• Celebrating Women in Business

    Celebrating Women in Business

    A group of businesses came together with County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) Charity to create the inaugural ‘Celebrating Women in Business’ awards which took place at Hallgarth Hotel & Golf Club for a night of excellent entertainment, celebration and championing local women.


    The winners:

    Rising Star, sponsored by Fresh Digital

    • Amelia Macmillan   Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

    Future Leader, sponsored by BTS Facades & Fabrications

    • Hannah Malik   Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

    Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by Contractor Match

    • Katharine Matthews   The Absolute Word

    Impact in the Community, sponsored by High Life North

    • Debbie Iceton Five Acres Community Garden CIC

    Innovation in Sustainability, sponsored by Darlington Business Club

    • Marcia Atkinson BTS Facades and Fabrication

    Hidden Hero, sponsored by Resilient Business Solutions

    • Helen Smaldon Orca Cleaning Services Ltd

    Inspirational Female Leader, sponsored by Utility Warehouse

    • Alison Stephenson    AAA Caring Caretaker Ltd


    There was also a surprise category announced on the night, the ‘judges’ award’ which went to Beryl Hankin from Guru’s Boutique in Darlington.

    Pat Chambers, charity development manager at CDDFT Charity said: “What an incredible evening, and so wonderful to see the skills, talents and generosity of local women being celebrated. Particular thanks to the organizing committee, our guests, judges, and everyone who sponsored, entered and attended the evening.

    “This year is the 75th birthday of the NHS – all proceeds are being donated to CDDFT Charity, to help enhance patient and community care across the Trust’s extensive geographical area.”

    Sponsors of the event were so impressed with the event itself and the calibre of entrants that many have pre-booked for the 2024 awards, with details to be released soon.

    The event was compered by local voiceover artist Emma Hignett, the voice of London’s buses and the brand new Elizabeth Line. The awards had a headline sponsor, Linthorpe Pharmacy and the evening incorporated a fashion show from House of Zana founder, Amber Kotrri, with special guest speaker Charlotte Staerck, founder of The Handbag Clinic.

    The judging panel, made up of Dame Dela Smith DBE DL, Sarah Bentley CEO Morrison’s Trust and Ruth Lowbridge MBE Chair of SFEDI Group, met to review the entries before submitting their choices.

    The organising committee was made up of CDDFT Charity, Hallgarth Hotel & Golf Club, Darlington Business Club, Peachy Digital, Amber Kotrri and Resilient Business Solutions. Event photography was provided by Studio 8 Photography, video services by Rob Cam Productions, and print by MT Print.