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Five Warwickshire Businesses & Charities Shortlisted For National Award


Charity founders and entrepreneurs in south Warwickshire are among the finalists in a national awards, it’s been revealed. The Seventh Family Network Recognition National Business Awards, which this year rewards resilience as well as excellence, attracted more than 800 nominations across the UK.

The local charity finalists are: Rachel Ollerenshaw, founder of Molly Olly’s Wishes in Warwick and Rachel Key, of Lifespace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The county also claims three of the five finalists in the Small Business of the Year category. They are Nikki Sayers, of Dandy Development in Leamington; Amanda Chalmers of Chalmers News PR, in Warwick and in the ‘Business Mum of the year’ category is Gemma Joyce of Just Dance in Stratford.

Gill Cleeve, from Stratford, is up for Networker of the Year.

Molly Olly’s Wishes

The charity supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to help with their emotional wellbeing. It also grants individual wishes and donates therapeutic books and toys to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.

Reacting to the awards news, Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Molly Olly’s are honoured to be named as one of the finalists in the Family Network Awards. None our work would be possible without the kindness and generosity of our supporters who help us in so many ways and enable us to support children facing very challenging circumstances.

“It has been a difficult year for us all in many ways, for Molly Olly’s it has been a year when we have seen a sharp increase in demand for our services at a time when fundraising has been more difficult. The families that we help have needed us more than ever and whilst it is always nice to get recognition of our work, hopefully this will highlight the charity and raise awareness so that we can continue to help.”


The trust works with families, schools, colleges, community groups and agencies in Warwickshire to offer time and confidential safe for one-to-one mentoring of children and young people to reduce stress, build resilience and enable them to achieve.

Rachel Key CEO at the Trust, said: “Young people have shown incredible resilience during the last year but many have found it tough. Our mentors, with the help of the amazing staff at our partner schools, have been totally committed to staying connected with young people who need time and space with an adult they trust – by phone, email, online and face-to-face when we could. This nomination is a testament to the incredible team of people who work and volunteer for us.”

Dandy Development

For the past 10 years it has been running baby and toddler development classes that combine baby sign, music, singing, movement, sensory stimulation, speech and language games.

Chalmers News PR

This public relations and news and copywriting agency was established two-and-a-half years ago by experienced Warwickshire journalist – and former newspaper editor – Amanda Chalmers, who now has more than 50 clients in her portfolio.

Just Dance

A dance school, established five years ago, which runs workshops in various styles for boys and girls aged two upwards providing an opportunity to gain self-confidence and learn in a friendly and fun atmosphere.

Gill Cleeve

Gill Cleeve is a former leader of Stratford’s branch of The Family Network and owner of Brookvale First Aid.

She said: “I know how vital networking is. I have connected many businesses and people together and help them create opportunities and build relationships, this has helped their businesses survive and even thrive during the pandemic. When we support small businesses, it’s not just the business we are helping but the person and the community behind it.”

The Family Network, which now boasts 22,000 members across the UK, was established 15 years ago by Laura Morris from Warwick and Victoria Alcock from Stratford (pictured below). It supports mums, dads and families in business with FREE networking events and affordable workshops, providing online and offline support without the need for membership fees.The winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony on Friday, May 21st.

Co-director Laura Morris said: “This year has been a very tough one for many businesses due to the pandemic but it is still absolutely amazing to see thriving businesses. We are always amazed at the level of the entries and this year has been no different.”

For more information on The Family Network visit: or contact Co-Director Laura Morris on 07909534000

Written by Amanda Chalmers of Chalmers News PR