Falklands war hero Simon Weston CBE joined Council bosses to thank frontline workers for their

response to the Covid-19 pandemic at the Dartford Business Awards last Thursday.

After a three year Covid absence, Dartford Borough Council’s awards returned with a special

ceremony at Bluewater to thank the business and voluntary sector.

Special guest Simon Weston presented Covid Heroes awards to a range of organisations, reflecting

the efforts they made to keep Dartford running as the pandemic swept the world. They included an

award to the caring professions accepted by Darent Valley Hospital and to schools and teachers,

accepted by North Kent College and the Leigh Academies Trust. Local bus firm Arriva collected an

award on behalf of the transport sector, and the resilience of the town’s retailers was reflected in a

special award accepted by Bluewater and Esquire’s Coffee Shop.

Guests also heard from frontline workers about the struggles they faced during the darkest months

of the pandemic.

After celebrating Dartford’s Covid Heroes, attention turned to celebrating the local businesses great

and small who have continued to operate and thrive despite the difficulties of the past few years.

Former X Factor runner-up, bus driver and refuse collector Andy Abraham was a surprise guest to

entertain crowds at the ceremony at Bluewater.

Leader of the Council Jeremy Kite MBE: “It was essential that we brought the Dartford Business

Awards back to celebrate the individuals and companies that make the Borough such a great place

to work.

“However, we couldn’t just go back to business as usual, we had to thank the inspiring sectors who

worked so hard for all of us, whether they were saving lives, protecting us from infection, or just

keeping the lights on and the bins clear.

“I’d like to give a special thank you to Simon Weston CBE for attending last night’s ceremony. It was

an honour to have him there alongside our local heroes and he continues to inspire to this day, 40

years after his injuries were suffered in the Falklands.”

Last night’s winners were:

  • Dartford Living Customers’ Choice Award –
    • Jas’ Holistic Massage Therapy
    • Dartford Sports Bar
    • We Are Beams
    • Fleetdown Open House
  • Best Owner Managed Business;
    • Jay’s Carpet Cleaning
    • Rhizome Energy Limited
  • Young Person of the Year;
    • Erin Lambie of Doubletree by Hilton
    • Jacob Horiggan of Downton & Ali Associates
  • Employee of the Year
    • Kelly Monitcello of Sally Bees
  • Shop of the Year 
    • Dennis of Bexley
    • Cocoba Chocolate
    • Mappin & Webb Bluewater

Dartford Borough Council would like to thank all of last night’s sponsors:

Amazon LCY3 – Bluewater Shopping Centre – Cohesion Plus – Dartford Borough Council – Dartford Living – Europa Worldwide Group – LAT Apprenticeships – Leigh Academies Trust – Made in Kent Radio – North Kent College – Oxford Innovation Space – The Learning Shop – The Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre – Thomson Snell & Passmore – Urbaser.