Awards win is a ‘tremendous’ way to reward staff

Helen Burch at her Southsea home, but still waiting for a bed Picture: Malcolm Wells

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ENTRIES are coming in thick and fast for The News’s Business Excellence Awards, despite only being launched last week.

Our headline sponsor, BAE Systems, lent us the use of the half-built bridge of the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to launch the awards, as she has been built in Portsmouth by thousands of local people.

And from that local success story to another – the winner of the 2012 Overall Business of the Year is encouraging firms to take part.

Humphrey Cobbold, managing director of online sports retailer Wiggle, said its win at last year’s Business Excellence Awards was a real highlight for the firm.

He added: ‘We are immensely proud to have been recognised by the award, because it really was a testament to the hard work put in by a growing number of Portsmouth people – because we’re still overwhelmingly a Portsmouth and Hampshire business, even though we’re expanding.

‘Winning The News’s Overall Business of the Year was a tremendous recognition for those people.

‘We’ve been lucky enough to get a few awards this year but the one we got from The News was one of the best.

‘The front page of The News with the Wiggle team receiving the award has pride of place in our entrance hall.’

Mr Cobbold said Wiggle would not be entering the awards this year, mainly because of last year’s win, but also to concentrate on growing its business further.

But the competition is already hotting up, with around 30 entries already received for various different categories.

To enter is simple.

Just go to: and click on the link to download the entry form.

Have a read of the criteria and pick the category – or categories – which you think best suit your business.

Then, email the completed form to or, if submitting a bound nomination, please supply six copies and send them by post to Emma Judd, editorial department, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX.

All entries, received either by post or email, should reach The News no later than midday on Monday, December 17.