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Competition A F Blakemore Launches 'Short Supportive Stories' to recognise 'Women in Blakemore'


A F Blakemore, one of the UK’s largest independently owned businesses, has announced the winners of their first Women in Blakemore Awards, via a story book. The book launch amalgamates the stories of the winners and their nominees. 

The awards, created to champion and recognise diversity and inclusivity in the business, called for nominations across six categories. Two of the categories requested entries from any gender recognising the importance of men and women working together to initiate change. 

women in blakemore book

Over 7,000 employees were asked to vote for who they thought was worthy of one of the six awards ranging from Outstanding Female Influencer, Outstanding Diversity and Inclusiveness, Female Dream Builder, Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding Resilience and Outstanding Male SupportHER.

Group Marketing Director, Sarah Ellis, said: “We were delighted to see so many people nominating their colleagues and we were even happier to see the level of detail people have gone to in their nominations. The comments received were caring, kind, considered and underpinned our values as a business. 

“We wanted people to understand the value of how others viewed them. The idea to launch a story book came about when we were reading the entries, we felt other people could learn from them too. 


“For us to move forward as a business, we need to find ways to positively influence. The Women in Blakemore Awards has taken people on a journey, to showcase best practice and to demonstrate the impact that positive behaviour can have on people’s lives.”

The book, Women in Blakemore Supportive Short Stories, is hoped to encourage many others to follow in the winner’s footsteps. Or at least make a small step further towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Ruth Mutton, Blakemore Retail Regional Manager, was named joint first place for the Outstanding Female Influencer with Jo Wrate, Head of Trading. Both had been selected for their passion and commitment to inspiring and motivating their team, community and beyond. 

Jo said: “The award means a lot to me. I try really hard to put my heart and soul into all of the things that I do. If you have to go to work you may as well have fun and be successful in doing it. To be recognised for this award means a lot. Particularly as it was voted for by my lovely colleagues.”

Chris Bacon who won the award for Outstanding Male SupportHER was nominated by his colleagues for supporting many women to step up to progress and develop themselves. He has given many hours coaching and mentoring time to the ladies he works with which has changed the pathway and careers for many Women in Blakemore. 

Accepting the award Chris said: “Managing the people I work with is an absolute privilege. I was completely stunned by the award and very proud to receive it.”

To read all the set of short stories of the winners across six categories, download the book here. 

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