In the final week before the Awards close, the Queen’s Awards office has been inordinately busy – we’ve been answering back-to-back calls to the helpline, replying to a seemingly endless supply of emails in our Inbox, calling entrants to offer last minute help/advice and still managing to find time to post a blog or two (which we hope you’ve been finding helpful).
I managed to take some time out on Tuesday (albeit after work) to attend a very glamorous gala dinner, hosted by the Institute of Export (IoE) for Queen’s Awards winners, at the exceptionally grand Draper's Hall. As my team are well aware I’m a confirmed tomboy so psychologically it wasn’t easy for me to put on a dress and be girly for the night but I did try my best…
The event was sponsored by Amber Road and Queen’s Award for International Trade winner TestPlant, whose CEO George Mackintosh officially opened the event. At the drinks reception it was really nice to catch up with RealVNC’s Andy Harter and his lovely wife Lily, still so warm and enthusiastic about their Queen’s Award win. At dinner we heard from Nick Boland from Amber Road, IOE Director General Lesley Batchelor, President Jim Davis and Vice Presidents Sir Eric Peacock and Lord Empey of Shandon. Everyone was full of praise and encouragement for the Queen's Awards winners and special awards were given to multiple winners Sun Mark, Ukash and Elekta.
Highlight of the evening for me was the ‘entertainment’ from ex-England rugby player Martin Bayfield. When he took to the stage I have to admit I wasn’t expecting a great deal but the (almost) 7 footer was absolutely hilarious, sending guests into fits of hysterics with tales of his sporting career and his time as a police officer. Hugely entertaining.
I’d like to say a special thanks to the IoE for such a wonderful evening and particularly to Lyn Fulcher and Lesley for inviting me. I’ll be keeping a look out for the date for next year’s event…
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