MEMORIES of a much-loved Felpham hotel owner were to the fore when a new award was presented in his honour.
The presentation of the Robert Warham Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. The Beachcroft Hotel in Felpham was the most emotional moment of the night.
The award was created to recognise the achievements of former owner Robert Warham who passed away earlier this year.
Charles Warham, Robert’s son, presented the award and said “Dad would be honoured so by this award.
“He did so much for this community, it’s nice to see it come together like this every year.”
The winner of this heart-felt award was 23-year-old Courtney Walters from Bognor Regis firm Regis Removals. She said: “It means absolutely everything. I didn’t expect it at all!
“I’ve been working with Regis Removals for one year this month. I do so many things there, I deal with office work, social media, finances, accounts and admin.
“I only discovered business through Chichester College. Debbie Ross there inspired me.”
Her triumph was part of a successful night for young people in business all round. Awards for Employee of the Year and Business Person of the Year were won by Joe Harriss and Jack Keywood respectively from Luv Carpets in Bognor Regis.
Jack spoke of his respect for the sponsor of the award, David Wride.
He said: “This is a great achievement especially coming from David.”
Mr Wride felt that the award could not have gone to a more deserving person.
He said: “It really shows something about a business that both the employee [Joe] and employer [Jack] won awards tonight. Jack lives for business.”
The ceremony ended with the presentation of the Overall Business of the Year award. Gusto Wines were granted the prestigious award to add to its success in the Website of the Year category.
Simon Wallace, from the company, explained the significance of the evening.
He said: “For me, tonight is so important. If all the businesses here are doing well then the community is doing well.”
One of his colleagues Claire said: “The drive and passion Simon has is infectious and feeds through the team.”
Arun District Council’s deputy chairman, Cllr Jacky Pendleton, summarised the relevance of the awards. She said: “Tonight is important for the economic welfare of our community. These awards act as a pinnacle for what we do well here.”