The Alternative Business Awards: Newcastle charity unveils fundraiser supported by Brendan Healy and Anna Foster

The Alternative Business Awards, which raises funds for The Percy Hedley Foundation and its Splash Appeal, is in its 15th year and will take place the same week as the Irish celebration of St Patrick's Day

David Hughes
Comedian Brendan Healy

An awards night giving regional businesses a chance to show their fun side for charity is taking on an Irish theme this year.

The Alternative Business Awards, which raises funds for The Percy Hedley Foundation and its Splash Appeal, is in its 15th year and will take place the same week as the Irish celebration of St Patrick’s Day.

Organisers are bringing a host of Irish-inspired categories to the event, which will be hosted by Brendan Healy and Anna Foster, and will see the return of the Opportunity Knackered talent show.

Quirky award categories include The Shamrock Award for someone who has all the luck and The Irish Dancing Award for someone who is quick on their feet.

The event aims to be alternative in every sense of the word, recognising employees and businesses for things they would not usually get recognition for.

© North News & Pictures ltd The Percy Hedley Foundation 'Alternative Diamond Business Awards 201
The Percy Hedley Foundation 'Alternative Diamond Business Awards 2013'
 

This year’s theme was chosen by The Percy Hedley Foundation because the awards will take place on March 20, just three days after St Patrick’s Day on March 17, at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House, in Newcastle.

Alternative Business Awards Committee chair John Mowbray said: “The awards ceremony this year will have an Irish theme and fun and laughter is the name of the game.

“Although the categories have humorous titles, they are very worthwhile. The Good Craic Award for example will be awarded to someone that is very engaging. A very important quality that is not really recognised elsewhere.”

Last time the event, which runs every two years, raised £18,000 from sponsors and participants.

The Percy Hedley Foundation was set up in the North East by parents to provide services to disabled people and this year aims to raise £1m for its Splash Appeal to build a hydrotherapy pool and a 26-bed residential home to help disabled children, young people and adults in the North East.

© North News & Pictures ltd The Percy Hedley Foundation 'Alternative Diamond Business Awards 2013'
The Percy Hedley Foundation 'Alternative Diamond Business Awards 2013'
 

Percy Hedley fundraiser and event organiser Maria Hallett said: “The Alternative Business Awards is a great event to be involved in and it has become part of the business calendar in the region. People genuinely look forward to it coming around as it really is such a fun night.

“It’s wonderful to have so many businesses involved in all sorts of ways, to recognise their achievements but also to raise much needed funds for The Percy Hedley Foundation.”

This year the award categories are being sponsored by Northumbrian Water, Esh Group, Gateshead College, Gordon Brown Law Firm, The North East Chamber of Commerce, and Tolent Construction, with marketing and PR support from Press Ahead and Shiremoor Press.

The Percy Hedley Foundation is appealing for more businesses to sponsor award categories at the event and tickets are now on sale. To find out more, become a sponsor or to buy tickets, which are £20, contact Maria Hallett, on 0191 238 1302, or email m.hallett@percyhedley.org.uk.

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