community events, and provides a venue for business breakfasts and other meetings at a minimal price".

Stephen Larcombe, chairman of the Royston Chamber of Commerce, which organised the event, said: "The evening proved that Royston does have a vibrant business community, in spite of the current economic climate.

"Although all the talk at the moment is about the credit crunch and uncertainty about the future, the awards demonstrated that there are people in our community who still see there are opportunities to help create a vibrant business sector.

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