Sleaford Town Awards shine spotlight on businesses

Lunettes Opticians, Sleaford, celebrating their 25th anniversary two years ago. From left - Louise McCarrick, Tushar Majithia - owner,and  Janet Ratcliffe. EMN-191203-141820001
Lunettes Opticians, Sleaford, celebrating their 25th anniversary two years ago. From left - Louise McCarrick, Tushar Majithia - owner,and Janet Ratcliffe. EMN-191203-141820001

The nominations are now all in and the closing date is past and so over the coming weeks we are profiling those shortlisted for the 2019 Sleaford Town Awards.

The awards are brought by Sleaford Town Council in partnership with The Sleaford Standard and the eventual winners will be invited to an evening ceremony on Thursday, April 25 at Sleaford Town Hall.

Hollie and Ryan Blankley of Watergate Yard. EMN-191203-144612001

Hollie and Ryan Blankley of Watergate Yard. EMN-191203-144612001

Among the categories is the Business of the Year Award.

Lunettes Opticians

One candidate is Lunettes Opticians of Southgate, established in 1992 by Tushar Majithia. The group later opened practices in Grantham and Ruskington, where they provide NHS and private eye tests and treatment.

Tushar is Councillor with the Association of Optometrists and chairman of Primary Eyecare Ltd (Lincolnshire). He is a co-opted trustee of The Eyecare Trust and former Vice Chairman for National Eye Health Week.

Big Jump Trampoline Club officially opened by Olympic trampoline coach Paul Greaves. From left - Stephanie Osborn, Katie Spencer and Paul Greaves with squad members Amy Patchett 13, Tasha Fortune 15, Evie Baldwin 13, Megan McMillan 13, Lucy Lloyd 11, Ryan McAndrew 13. EMN-191203-145248001

Big Jump Trampoline Club officially opened by Olympic trampoline coach Paul Greaves. From left - Stephanie Osborn, Katie Spencer and Paul Greaves with squad members Amy Patchett 13, Tasha Fortune 15, Evie Baldwin 13, Megan McMillan 13, Lucy Lloyd 11, Ryan McAndrew 13. EMN-191203-145248001

Each Christmas the business teams up with as many as 12 local primary schools to collect thousands of old or unwanted glasses for charity as part of Lunettes’ annual recycling campaign, supporting Vision Aid Overseas charity to help people in developing countries who are unable to receive eye care.

Managing Directo Tushar said: “This is the third year we have run our glasses campaign within regional schools and we’ve had even more support than ever.”

Lunettes Opticians also raised £106.20 by carrying out repairs and servicing spectacles for patients and asking them to donate to Vision Aid Overseas. And optometrists from Lunettes went in to schools and gave a talk to pupils about the importance of eye health.

The opticians last year won the Association of Optometrists Award for their recycling campaign.

The business also entered into the annual Armed Forces Week offering 10 per cent discount for Armed Forces personnel.

Watergate Yard

Another nominee for Business of the Year is Watergate Yard, which was opened last summer by Ryan and Hollie Blankley.

Having made a success of Bar 51 in Southgate, they took on the former Rose and Crown, renaming it Watergate Yard and after six months of trading they were nominated for Pub of the Year in the Taste of Excellence Awards for the county.

Ryan and Hollie completely renovated the 300-year-old building, with help from friends. The couple have refurbished guest rooms upstairs too. The garden area is a key feature, with beer barrel tables and a tin ‘shack’ shelter.

Hollie said: “There isn’t an outside space like it in Sleaford, it feels such an oasis of calm.”

The business has a staff of 12 and live music plays a big part in the atmosphere as well as a growing menu.

Ryan said: “There has been really great hype about us opening and we are humbled by the support. Sleaford has such a strong sense of community. We want everyone to do well.”

Their nomination goes on: “They work hard to entertain Sleaford and support Sleaford. They welcome families in, dogs and children.

“Ryan is the nicest person and guy I know in Sleaford, he always smiles and helps in any way.

“A local football team was struggling in Sleaford and he came forward and sponsored them.”

They add: “I was in the yard for some outside music around Christmas time on a Sunday afternoon. There were some older people and a few in mobility scooters. I saw Ryan go over and wrap a blanket round them - their faces were a picture.”

Big Jumps Trampoline Club

Our third nominee for Business of the Year (as well as Sports Club of the Year) is Big Jumps Trampoline Club.

The club first started two years ago and has moved several times into different schools and sports centres, but has finally got its own facility on Sleaford Enterprise Park.

This is why one of those nominating the club believed it should be Business of the Year.

The club is entirely voluntary run, so for the club to have made and saved the money to get its own facility is seen as an achievement in itself. The grand opening took place in February with Olympic coach Paul Greaves opening the club and giving support.

The club is said to be welcoming and offers a safe space in which children, young people and even adults can come together, learn a new skill, keep fit and have fun. The young people in particular have excelled in local competitions and many are now active volunteers.

The club has offered the children opportunities to train with Olympic coaches, while getting an excellent balance between competition and fun.

Head coach Stephanie Osborn has also been nominated for Coach of the Year for her hard work and dedication put into the club and its members. One club member came 1st last year in contest in Denmark which the club travels to each year. Steph is always looking at how to improve the club and its members through training or getting more coaches to take part.

One nomination says: “If it wasn’t for this amazing club my son would have given up trampolining, something he truly loves. Now he has big dreams of representing Team GB.”