Shaping Awards

Every year at the Shaping Portsmouth Conference, we present awards to businesses, organisations and individuals for their work within the city. Each of the Shaping Programmes has its own award, and the winners are nominated and chosen by the programme members.


Kindly sponsored by the Southern Co-Operative and presented by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Lee Mason.

Portsmouth Ambassador of the Year

Marisa Armstrong

1- Ambassador

Marisa has been a wonderful addition to the Ambassadors steering group.
She often brings food to share with the group, always helps with clearing up, and recently ran the first Ambassadors Steering Group social event.
She always offers to help out however she can. Marisa is very dedicated to promoting Portsmouth with all it wonderful opportunities.
She is eager to show and promote several different aspects of Portsmouth especially through " Meet Up" she invites large groups 30/50 people and hosts their visits to Pub Music evenings and Restaurant dinner evenings and a variety of other social options.

Outstanding Contribution to Shaping by an Individual

Justine Arnold

2 - Individual

Justine is so very committed to Shaping Portsmouth and her volunteer role with them. She is passionate, thoughtful, conscientious and hard working and we are all very proud of her.
Her commitment to the Roadmap To A Career programme this last year has been brilliant and the number of hours she put has been significant.

Outstanding Contribution to Shaping Portsmouth by an Organisation

The Guildhall Trust

3 - Organisation

The team at the Guildhall have shown a long-standing commitment to supporting Shaping Portsmouth and the programmes we deliver. 

Whether it's finding talented volunteers to join the steering groups, or gifting us meeting room space, they have always said yes when we’ve asked for help. 

Start-Up of the Year

The Little Calm Company

4 - Start-Up

The Little Calm Company provide office-based massage therapy to workers, helping reduce workplace stress and muscular issues. 

In the past 6 months, Helen Richards has built her client base from scratch to nearly 30 corporate clients across South Hampshire and the Solent Region, sometimes providing up to 60 massages in one day! 

These 5-minute-massages are having a positive impact on the workplace health & wellbeing of her clients, helping reduce neck and shoulder pain, improve circulation, and reduce workplace stress. 

Feedback from her clients is universally positive, and her fledgling business continues to grow. 

Volunteer of the Year

Hayley Wheeler, University of Portsmouth Global Office

5 - Volunteer

In November 2017 Global Office employee Hayley Wheeler became aware of the ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ project which is designed to celebrate the festive season by giving useful items such as boxed / canned goods, coffee / tea, toiletries, unwanted or unopened gifts, books, dvds, games etc to those in the local community that may require additional support. 

The event was launched by Hayley in November and by the closing date in December, a total of nine departments had become involved. Hayley’s vision to donate a box of useful materials to those that might be in need had grown and hundreds of items which were delivered to two local support centres.

Following the overwhelming success of this project, and in conjunction with her own ‘Delivering Excellence’ participation, Hayley developed a new campaign entitled “It’s pants on the streets”. The concept was borne through discussions with local support centres who advised that underwear was always in short supply. Running in a similar fashion to the ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ campaign, the objective was to connect with people, both in teams and departments across campus, whilst at the same time supporting those in need locally.

The campaign launched at Easter supported by the local Co-operative store and 200 pairs of underwear were donated to the LifeHouse support centre in Southsea, from fourteen departments across the university. 

Shaping Portsmouth Community Award

WetWheels Solent

6 - Community

Wetwheels takes in excess of 1,500 disabled people on the water each year. 80% of those people have never been on the water before and approximately 25% of those people have profound and complex disabilities. Wetwheels is unique, it is the only motorboating charity in the world and Portsmouth should be proud to have Wetwheels based here in the City.

This year their work has been recognised by the Prime Minister, who awarded them a Point of Light Award in recognition of the contribution they are making to volunteering and to making our seas accessible to disabled people. Wetwheels also received a letter of commendation from the Minister of Sport and they won the Federation of Small Business Entrepreneur Award, they won the National Diversity Awards for entrepreneurship, they were named British Marine Charity of the Year and they were runners-up in the Civil Society, Charity of the Year.

