Shropshire crafters and makers are being sought to showcase their products at a national award ceremony being held in Shropshire later this month.
The Dyslexia Awards will take place at Enginuity in Ironbridge on September 24 and will showcase the achievements and talents of dyslexics nationwide.
The event will be attended by around 120 guests and the celebrations will be livestreamed up and down the UK throughout the evening.
Awards founder Elizabeth Wilkinson MBE, from Wellington, said she wanted the event to be a real celebration and wants local crafters and producers to have an opportunity to showcase their products and talents to the captive audience by supplying table gifts.
She said: “The awards started in Shropshire six years ago and I have run my business in Shropshire for more than 15 years so I know first-hand how vibrant the county is and that we have a vast array of talented entrepreneurs and small businesses creating and making the most wonderful products. This is a great opportunity for them to put those products in front of a wonderful diverse and eclectic audience.
“For the first time this year, all nine awards have been open to nominations from right across the UK so we will have people attending on the night that have travelled from all over.
“In today’s challenging climate, I’m hugely passionate about giving our small businesses the chance to shine and showcase their own success and we are looking for 12 small businesses to provide table gifts for our guests on the night.
“Each business will be able to provide 10 gift packages and we want these to be a real talking point for those attending the awards.
“In previous years, we’ve found them to be a real ice breaker and a conversation starter for guests, particularly those finalists who are feeling a bit nervous at the start of the evening.
“We are happy to help businesses wishing to be involved and guide them on what they can include in their gift package.
“We suggest business owners think creatively on packaging and gift content to really wow our guests as it’s a super opportunity for them to be able to show off their products ahead of Christmas and start filling up their order books.
As well as gift sponsors, the awards team are also looking for bigger businesses across the county and further afield to become table name sponsors at a cost of £150 per table.
“Again, this is a great opportunity for slightly larger businesses to be involved in the awards. We are looking for table sponsors which share our values and promote diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and we’re happy to share more details with interested companies.
“The judging process is now complete and all the finalists have been notified and we absolutely cannot wait for the celebrations in a few weeks,” added Eli.
“We’ve received so many fantastic entries from dyslexic artists, entrepreneurs, innovators and community champions, as well as some really heart-warming nominations for tutors, teachers and support staff who work tirelessly to support dyslexics in educational settings, workplaces and communities across the UK.
“The judges have really enjoyed reading the nominations this year and, as always have been so impressed and humbled by the work that people are doing.”
The Dyslexia Awards is an annual event held to showcase the diverse skills and strengths of dyslexic people and those supporting them.
There are nine awards up for grabs at this year’s event and these are: Learning Support Award, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) Award, Exceptional Educator Award, Amazing Artist Award, Entrepreneur Award, Community Shining Star Award (20plus), Community Shining Star Award (aged 13-19), Innovation Award and Supportive Employer Award.
Eli, who is dyslexic herself, was awarded an MBE for her services to dyslexia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Through her work and the awards she is committed to showcasing the commitment and inspiration of educators, marking the achievements of dyslexic individuals and celebrating diversity in the workplace to bring about positive changes in society.
For more information about the Dyslexia Awards visit https://theddc.org.uk/dyslexiaawards/