THE winners of the Local Business Charity Awards (Berkshire) were announced, yesterday.

The event is sponsored by insurance brokers A-Plan Insurance and Jelf.

LocaliQ, part of the Newsquest Media Group which runs the Reading Chronicle and Bracknell News, is a media partner.

Group Editor Andrew Colley said: “It was an honour for Newsquest to be onboard as media partners of the first Berkshire Local Business Charity Awards.

“As a group of newspapers which have been at the heart of our communities for decades, we get to hear heartwarming stories every day, but I was truly astounded by the incredible gestures from the event finalists.

“Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for supporting such amazing local charities – our towns and villages are a better place thanks to them.”

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at local charity SportsAble in Maidenhead and was hosted by BBC Radio Berkshire’s Kirsten O’Brien.

All food served on the night had been ‘Grown, Sown, Harvested and Reared’ in line with the awards’ ethos of only using local produce at their awards finals.

To enter, local Berkshire charities had to nominate a Berkshire business or individual who had done an outstanding job supporting them. There were three awards, the Jelf Award, the A-Plan Insurance Award and the Individual Award.

The finalists in the Jelf Award were:

• Convatec nominated by Berkshire Youth

• Gardner Leader nominated by Swings & Smiles

• Nationwide Building Society nominated by The Dash Charity

• Penguins Events nominated by Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Services

The winner of the Jelf award was:

• Penguins Events nominated by Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Services

Commenting on their win, Mike Owen, CEO South, Jelf, said: "Penguins Events have been the most incredible supporter of the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice.

"Their expertise in events management, providing audio visual and lighting at the charity’s annual balls and other special occasions, has allowed the charity to put on first-class events and raise significant amounts of money.

"We applaud their generosity and are delighted to be announcing them as winners of the Jelf award this evening."

The finalists in the A-Plan Insurance award were:

• A Twist of Lime nominated by Baby Bank

• Bisham Abbey Sailing & Navigation School nominated by Rivertime Boat Trust

• The Swift Group nominated by Newbury Soup Kitchen

• TSB (Reading Branch) nominated by Babies in Buscot Support (BIBS)

The winner of the A-Plan Insurance award was:

• TSB (Reading Branch) nominated by Babies in Buscot Support (BIBS)

Richard Easterbrook, Group Head of Commercial Insurance from sponsor A-Plan Insurance said: "For a business to take on a charity with which they have no personal relationship is quite rare and makes the efforts made by the small team of staff from the TSB in Reading even more impressive.

"From Bike and Bake weeks to promoting awareness of the charity’s work by having an incubator on display in the branch, the team have really put their heart and souls into supporting this vital Berkshire charity.

"£1,000 is on its way to Babies In Buscot Support and we are pleased to announce the TSB (Reading Branch) as winners of the A-Plan Insurance Award."

The finalists in the Individual award were:

• Adrian Smith from The Swift Group nominated by Newbury Soup Kitchen

• Carol Irwin from Sainsburys nominated by PALS (West Berkshire)

• Ken Navin from Innovate Services nominated by Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Services

• Lisa Chaffey from Action Coach Reading nominated by Berkshire Vision

The winner of the Individual award was:

• Adrian Smith from The Swift Group nominated by Newbury Soup Kitchen

Jeffrey Branch, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, who presented the Individual award said: "Two years ago Meryll Praill set up Newbury Soup Kitchen without any knowledge or experience of homelessness or the myriad of problems that leads to a person losing their home.

"The day she met Adrian Swift, Managing Director of the Swift Group was highly fortuitous; from the outset he has offered her guidance, support, introductions to relevant businesses and even the donation of a van to deliver the food to the homeless.

"With the full and enthusiastic support of everyone at The Swift Group, Adrian has been a guiding light to Meryl offering outstanding support over the past two years.

"Berkshire is a better place because of men like Adrian and we are delighted to announce him as the winner of the Individual Award tonight.

"He will be receiving a weekend away worth £300 which the judges consider is fully deserve."

The awards will launch again in a few months’ time and businesses who would like to become sponsor in 2020 should contact event organiser Louise Bruce on