A young fundraiser from Pendleside Hospice was crowned Lancashire’s Employee of the Year at Lancashire’s Sub36 Awards.
Leah Hutchinson (31) triumphed at the awards, which form part of Lancashire Business View’s campaign to showcase the county’s young business talent.
Leah has worked for the hospice in a fundraising role for the past 18 months, but her connection to Pendleside first began when her best friend died at the hospice aged just 21.
She said: “I got my BA Hons in Sports Science with the intention of pursuing a teaching career, but all that changed when Rachel passed away. I applied for a position at Pendleside after experiencing the amazing care she – and we, her friends and family – received.”
Leah faced tough competition within her category, being one of six employees from across the county shortlisted – all of which were interviewed by the Sub36 team earlier this month.
Following her award win, Leah said: “Winning this award is just amazing but really humbling at the same time. I work in a brilliant team at Pendleside and this is as much for them as it is for me. I’d like to thank Lisa Pearson for pushing me to do this!”
Lisa Pearson, Pendleside’s head of Income Generation, said: “As soon as the Sub36 awards were open for nominations, I knew Leah simply had to enter.
“She does an incredible job raising funds for us and in the past 12 months alone, she’s been instrumental in organising our car raffle and raising £30,000 in the process.
“Leah has a personal connection to Pendleside and we’re so glad she came to work with us following her best friend’s experience.
“We’re like a family here and she’s a big part of that.”
The awards ceremony was held in front of a sell-out crowd at the Blackpool Winter Gardens.