They are an outstanding social enterprise doing some truly innovative and meaningful work with those most vulnerable in our society, including their award-winning Harbour Breezes project which focuses on getting people living with dementia out on the water.


Kindly sponsored by the Southern Co-Operative and presented by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Ken Ellcome.

Portsmouth Ambassador of the Year

Andrew Starr

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Andrew’s dedication to the Portsmouth Ambassador programme and his tireless energy and commitment has been in evidence throughout the year. Standing in for the volunteer chair, and spending hours helping out at Victorious festival. His constant passion with new ideas is an inspiration to us all. 

New Start-Up of the Year

Company of Makers [Steve Bomford and Rachel Owen]

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Our next award went to a pair of entrepreneurs who have started an amazing business in the Hotwalls where they take Military uniforms and lovingly and quite brilliantly create items for the home that the families can use. Their passion for the ex-service personnel is brilliant and their personalities shines through in this excellent new business.   

Outstanding Contribution to shaping Portsmouth by an Individual

Hugh Cull

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What can you say about this legend of the Shaping Ambassador programme? Typifying everything we want the programme to be: energentic, passionate and totally involved in the City. His brilliant delivery of the training is one of the main reasons we are scaling this programme so quickly, and he thoroughly deserves to be recognised for the hours upon hours of time he gives. 

Outstanding Contribution to Shaping Portsmouth by a Company

Gunwharf Quays

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It is sometimes very difficult to separate one contribution from another as we have so many City organisations that give their resources to us freely and willingly. But this team have been so supportive this year they have totally deserved this award. From advising us around our media & communications, to hosting us for numerous meeting and events, to the Made In Portsmouth programme they are so generously running this year.

Volunteer of the Year

Business Support Bank Team [Peter Grant and WSX Enterprise, Alison Hessleberth from PCC, and David Patterson of Know-Now Information]

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Ideas are great, and great ideas are sometimes difficult to get off the ground but this team have developed one of Shaping’s most innovative, most successful projects this year. The Business Support Bank as you will see later is growing from strength to strength, so our joint Volunteer of the Year award goes to the team behind it’s success.

Apprentice of the Year

Mark Rogers

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Mark became known to Land Rover BAR as the Banksman and Labourer for the main contractors who built the team base on the Camber in Old Portsmouth in 2015. 

On completion of the build, the team immediately hired him as Base Maintenance Assistant, where he showed an incredible work ethic. Within just 2.5 years with the team he has achieved a huge amount, completing both an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Facilities Services and an Advance Level Apprenticeship in Facilities Management. 

In the past month he has been promoted to become their full time Facilities Manager and we all agreed that he would be a fantastic choice for Shaping Portsmouth's 2017 Apprentice of the Year!

Apprentice of the Year: Honourable Mention

Joanne Reed

Joanne is completing her Apprenticeship as a Teaching Assistant at Northern Parade Junior School. She is completing all three functional skills in addition to this, whilst supporting her family. She is driven, passionate and incredibly hard working, and has a wonderful patience and nurturing attitude towards the children.

Liam Cole 

Coming to the John Pounds Centre with little experience of the working world and of working in and for the community, Liam’s enthusiasm to learn, to work for the business, to develop as an individual, and natural flair for customer service, has resulted in an NVQ in Business Admin, and becoming a integral member of the John Pounds Centre Customer Service team.


Kindly sponsored by the Southern Co-Operative and presented by the Lord Mayor, Cllr David Fuller.

Business & Enterprise


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Mick Collins started Chocablock from the upstairs room of an Albert Road hairdressers in April 2014. It instantly became clear that chocolate and hairdressers did not work, so a month later opened his first shop in Copner Road. A steep learning curve followed, whereby the addition of coffee, cake and light lunches were added to the menu.
The big break came from the Royal Martitime Club when he was hired to provide his chocolates for their events. This led to a new market, which has been developed into a sustainable area in its own right.
Three years later, Mick has four staff helping him, uses the café, which is fully licensed, to host evening events and has developed the corporate arm, which now includes multinational clients, including some based in Belgium.

