THE Variety Club’s Yorkshire Business Awards raised £177,000 for sick, disabled and disadvantaged children, surpassing last year’s total of £115,000.
The region’s top entrepreneurs were honoured at the luncheon, held yesterday at The Queens hotel in Leeds.
Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former head of communications, and Asda’s executive director for store proposition, Karen Hubbard, were among the speakers at the event, which was presented by BBC journalist Louise Minchin.
Comedian Barry Cryer, of Radio 4’s much-loved show, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, won the Lifetime Achievement award, while Mike Humphrey, chief executive of Croda, which specialises in natural chemicals for the cosmetics, healthcare and home care industries, was awarded the title of Business Leader of the Year.
Really Useful Products, which produces storage boxes for the home and office, won the accolade for SME of the Year. Managing director, Mike Pickles, who started the business from his spare bedroom in Leeds 11 years ago, picked up the award.
The award for Board of the Year went to housebuilder Persimmon, which is now is now virtually debt-free, having brought borrowings down from a peak of £1.2bn in 2008. Mike Farley, group chief executive, collected the award.
The Yorkshire Post, which is one of the sponsors of the event, received the Silver Heart award, in recognition of its contribution in helping the Variety Club to achieve its aim to enrich the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children.
Other sponsors included Hitchenor Wakeford, Bartlett Insurance Brokers, Pinsent Masons, Ernst & Young, Yorkshire Building Society, Rothschild, Santander, Evans property group and Pace.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Yorkshire committee of the Variety Club Children’s Charity and it is also the 25th anniversary of the Variety Club’s Yorkshire Business Awards lunch.
• Full coverage and more video, including Barry Cryer, in Tuesday’s Yorkshire Post and on this website.