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Winning Mercury Business Award cemented what The Little Lane Nursery in Stamford is about

The Little Lane Nursery Business Awards
The Little Lane Nursery Business Awards

A Stamford nursery school which won the Best New Start Up category at last year’s Mercury Business Awards has embarked on an exciting challenge to raise money for charity.

A team made up of staff, parents and friends of the The Little Lane Nursery will take on the the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge tomorrow to raise money for the Peterborough City Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Located in the centre of Stamford, The Little Lane Nursery provides childcare for a small number of children between the ages of six-weeks and five-years.

Proprietor Victoria Banfield said winning the 2017 business award had been just reward for the hard work they put in to running the nursery.

“It created a real buzz and we received enormous support from families and local businesses in the area,” she said.

“It further cemented what the nursery is about and the effort we put in to maintaining the high standards we set ourselves.”

Victoria said they had an “army” of 25 undertaking the Three Peaks challenge, including staff, families that attend the nursery, and friends.

The route is not for the faint-hearted and covers a distance of 24 miles and includes 5,200ft of ascent.

They hope to raise £1,000 for the NICU.

“The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge takes on the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, usually in this order, and in under 12 hours,” said Victoria.

“These peaks form part of the Pennine range, and encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”

She said many families that attend the nursery had used the “fantastic care” offered by the NICU, including nursery manager Emma Altham whose daughter was born 10 weeks prematurely and spent over a month in the ward.

“Emma felt so passionately about the work this team provides that when she returned to work she got a job within the NICU unit as a nursery nurse,” said Victoria.

n This year’s awards ceremony will take place at a gala dinner at Greetham Valley Hotel on September 21 - our long standing event partner.

Established in 2005, the awards are the biggest part of their kind in the Stamford, Rutland and Bourne area and the event has gone from strength to strength.


Best new start up (sponsored by Hegarty LLP)

Has your business been a roaring success in its infancy? Has it exceeded all your expectations or is it exactly on the right track, looking strong and with excellent prospects for the future? You may be a one-man band looking to expand, or you may have started at a larger scale and already proved your ideas would work. This award is open to companies in business for up to three years from the date of the launch (Friday, April 6, 2018).

Employee/Team of the Year (sponsored by Landmark IFA)

This award is to celebrate dedication and commitment to the business. The title will go to the employee or team who always go the extra mile and exceed expectations within their company. The judges will be looking for an employee or team who can demonstrate how their attitude, commitment and dedication to their job has delivered significant benefits to the company they work for.

Business Innovation (Sponsored by Invest SK)

This award will go to the organisation that can best demonstrate an ability to create, grow and develop innovations or processes that improve commercial performance or the prospects of the company.

Best Independent Retailer

This award celebrates the shops which truly make the Mercury area special and will be judged on financial performance, product and store innovation as well as excellent customer service.

Businessperson of the Year (Sponsored by Duncan and Toplis)

The winner will be an individual who stands out from the crowd, has an entrepreneurial spirit, demonstrates outstanding achievement and inspires others around them. The winner of this award will have been instrumental to the success of their business, growing the reputation of both their business and the area in which they operate.

Customer Care (Sponsored by Bluebird Care)

This award will recognise the firm, irrespective of size or sector, that can prove it really does put the customer first. Has your business excelled to help one customer in particular or perhaps you have introduced new ways of working to help every customer? The organisation must have objectives for high quality customer service and clear methods of monitoring and evaluating standards.

Best Social Enterprise or Not for Profit Organisation

New for last year, this was an extremely popular award so makes its return for 2018. It is open to charities and social enterprises which can demonstrate significant commercial and social impact of their activities.

Judges will want to see clear evidence of commercial awareness and innovative strategies that complement the altruistic aims of the organisation.

Great Taste Award (Sponsored by Normanton Park Hotel)

This award is for a local hotel, restaurant, cafe, takeaway or pub that can demonstrate outstanding creativity, customer service and top quality dining and food in the Rutland and Stamford Mercury readership area.

Business of the Year: Small (Sponsored by Greetham Valley Hotel)

This award is open to a business trading for more than three years with up to 20 employees and which is able to demonstrate excellence and innovation in its field, management with the ability to drive the business forward and funding arrangements and investment plans for the future of the business. It must show it understands its market, has arrangements to respond to change and can demonstrate why the business should win.

Business of the Year: Large (Sponsored by Chattertons)

This award is open to a business trading for more than three years with more than 20 employees that can show evidence of business growth, a commitment to the local community, a business strategy and vision for the next three to five years, proven success and achievement during the past two years, management with the ability to drive the business forward and a genuine commitment to its staff.


Any business within the Mercury’s news coverage area - which includes Stamford and the Deepings, Bourne, Rutland and surrounding villages - can enter until the deadline of 5pm on June 22, 2018.

Businesses can enter a maximum of three categories and readers can also put forward businesses, giving as much information as possible.

After the closing date, the judging panel will shortlist three finalists in each category. They will be visited by the judges before the winner is revealed at the awards on September 21.

To enter visit www.mercurybusinessawards.co.uk

The Mercury Business Awards could not happen without the support of our sponsors: Hegarty Solicitors, Landmark Ifa, Duncan and Toplis, Bluebird Care, Normanton Park Hotel, Chattertons Solicitors and Greetham Valley and our associate sponsors: Moore Thompson, Viking Signs, Hunters Interiors and Greensleaves Florist.


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