Cultural Partnership

Urban Vocal Group

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The Urban Vocal Group was formed in Havant in 2008 to provide free access to vocal tuition and performance opportunities for young people aged 11 – 18 in disadvantaged areas of Portsmouth and Havant. They specialise in group vocals, composition, performance and recording, and deliver free weekly sessions and training opportunities regardless of ability or experience. Since forming, over 380 young people have been actively involved with the UVG resulting in over 13,000 attendances to 690 sessions. They currently have an average of 75 young people attending weekly projects in Havant and Portsmouth. The group has performed at over 80 events across the South including at Victorious Festival, Portsmouth Guildhall, Kings Theatre, New Theatre Royal and The House of Commons and have released 7 original compositions via their own record label.
What UVG does not only encourages excellent music making, but also builds confidence and raises aspiration, enabling young people to make positive life choices. Evidence suggests that participation in UVG activities has had beneficial effects on young peoples’ employment or education prospects. In a recent survey of 50 past and present UVG members aged 16+, none of them at all were in the NEET (Not Education Employment Training) category.

Destination Marketing Partnership

TeamOrigin Events

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TeamOrigin are the Events team who ran the 2015 and 2016 Portsmouth events for the America’s Cup World Series. The recently published economic impact survey by KPMG shows that these two events have had a substantial impact on the local economy here in Portsmouth, with a total to-date gross value generated in the City of 13 and a half million pounds. There have been positive impacts to employment, with nearly 200 full time equivalent job places, and over 600 volunteers at the two events. The international profile of Portsmouth has also benefitted greatly, with the total media spend covering the events approaching £40m, and images of our City being broadcast worldwide.

Developers Group

Deniz Beck

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Deniz Beck has worked as Architect on all the Solent sea fortifications; No Mans Land, St Helens, Horse Sand and Spitbank Forts, where Spitbank Fort is now part of Clarenco’s “Amazing Retreats” portfolio and in 2013 was awarded with two trophies: the RIBA Conservation and Regional Awards. It was also presented with the Best Renovation award by the Portsmouth Society in the same year.
The Hotwalls Studios were completed last July and that is being submitted to this year’s awards. This most loved area of the city with the Scheduled Ancient Monument needed a particularly sensitive approach. Deniz admits it was one of the most difficult projects she had ever worked on, becoming an emotional roller-coaster, with the local residents polarised by the project into pro- and anti- camps during the public consultation process. However, many of those same anti residents came later said how pleased they were with the result after seeing the finished project.


Royal Navy

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The Royal Navy have shown leadership and commitment in helping to sustain future capabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. They have done this by being one of the principal sponsors involved in the development of the City’s first University Technical College, and with their enduring support for wider strategies developing the engineers of tomorrow.

Future Generations

Marie Clarke School of Dance

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The Marie Clarke School of Dance is a well-established, Portsmouth based dance school. Their pupils have represented the England Team at the Dance World Cup, winning many medals including Gold Medals in the Junior Quartet, Junior Duet, and Senior Group Tap Dances in 2015. The School also supports and runs a number of local shows and events throughout the year.

Social Enterprise

The Recycled Assets Company

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The Recycled Assets Company is a Hampshire based environmental social enterprise founded with the key goals of relocating, storing and clearing companies’ assets in a way that protects the environment and supports disadvantaged people back into meaningful work. In 2016, TRACO has recycled 204 tonnes of wood, 70 tonnes of paper, and 78 tonnes of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Much of the furniture and equipment they acquire ends up being donated to charities and worthy causes, including Sue Ryder, The Rainbow Centre, and Stella’s Voice. With a 50% increase in paid staff, and 5 new apprenticeships, TRACO are also working to support unemployment, and have seen an increase in the number of work placements for the long-term unemployed in support of the Solent Jobs Initiative. They have also invested 125 thousand in staff training and development.


Kindly sponsored by the Southern Co-Operative and presented by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Frank Jonas.

Business & Enterprise

Toucan Diversity

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Toucan Diversity is a non-profit organisation that provides equality training with a focus on disability, in order to promote social inclusion for the most disadvantaged groups in our society. Toucan Diversity officially started trading in November 2014 and have secured funding from the Big Lottery in January 2015. They have been running Disability Equality training events in London, Richmond and Portsmouth.  All trainers are, or are working towards becoming accredited and all they have direct experience of the issues they discuss.

