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Boxing and business: Frank Bruno speaks as companies celebrated at annual awards

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 November 2019

Frank Bruno being interviewed by Andrew Mitchell at the Newham Chamber of Commerce business awards. Picture: Ilyas Ayub

Frank Bruno being interviewed by Andrew Mitchell at the Newham Chamber of Commerce business awards. Picture: Ilyas Ayub

Ilyas Ayub

The borough's best businesses have been recognised for their efforts and successes at the annual Newham Chamber of Commerce business awards.

Newham Chamber of Commerce business awards winners celebrate. Picture: Ilyas AyubNewham Chamber of Commerce business awards winners celebrate. Picture: Ilyas Ayub

The ceremony, held at the Old Town Hall, Stratford, saw companies go head to head for a variety of gongs - from the traditional business person and young entrepreneur categories to those recognising environmental and mental health efforts.

There were two trophies for Green Street-based jewellers PureJewels by Bhanji Golkadas and Sons, who scooped the e-business and best innovation categories.

Jayant Raniga said: "It's excellent for the company and we're really proud to win two awards."

Also winning two categories was accountancy firm Alan Patient and Co, who picked up the business growth and customer service gongs.

The overall business of the year award - only open to winners of the 12 other categories - was won by Good Hotel London.

Located on a boat in the Royal Docks, the social enterprise offers training and a job to unemployed people living nearby.

Maria O'Connor said: "We are absolutely delighted to win both staff training and development and Newham business of the year 2019!

"It's humbling to be recognised for the work we're doing through our Good Training programme - helping local long term unemployed people into work.

Business of the year and staff training and development winners Good Hotel London. Picture: Ilyas AyubBusiness of the year and staff training and development winners Good Hotel London. Picture: Ilyas Ayub

"Thank you to Newham Chamber of Commerce and the judges that supported us, and to our amazing Good Hotel team that keep our social business going every day."

Guests at the event, held on Wednesday, November 6, were also treated to a question and answer session with boxing legend Frank Bruno.

The former WBC heavyweight champion discussed his career, from starting out as a teenager to his title fights with Mike Tyson.

He also spoke candidly about his mental health struggles, saying: "Me being sectioned and being open about it opened the door to a lot of men and women, especially men, to talk about what they're going through."

Frank Bruno being interviewed by Andrew Mitchell at the Newham Chamber of Commerce business awards. Picture: Ilyas AyubFrank Bruno being interviewed by Andrew Mitchell at the Newham Chamber of Commerce business awards. Picture: Ilyas Ayub

The evening also featured a minute's silence in honour of 15-year-old Baptista Adjei, who was stabbed to death in Stratford on October 10 - the original date the business awards were set to take place.

The winners

Staff training and development: Good Hotel London

Civic and community engagement: Change Grow Live

Sole/micro trader of the year: Street Food Markets

Business person of the year: Marian Phillips of Tereza Joanne

Corporate social responsibility: Tate and Lyle Sugars

Best innovation in business: PureJewels by Bhanji Gokaldas and Sons

E-business of the year: PureJewels by Bhanji Gokaldas and Sons

Green business of the year: ADKN

Young entrepreneur of the year: Vivek Nandha of VNY Security

Customer service - small/micro business: Alan Patient and Co

Business growth: Alan Patient and Co

Positive mental health and wellbeing: Health Psychology Management Organisation Services

Business of the year: Good Hotel

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