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Sparkling 2018 Awards celebrate the borough’s successes and growth

9th October 2018

The 2018 Croydon Business Excellence Awards Winners!

Croydon’s business community celebrated a year of success and growth at the 2018 Croydon Business Excellence Awards in association with Willmott Dixon.

And not even a World War Two bomb unearthed nearby could stop the party going off with a bang! After a slight delay at the start, the festivities hosted by TV presenter Michael Underwood got underway.

Over 400 people attended the sparkling Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony and Charity Ball, at The Grand Sapphire Hotel Banqueting Hall on Thursday, 4th October.

There were inspirational speeches praising Croydon’s ambitious and community minded businesses, by Mayor of Croydon Councillor Bernadette Khan; Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Budget and Strategic Policy, Councillor Tony Newman; as well as Clive Fuller, Director of headline sponsor Willmott Dixon.

Twelve category awards were presented over the evening, including the premier prize, Croydon’s Business of the Year, which went to Bluebird Care, which delivers homecare and support services across the borough.

Delighted Bluebird Care Director Dean Slade told guests: “This is a big surprise. We have 60 staff who provide excellent care to the borough of Croydon.  I really want to thank them all as they make this business great. Hopefully this award will encourage more people to think about becoming care assistants, because it’s a great career.”

There was a theme throughout the night of giving back to the community. Clive Fuller, New Business Director of headline sponsor Willmott Dixon and a judge in the awards process, praised Croydon’s businesses for their community spirit and asked them to think how they could support more of the local community.

He said: “We have been very active in Croydon over the last five years, delivering over £150million of improvements and expansions to the education provision. But we are also a business contractor with a heart that wants to make a difference and that is why we decided to sponsor these awards. When we work in a community we want to leave a positive impact. So for me, to be here tonight with like-minded businesses is a pleasure – it has been an honour to hear your stories and an honour to read your applications for the awards and it is great to hear you are making a difference.”

Two new community awards, sponsored by London Borough of Croydon, were presented over the evening. They are Love Your Local Trader, won by Nix Hair and Beauty of South Norwood, and Inspirational Young Person of the Year, won by Laurence Grant, co-founder of networking company Shaking Hands.

Laurence commented: “It’s been amazing to start a business where your job is to go out and make friends with people. I want to give a shout out to my team and one really big cheer to, not only for the council, who I think do an amazing job for Croydon, but also to White Label, the awards organisers, for uplifting the Croydon business community with events like the Food Festival, the Business Expo, and the Awards. We are really grateful to be part of such an amazing community.”

Thanking the sponsors and the businesses contributing to Croydon’s economy and growth, Croydon Council Leader Tony Newman said: “There are billions of pounds of investment coming into our borough at the moment. Croydon is now the eighth largest city in the country, with a population approaching 400,000, and 93,000 young people. Everything we can all do to give those people a strong future and a career to be proud of, is hugely important.”

A raffle and charity auction compered by host Michael Underwood raised money in aid of Croydon Commitment and the Mayor of Croydon’s chosen charity, Cancer Research UK. Katharine Glass, Managing Director of Awards organiser, White Label, thanked everyone who donated prizes for the raffle and auction. She also thanked all of the sponsors who made the entire event possible.

Guests at the reception enjoyed a sparkling reception sponsored by Handeslbanken, followed by a three-course dinner with wine, and an after party with a casino, fun photo booth and dancing to live music by City Limits.

*The fourth annual Croydon Business Excellence Awards in association with Willmott Dixon celebrates the achievements of the borough’s vibrant business community. The awards are sponsored by Willmott Dixon, Allianz Partners, AMP House Serviced Offices, Chequers Contracts Croydon, Connected Space, Green Network Energy, London Borough of Croydon, Superdrug, and Sussex Innovation Centre and supported by Costco Croydon, Croydon Advertiser, Croydon Chamber of Commerce, Grand Sapphire, Handelsbanken, Insight 6, Mobile Bar Hire and Woods Jewellers.

Pictures from the evening can be found here:


The 2018 Croydon Business Excellence Awards Winners:


Business of the Year sponsored by Willmott Dixon     


Winner – Bluebird Care Croydon


Best New Start Up   


Winner – Cozy Glow

Highly Commended – The Ludoquist

Commended – Black & Blanc Company Ltd


Women in Business sponsored by Superdrug  


Winner – Julie Agbowu, All Inclusive Advice & Training

Highly Commended – Louise Hazelden, LAH PROPERTY MARKETING LTD

Commended – Michelle McDonald, Hyde & Rowe Limited


Best Business for Customer Service sponsored by AMP House Serviced Offices


Winner – Bluebird Care Croydon

Highly Commended – Coversure Insurance Services Croydon

Commended – Indigo


Best Business for Tech & Innovation sponsored by Connected Space      


Winner – Kingfisher APS

Highly Commended – Cullens Clearances Ltd

Commended – Natterbox


Best Charity or Social Enterprise sponsored by Chequers Contracts        


Winner – All Inclusive Advice & Training

Highly Commended – Croydon Commitment

Commended – Age UK Croydon


Best Employer


Winner – Cleankill Pest Control

Highly Commended – Bluebird Care Croydon

Commended – Frontier Support Services Limited


Commitment to the Community sponsored by Allianz Partners     


Winner sponsored by Caridon Property

Highly Commended – Croydon College

Commended – My Super Connector

Commended – East Croydon Cool


Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by Sussex Innovation Centre, Croydon      


Winner – Justin Owens, Silverleaf Group

Highly Commended – Dexter Simms, Mula Cake

Commended – Jason Antill, Pure RES Ltd


Love Your Local Trader sponsored by London Borough of Croydon          


Winner – Nix Hair & Beauty

Highly Commended – Andrew Franklin Photography

Commended – Heather Bailey Optometrists Ltd


The Cultural Impact Award          


Winner – Croydonites Festival of New Theatre

Highly Commended – Zoo Co Theatre LTD

Commended – Apsara Arts


The Inspirational Young Person of the Year – London Borough of Croydon           


Winner – Laurence Grant, Shaking Hands

Highly Commended – Fabio Schifano, Croydon Council

Commended – Rebecca Russel, Croydon College


The SME Excellence Award – Green Network Energy


Winner – Nouveau Lashes

Highly Commended – Return2Play Ltd

Commended – Cleankill Pest Control