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First ever NatWest Thames Valley Venus Awards 2017 in association with Marshall Volkswagen announce winners at grand ceremony!

By June 15, 2017January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

Photograph Credit: Hemma Mason of Hemma Mason Photography

Winners of the first ever NatWest Thames Valley Venus Awards in association with Marshall Volkswagen were announced at a Grand Ceremony and Gala Dinner at the Madejski Stadium on Friday, 9th June 2017.

Over 300 guests including Finalists and Sponsors attended the glamorous Grand Ceremony and Gala Dinner of the first, super-size NatWest Thames Valley Venus Awards 2017 in association with Marshall Volkswagen, at the Madejski Stadium on Friday, 9th June 2017.

In its inaugural year in a region spanning Reading, Oxford, Swindon, High Wycombe and Bracknell competition has been strong and enthusiastic with 1,400 nominations and 320 applications across all categories, and with over 1,300 votes cast in the public vote category of Business Mother.  

Hosts for the evening’s celebrations were Emma-Jane Taylor, Managing Director of NutritiousWorks and television presenter for That’s Oxford TV and Tara Howard, Founder of the Venus Awards.

Guests soaked in the atmosphere as they enjoyed a three-course dinner. The evening’s entertainment came from Nathan James, rock singer-song writer known for his appearances on The Voice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Superstar. Nathan opened his set with a powerful cover of Guns N Rose’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.

Every Sponsor emphasised in their speeches the outstanding calibre of their category applications when presenting the winner with the “Venus” Trophy.    

Attending the event was Andrew Lean, Director of Marshall Volkswagen. They are the associate sponsor and category sponsor for the Customer Service award, he said,  

What makes the Venus Awards different is that it has got a real buzz to it. You can see in the room tonight that everyone is having a load of fun and there is a real sense of sisterhood. There is a real energy.”

Yani Fernando, Business Growth Enabler at NatWest who sponsored the New Business category, said of their involvement with the Thames Valley Venus Awards,  

We are really proud to be the sponsor for this category because at NatWest we believe that start up new businesses are the backbone of the UK economy.”

Marcus Cauchi of Sandler Training, who sponsored the HR Manager and Manager of the Year categories, said of their involvement with the Venus Awards, 

Anyone who wants to get involved with the Venus Awards would be mad not too!”

Winner of the High Achiever category, Tracey Rawling Church of Kyocera said of her Venus win,  

“This is the beginning of a bright new future.”

Manager of the Year Winner, Sam Bramwell of Microsoft said of the Venus Awards,

“I think the Venus Awards are important because it is really important to recognise women in business, women in technology and women across the world, in our villages, in our towns, for doing what they do every day and working so hard. So I am very proud of what the Venus Awards gives back to the community.”


Charity Sponsor for the inaugural Thames Valley Venus Awards is Naomi House and Jacksplace that provide expert hospice care to more than 340 life-limited and life-threatened children, young people, and their extended families. Venus raised over £2000 on the evening for the charity.


Winners will progress to the Venus Awards National Finals to be held in July 2017.

Winners of the NatWest Thames Valley Venus Awards 2017 in association with Marshall Volkswagen are:


NatWest New Business of the Year


Viktoria Baker – Ugly Apples


Marshall Volkswagen – Customer Service Award


Charlotte Cavanagh – Time for Tea

Grosvenor Casino – Networker of the Year

Rachel Tombs – Links2Leads


IKEA – Green Business of the Year

Christine McRitchie – Earthwise Trading Ltd


JackFM104 and Sir John Madejski – Entrepreneur of the Year


Charlotte Cavanagh – Time for Tea


Parfitt Cresswell – Influential Woman of the Year


Atuksha Poonwassie – Simple Backing & Simple Equity


Peninsula – Small Business of the Year


Hannah Goldsmith – Goldsmith Financial Solutions


The Reading Chronicle – Business Mother of the Year

Catherine Turner – Rapid Search & Interim and Firefly Human Capital


Sandler Training – Manager of the Year


Sam Bramwell – Microsoft


Shirlaws – Company of the Year


Nikki Ball – Reading Buses


University of Reading –  Inspirational Woman of the Year

Lucy Coulbert – The Individual Funeral Company


Wilkins Kennedy LLP – Professional of the Year


Nicky Larkin – Goringe Accountants


ShowState – High Achiever of the Year


Tracey Rawling Church – KYOCERA Document Solutions UK Ltd


Sandler Training – HR Manager of the Year

Sally Bannister – Turn IT On


Wise Owls – Lifetime Achievement


Ruth Cane – Ruth Cane – Image & Impact


Venus Awards – Director of the Year


Cheryl Adams – Santander