10th September 2021 – O2 has partnered with internationally renowned interior designer and entrepreneur, Kelly Hoppen CBE, to reveal the five UK small business owners who are in with a chance of being crowned this year’s Everyday Hero.
From community legends who brought together whole London Boroughs, to Leicestershire-based mentors who helped support musicians across the Midlands, the regional winners have been recognised for their impressive feats and how they adapted and flexed their businesses to provide support for their communities when they needed it most.
Kelly Hoppen CBE, interior design entrepreneur and former Dragon said: “It’s been a real joy hearing the stories of these amazing business leaders who are clearly so committed to supporting the community around them. It’s going to be a really tough decision to crown just one winner but I’m honoured to be involved. I’ve seen first hand what impact small businesses have on communities and these businesses are the perfect example of how going above and beyond can create a lasting impact on those around them
Each shortlisted business owner is now in with a chance of receiving a £5,000 cash prize. Voting is now open until the 21st September – to cast a vote head to @o2businessuk Twitter page and like and retweet the tweet dedicated to your favourite regional winner.
The regional winners are:
After fearing that her local high-street would go under post-lockdown, Calypso speedily got to work creating an online marketplace from scratch which housed all Deal businesses who were able to deliver to customers during the various lockdowns. The service has been a lifeline for small businesses who otherwise might not have been able to reach customers during that time and is now a community of over 700 small businesses.
Emma used her extensive local network of volunteers, neighbours, charities and businesses built over the last ten years to manage and organise an immense operation which saw them deliver over 60,000 meals, transport medication and recruit over 600 volunteers in the region to ensure everyone in the Enfield Borough had access to support they needed.
Hannah has become a staple friendly face in the rural Spalding community and has been praised for her tenacity and dedication to keep the coffee coming when she faced many challenges over the past year. Known for championing the community as well as quality coffee and sustainable packaging, Hannah and her team have brought joy and support to all their customers in the region.
Record studio boss, Yasin, has shown his commitment to helping support young musicians and creatives in the Midlands over the past year, providing internships to 14 people who lost their jobs due to covid. As well as that, Yasin has extended the mentoring services that HQ CAN CIC provide to offer it to more people in need as he continues to build a real network and community of creatives in the region.
Becci has spent the last year working closely with local healthcare trusts, going above and beyond to ensure healthcare professionals have dedicated and tailored wellbeing support including creating a dedicated booking-system for 1:1 appointments, producing a dedicated set of wellbeing resources for people to use and even writing inspirational poems to share amongst the community. She has been deemed an inspirational leader and an anchor point for wellbeing services in the region.
Public votes via Twitter will account for 50 per cent of the final outcome, while the other 50 per cent will be determined by the O2 panel who will be joined by celebrity guest, Kelly Hoppen.
Jo Bertram, Managing Director, Business & Wholesale at Virgin Media O2 and judge said: “Hearing from all of the small businesses and learning about the sheer level of support and joy they brought their communities over the last year has been truly inspiring.
“Small business leaders really are the backbone of local communities around the country so to hear of their tenacity, determination and motivation to keep serving their local customers is heart-warming. In many cases they’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty, utilising technology in order to ensure they’re offering the best level of support. They show how a sense of community really has been a lifeline for many of us.
“O2 has always helped provide small businesses with the technology and digital expertise to help them flex and adapt, improve connectivity and strengthen security, and this is more important than ever as we continue to adjust to life through the continued pandemic. We’re incredibly excited to crown the overall winner and give them a helping hand to continue doing their great work.”
The tools available through O2 Business can help firms continue to adapt and grow their business as the UK continues to head out of lockdown. As flexibility continues to be more important than ever, customers can choose the ultimate flexible package with tariffs that give them the control and confidence to suit their evolving company needs.
The market-leading suite of flexible solutions includes automatic data rollover and flexible tariffs so customers can flex their data allowance up and down each billing cycle. As well as flexible add-on business apps such as Microsoft Office 365 so customers can stay productive no matter where they need to work, plus a range of business contract lengths, from a rolling 30-day plan, through to three years.
O2 Business packages also offer greater network security, with experts on hand to help with any technical issues.
To find out more about the regional winners’ stories, visit https://www.o2.co.uk/business/everyday-heroes
Terms and conditions apply see: https://news.virginmediao2.co.uk/o2-everyday-heroes-terms-conditions
To learn more about O2 Business, visit ttps://www.o2.co.uk/business/why-o2/flex-your-business
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Notes to Editors
The winners were chosen from a selection of the best entries by a panel including independent judge Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of the charity Hubbub, and judges from O2: Jo Bertram, Managing Director, Business & Wholesale at Virgin Media O2; Allie Lawson, Head of SMB Brand & Marcomms; and Sandeep Raithatha, head of 5G, New Product Innovation and Wayra Engagement at O2.