Merseyside Luxury Candle Company and BBC ONE Dragons' Den Winner to sponsor first ever LGBTQ+ Business Awards in the North West

Merseyside Luxury Candle Company and BBC ONE Dragons' Den Winner, Owen Drew, to sponsor first ever LGBTQ+ Business Awards in the North West. The ceremony takes place on Friday 22nd October at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa.

The Wirral-based home fragrance emporium, Owen Drew, is doing its bit to recognise and celebrate diversity in the workplace by becoming one of the main sponsors of the LGBTQ+ Business Awards - the first of its kind to be held in the North West.

It was MD and founder of the fragrance retailer, Drew Cockton, who created and launched the LGBTQ+ awards. This follows his own success in entrepreneurship, having clinched a £50,000 investment from Touker Suleyman on BBC ONE Dragons’ Den earlier this year.

Now the team at Owen Drew are putting their money where their mouth is by sponsoring the business awards alongside headline supporter, Liverpool Football Club. The Metro is also backing the event.

The ceremony will be a much-needed opportunity to applaud the contribution of the LGBTQ+ community to our businesses. Figures from charity, StoneWall, show that 35% of those who describe themselves as LGBT have hidden it from an employer. This increases to 38% among bisexual people.

The workplace itself can prove a hostile environment with LGBT employees who are black, Asian or minority ethnic reporting experiences of assault at the hands of customers and workmates.

To turn the tide, the LGBTQ+ Awards aim to “celebrate the amazing achievements of LGBTQ+ people in business and commerce” who exhibit “creativity, ingenuity and resilience.”

The categories recognise candidates from all areas, including accolades for Young Person in Business, Best Small Business and Community Impact.

The event, which takes place at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa, will also highlight those companies and employers that promote inclusion and are allies for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.

Guests can look forward to a sparkling reception, black-tie dinner and the chance to rub shoulders with high-profile representatives of the LGBTQ+ business community. Funds raised will be donated to Albert Kennedy Trust which supports LGBTQ+ people who have been made homeless by their families.

So far on the guest list is Jürgen Maier, former managing director of Siemens UK, Dame Angela Eagle, MP for Wallasey and Chief Executive for Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, Lesley Martin Wright. The list of finalists in no less impressive and includes MD of This Generation PR, Daniel Hughes, who was recently praised by former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton for his work with LGBTQ+ causes.

Of the awards, Drew said, "After a very challenging eighteen months, we are looking forward to celebrating the incredible achievements of the LGBTQ+ community in business and commerce.

"Now, more than ever, we need to shine a light on the fantastic work of our brothers and sisters and their contribution to making the North West such an exciting and opportunity-filled place in which to live."

To make a reservation, tickets are £75 and include a sparkling drinks reception followed by a three-course sit-down dinner with a goody bag. To book, contact the LGBTQ+ Business Awards directly by emailing: hello@lgbtqbusinessawards.com

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