Jet setting WOBA winner scoops top prize

Saturday March 24th 2018

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Audley Travel, a bespoke travel company that was started-up with money raised from a small car loan combined with its founder’s unrivalled passion for Vietnam, has been named the STL Communications West Oxfordshire Business of the Year 2018.

A glamorous ceremony to reveal the winners of this year’s West Oxfordshire Business Awards took place at Heythrop Park Resort last night, which also saw Audley Travel presented with the Sandler Training Large Business of the Year award.

WOBA judges said the company deserved recognition for its strong and flexible leadership, impressive business growth and for becoming a major employer in West Oxfordshire with over 300 staff at its head office in Witney with a further 400 employees split between London and Boston offices.

Ben Colbridge, Head of Canada, Alaska and the Antartica Programme for Audley Travel, said: “Although we are a truly global business, our company has been based in Oxfordshire for the majority of its lifetime and we are proud of our Witney location. Audley’s ethos is very much about ‘One Team’ – one of our values – so this award really does mean something to everyone at Audley.”

Other WOBA 2018 winners include:

  • Sassi (NFU Retail Award) a clothes shop for women in Witney founded by two ladies who invested £500 each five years ago. The successful duo now compete in a competitive High Street space, invited alongside buyers from well known brands to meetings with top fashion designers.
  • Safety Services UK (Owen Mumford Innovation Award) who have developed a Client Portal App to help small businesses from a variety of industries manage compliance audits, risk assessments and changes in legislation. The company is based at Long Hanborough and has been established since 1983.

WOBA 2018 winner, Lisa Clements, co-founder of Sassi, said: “We felt that we were winners anyway, but being a WOBA winner really is the icing on the cake. We are two working Mums who had a dream ten years ago and we have made our dream happen!”

Now in its eighth year, WOBA connects and celebrates a strong business community in West Oxfordshire.

Jo Sensecall, spokesperson for the WOBA organising team, said: “Congratulations to all WOBA 2018 winners who represent this year’s top West Oxfordshire businesses. All of them deserve the recognition that winning a business award provides to help shine a light on their hard work, dedication and what is being achieved collectively to help ensure our district continues to thrive.”

Over £2,800 was raised for Bridewell Organic Gardens, a mental health charity that provides horticultural and therapeutic care. Next year’s charity will be Volunteer Link-Up, winner of The Rooflight Company Charity of the Year Award 2018.

See the complete list of the WOBA 2018 winners.

All the 2018 WOBA Winners.