Love Southsea

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Love Southsea is a Portsmouth-based events movement, dedicated to hosting some of the city’s best days out, and specialising in markets, both standalone and as elements of larger events. Love Southsea was founded in 2008 with the intention of giving local traders and creators opportunities to sell their wares, providing more things for locals and tourists to do, and ultimately giving prospective visitors another reason to come to Portsmouth.

Cultural Partnership

Bathsheba Piepe

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Bathsheba Piepe has had great success since first training at the Groundlings Theatre in Portsmouth. She has toured nationally not only with Groundlings Theatre but also has appeared on the West End in several lead roles which she has had five star reviews and much acclaim both from critics and public alike. She has managed to secure one of the UKs top agents who represent the cream of the acting world. She has continued to champion the arts in the city and beyond.

The award was accepted on Bathsheba's behalf by Richard Stride from Groundlings Theatre.

The Olesker Family

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Anna has been a stalwart of Community engagement projects for many years, including the Dot to Dot project in Paulsgrove and more recently, Fratton Big Local and Top Banana Circus. Stuart worked at Portsmouth University, has co-written a number of plays featuring local stories and personalities, working alongside local professional actors to produce the plays. Their sons also work in the arts. Leo works in the film industry, performs as a rapper in London and is working on his debut album. Max has previously been nominated for the top Edinburgh Comedy Award, appeared at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, as an actor appearing in the BBC's self-satire W1A with Hugh Bonneville with comedy partner Ivan. Together they have had a whole series featuring them aired on Radio 4. Huw Olesker has been touring with DJ Yoda's Breakfast of Champions, appearing at almost all of the UK's top festivals this summer, including a main stage appearance at Bestival this year."

Destination Marketing Partnership

The Square Tower

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The Square Tower is a beautiful Tudor tower right on the waterfront in Old Portsmouth. Since Steve and Julia Hender took over the Square Tower in 2011 the number of weddings has risen fivefold, making it the most popular venue of civil wedding ceremonies on the South Coast. This brings huge amount of inward investment to Portsmouth. In addition to weddings, they host many public events such as plays, gigs, fairs, as well as private events for 100s of companies and individuals from banquets to funerals, and product launches to film shoots, all helping to contribute to the Destination Offering of Portsmouth.

Victorious Festival

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Victorious Festival is the two day family-friendly music festival a stone’s throw from Southsea Seafront, and has continued to grow with a staggering capacity of 60,000 people per day in 2015. Combining international music headliners with local acts, traders & Southsea’s own Seafront attractions has created the perfect blend of Portsmouth pride in the local community and made visiting the area on Victorious weekend a firm calendar commitment for many in and around the South Coast. Victorious Festival is making waves further afield too and becoming recognised for re-defining the festival scene by creating an affordable, value-for-money festival that caters for all ages. Festival go-ers have shown support by voting in their thousands to confirm that Victorious Festival is now short listed for ‘Best Major Festival’ and ‘Best Family Festival’ amongst industry heavy weights, Glastonbury and Isle Of Wight Festival.

Developers Group

New Theatre Royal

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The challenges faced by the Theatre Royal to extend and refurbish this wonderful building are plain for all to see. What is not so easy to see is the many years of planning, fund raising and teamwork involved for such a massive undertaking. This project demonstrates the best qualities of a development of its kind and all the team should be congratulated.

Garage Lounge

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Industrial buildings in city centres are often disregarded for refurbishment and are instead swept away without much thought, but when someone has the vision to change the use and refurbish, sometimes the results can be surprising and delightful. Such is the case with garage Lounge. The interior is an eclectic mix of old style shop, warehouse and workshop all rolled into one and a wonderful addition to the facility and street scene of the area. 

Education Workstream

Mary Rose Trust Education team

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The Mary Rose Education Department is a very busy one, offering learning opportunities for all ages and abilities, in the purpose built Stavros Niarchos foundation learning centre, classroom, and laboratory. They organise school visits, CPD for teachers, family learning, and community outreach.

