The Best of Melton Awards 2021
Unsung heroes who have supported people across the Melton borough during the coronavirus pandemic were given emotional ovations as their efforts were recognised at this year’s Best of Melton Awards on Friday night.
Finalists and nominees were joined by special guests at the event, at Brooksby Hall.
This was 13th such awards the Melton Times has organised and we were grateful this year for the support of headline sponsor, Melton Borough Council, and other sponsors.
There were several new categories this year which recognised the achievements of people who helped others through the challenges of the pandemic.
Melton Mowbray Lions Club members and all the other volunteers who helped marshal visitors to the town’s Covid vaccination centre at Melton Sports Village were given the Community Champion/Group or Project of the Year accolade.
David Houghton, from the Lions, was presented with the award by Senior Town Warden, Ian Wilkinson, of sponsors Melton Mowbray Town Estate.
Sharon Brown, landlady of The Grapes pub in Melton, won the Contribution to the Community Award (sponsored by PAM Saint Gobain):
During the pandemic, Sharon led an initiative delivering food, prescriptions and other vital supplies to elderly people, those shielding at home and others struggling financially as a result of not being able to work during the lockdown.
In December 2020 her earlier work during the pandemic continued as she coordinated a project to deliver Christmas food hampers to people suffering with mental health, the elderly and those that had been made redundant or furloughed from their jobs.
Teenager Charlie Hull was warmly applauded after being named the Child of Courage.
Charlie has endured a lengthy programme of treatment to help him fight a rare form of bone cancer - Ewing’s sarcoma.
The Melton youngster, who has also been having revolutionary proton beam therapy, still managed to pass all of his GCSE subjects at Long Field Spencer Academy, despite the tough times he has been through.
Birch Wood Area Special School student, Fields Taylor, won the Inspirational Young Person award.
Despite suffering from glut1 deficiency syndrome, Fields raised money for the charity which supports sufferers by climbing Mount Snowden.
She was described the person who nominated her as ‘an exceptional young lady’.
Another notable local young person, Kelly Davies, received the After Dark Award for the way her organisation, My Melton, has encouraged people to visit the town centre from early evening until late at night.
My Melton, founded two years ago. still managed to promote local venues during the pandemic and organised the town’s first Cocktail Week in October and a huge promotional drive this summer.
Lots of new businesses were recognised, such as Fire and Embers, a small family-run artisan vendor which started out at the livestock market.
It won Best Food/Drink Producer.
Ben Jackson picked up the award for Young Business Entrepreneur after taking over the old Melton Snooker Club and transforming it into Jackson’s Lounge.
The venue, which recently hosted an exhibition night with snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan, also doubles as a social space to relax with a coffee or a drink.
Business of the Year was Gogomenu - a company which offers a table ordering and takeaway system for hospitality businesses.
Other award winners:
Best New Business: The Melton Clinic (finalist - Hilltop Farm Shop/Cafe; Mabel and Deb).
Best Place to Eat or Drink (sponsored by Samworth Brothers): Hilltop Farm Shop/Cafe (finalists - Soi Indian Restaurant; Wild Fig Catering).
Employee or Team of the Year: Sophie Elise - beauty salon & day spa (finalist - Luna Rayn Emporium).
Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Brooksby Melton College): Peter Palmer, of PAM Saint-Gobain (finalist - Lydia Robb, of Doggy & Gabbona).
Best Independent Retailer (sponsored by Stuart Westmoreoland): Sophie Elise beauty salon & day spa (finalists - DVS Commercials; The Garden Centre & Mountain Restaurant).
Customer Focus Award: The Melton Clinic (finalist - Off The Beaten Path).
Health and Care Service Workers: Dr Henna Rana and the Melton Mowbray Lions Club.
Leisure and Tourism Award (sponsored by Melton Borough Council): Miss B’s Tea Rooms.
Business Covid-19 Hero (sponsored by Melton Borough Council): Gogomenu (nominees - Cafe Allez!; Inspirique Baby Photographer).
Business Person of the Year (sponsored by Melton BID): Debbie Harris, of Mabel and Deb (other nominees - Doug Clements of DVS Commercials; Jolli Waterland of Miss B’s Tea Rooms/Gracies/Kristies).
l SPONSORS: Melton Borough Council (headline); Brooksby Melton College; Long Field Spencer Academy; Mowbray Education Trust; Melton Mowbray BID; Melton Mowbray Town Estate; NFU Mutual Melton Mowbray; PAM Saint Ggobain; Melton Rotary Enterprise Group; Samworth Brothers; Stuart Westmoreland; event supporters 103 The Eye.