People in the Melton borough who have achieved extraordinary things gathered on Friday night for the annual Best of Melton Awards at Scalford Country House Hotel.
They ranged from those who have done particularly well in business, to individuals and groups who have made a difference in the community to children and young people who have done something special.
Judges had a tough time this year to whittle down candidates on the shortlists for the various categories and then to choose the winners.
Our host for the evening was Owynn Palmer-Atkin, who is the Leicester City FC match day presenter and Leicester Riders basketball reporter at BBC Radio Leicester.
Event organiser Linda Pritchard said: “It was another fantastic evening and it was lovely again to recognise so many people who make a difference in our community.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all of the sponsors for our various awards who help us to put this wonderful event on every year.
“Special thanks to our headline sponsors, Duncan and Toplis, who have also confirmed they will be backing us again for the 2020 awards.”
These were the winners announced on the night:
Best New Business (sponsored by Melton Borough Council and presented by Mayor of Melton, Councillor Malise Graham):
Winner Vine Farm Dairy. Shortlisted - 31 Degrees Leisure Days, Lakeside Asfordby.
Inspirational Young Person of the Year (sponsored by John Ferneley College and presented by head of school, Lara Hall):
Winner Lois Quinn - Lois is 11 and has a young sister diagnised with autism. rom an incredibly young age she has dedidcated so much of her time to advocating for people with autism and raising money for the National Autistic Society. This has included sponsored walks and cake sales and she is one of the youngest people to climb Mount Snowdon to raise cash for the society. Her nominator said: “I think she is amazing. As well as doing all this she spends every day of her life coping with additional difficulties that all siblings of children with extra needs face.”
Shortlisted - George Icke, who is an outgoing and inspirational young person who always puts others in front if himself. He has helped in many different charitable events and single handedly raised money for charities from a very young age.
Shortlisted - Dean Smith, who is a volunteer with Melton In Bloom and has worked tirelessly for this year’s entry into the East Midlands In Bloom competition. He helped plant up more than 50 buckets with businesses this year as the town achieved a creditable Silver-Gilt Award.
Best Place to Eat or Drink (sponsored by Samworth Brothers and presented by Stephen Hallam):
Winner of Best Cafe - Miss B’s Tearooms. Shortlisted - The Elms Cafe.
Winner of Best Pub/Restaurant Experience - The Montero Lounge. Shortlisted - The Anne of Cleves pub, The Anchor Inn (Nether Broughton), La Perla.
Employee or Team of the Year (sponsored by Scalford Country House Hotel and presented by general manager Amanda Burton):
Winner - Tenders UK. Shortlisted - Beauty Box, Simon Albarn of the Anchor Inn (Nether Broughton).
Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Specsavers Melton Mowbray and presented by Dilraj Gumber):
Winner - Rebecca Gray (Duncan and Toplis). Shortlisted - Aleksandra Kacynska (Melton Borough Council).
Child of Courage (sponsored by Long Field Academy and presented by Sharon Maloney and Sajit Raithatha):
Winner Finlay Billingsley. Finlay was just eight when his 12-year-brother William died from cancer last August. Since then he has shown amazing courage and is an inspiration to many of his friends and family. Finlay strives to keep his brother’s memory alive, helping open a memorial garden at his school and cutting the ribbon at the opening of his a memorial bench. He has been the backbone of his family and helped his parents carry on.
Shortlisted - Evie Moore. She has faced Leukaemia twice and has undergone a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Her nominators said: “Evie has been inspirational and her family are very proud of the courage she has shown.”
After Dark Award (sponsored by Purple Flag and presented by Shelagh Core):
Winner The Melton Gig Guide. Shortlisted - BeerHeadZ, The Grapes pub.
Best Independent Retailer (sponsored by Stuart Westmoreland and presented by Richard Westmoreland):
Winner Melton Sports. Shortlisted - Sophie Elise Beauty Salon and Day Spa, Denhams, The White Boutique.
Young Business Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by Pam Saint Gobain and presented by John Rigby):
Winner Ryan Mee (Melton Caravan and Motorhome Servicing). Shortlisted - Madeline Lambert (Madeline Elizabeth Mua), Emma Thomas (Head2Toes), Rochelle Roffe (Mind Wellness).
Customer Focus Award (sponsored by Action Coach and presented by Kerry Maltster):
Winner Specsavers Melton Mowbray. Shortlisted - Bray House Veterinary Practice, The Elms Cafe, Miss B’s Tearooms.
Contribution to the Community Award (sponsored by Melton Mowbray Town Estate and presented by John Southerington):
Winner Sharon Brown (landlady of The Grapes pub). Sharon was recognised for her fundraising work and support for organisations such as LGBT Melton and the Royal British Legion.
Shortlisted - Freda Greaves (Melton In Bloom), Royal Voluntary Service (Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland branch).
Community Champion Group or Project of the Year (sponsored by Melton Mowbray Building Society and presented by Janet Moore and Isla Parmar):
Winner My Melton - which promotes Melton places which are young adult friendly following a BBC Newsbeat report which stated Melton was ranked as the worst UK place to live for young adults.
Shortlisted - George Icke (103 The Eye), LGBT Melton Mowbray, Mummy Meetups.
Leisure and Tourism Award (sponsored by Melton Promotions and presented by Stephen Hallam):
Winner Melton Carnegie Museum. Shortlisted - Gates Garden Centre, Midshires Trikes Tours.
The Duncan and Toplis Special Recognition Award (presented by Alison Greene):
Winner Glynn Cartwright (Melton Matters). He champions town causes and campaigns to tackle issues such as littering and dog fouling. Best known fo his work with community group Melton Matters. His contribution has been not only positivie but instrumental in increasing awareness and importance of the environment and the cleanliness of the town to all residents, including schoolchildren.
Business Person of the Year (sponsored by Melton Bid and presented by Shelagh Core):
Winner Stephen Hallam (managing director, Dickinson and Morris).
Business of the Year (Sponsored by Duncan and Toplis and presented by Daniel Bennett):
Winner Gates Garden Centre. Shortlisted - Brockleby’s, Melton Sports, Tenders UK, Weio Ltd.