Snows BMW

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The team at Snows BMW have been helping with the Education Workstream’s School Visits projects, visiting school children for informational and educational sessions looking at showing them a bit about the world of work.

Future Generations Workstream

Jerry Williams

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Jerry Williams is a 19yr old Singer-Songwriter from Portsmouth, who draws the inspiration for her lyrics from her life growing up in the City. Following the theme of ‘Made it in Portsmouth’, Jerry Williams has shown that with commitment, hard work and determination achieving your dreams is possible. A true testament to the future generation of Portsmouth, we hope that Jerry’s success will help to inspire other young people to realise their own potential and unlock success.

Lakeside 1000

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The Lakeside Business Centre have continuously helped to develop and deliver unique and invaluable experience of the world of work. The strong relationship they have with their occupiers has enabled them to give young people an insight into the opportunities that exist after education, inspiring them to try and achieve future career opportunities and helping to raise overall aspirations.

Social Enterprise

Lily and Lime

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Lily and Lime are being presented this award, as a relatively new and quickly expanding social enterprise providing work place learning and training for young people with Learning Disabilities. Anita started up the CIC after attending Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs. Their training programmes go from the allotment, through food production to service and selling. They started with pop-up cafes in Emsworth, and run a monthly night at a restaurant in Petersfield. On 1st September they look over the cafe space at Aspex Gallery on a 7-month residency, and are now running a training kitchen on the 3rd floor of Portsmouth Central Library.

The Girls Network

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The Girls network is a good example of a social enterprise making social impact across the country which has scaled and been rolled out to Portsmouth. They work with schools and businesses enabling girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their potential through mentoring guidance and support.



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Since 1998, Motiv8 has been working to improve the life chances of young people to reduce the risk of offending, anti-social behaviour and disengagement from learning or employment. They deliver in partnership with schools to provide Group Programmes including accredited alternative learning and outdoor activities. They provide individual personalised support to help get young people into college or a job.


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One of the most eminent training providers on the south coast, PETA provide high quality service and training through apprenticeships, including in the ICT, Business and Engineering sectors.


Kindly sponsored by the Southern Co-Operative and presented by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Steven Wylie

Business & Enterprise

Small Business Award: Janet Myers Photography

01 BE1 - Janet Myers

Big Business Award: BEA Solutions

02 BE2 - BEA Solutions

Cultural Partnership
Small Business Award: Wymering Manor

03 CP1 - Wymering Manor

Big Business Award: Hilsea Lido

04 CP2 - Hilsea Lido

Destination Marketing Partnership
Small Business Award: Kings Theatre Volunteering/Youth Theatre project

05 DMP1 - Kings Theatre

Big Business Award: Spinnaker Tower Guest Services

06DMP2 - Spinnaker Tower

Developers Group
Small Business Award: Southsea Beach Café

07 DG1 - Southsea Beach Cafe

Big Business Award: Allied Developments (for Ben Ainslie Racing project)

08 DG2 - Allied Developments

Small Business Award: Steve Piper of Si Digital

09 Edu1 - Si Digital

Big Business Award: BAE Systems

10 Edu2 - BAE Systems

Future Generations
Small Business Award: The Boleh Project

11 FG1 - Boleh Project

Big Business Award: D-Day Youth project

12 FG2 - D-Day Youth Project

Small Business Award: White Swan – Brewhouse and Kitchen

13 SK1 - White Swan

Big Business Award: Parkwood Community

14 SK2 - Parkwood Community

Social Enterprise
Small Business Award: Canvas Coffee Shop

15 SE1 - Canvas Coffee Shop

Big Business Award: The Beneficial Foundation

16 SE2 - The Beneficial Foundation



The team at the Guildhall have shown a long standing commitment to supporting Shaping Portsmouth and the programmes we deliver.


Whether it's finding talented volunteers to join the steering groups, or gifting us meeting room space, they have always said yes when we’ve asked for help. 

Web Design: morph pr and marketing web design  Graphic Design: Mondas Matt tiny


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