Winners at the Manchester PA of the Year Awards 2016!!

Louise Attenborough, Chocolate Collective

Last night saw the return of the Manchester PA of the Year Awards and what an occasion it was.  Marked in the calendar of PA’s across Manchester and beyond, with hair and nail appointments just before, the evening seeks to recognise and celebrate the significant contributions of the support professional to businesses throughout the city.

And we’re proud to say that Queen Bee PA were not only shortlisted for two awards but even managed to scoop one!

The theme was ‘Your sparkle has not gone unnoticed’ and boy did that shine through.  Everything from the twinkly lights to the lit-up hashtag letters to the glitzy dresses to the phenomenal diamond raffle courtesy of Paul Granelli, added up to a truly dazzling evening.

The Palace hotel did themselves proud, showing off their superb refurb in all its glory and letting slip about the new branding soon to be announced.  The food was lovely and we were entertained between courses by the powerful Eli Cripps from BBC’s The Voice.

It’s fair to say that MC Emma Jesson had her work cut out with the excitable audience but carried out her role with aplomb as the award ceremony began.

Helen and I had been nominated and subsequently shortlisted for the PA Team of the Year category, following some overwhelmingly kind endorsements from our Clients.  We were floored when the Manchester PA Network announced that they had also decided to add us to the Ambassador category as well.  We didn’t fool ourselves, we knew both these categories were tough with some hugely influential businesses and some equally phenomenal talent – the competition was strong.  But that doesn’t stop the little flutter of hope as the nominees are announced and Queen Bee’s picture flicks on screen.

PA Team of the Year was won by PwC VA Team and was well deserved as their revolutionary virtual model is showing businesses just how flexible working patterns can be.  It also helps add a significant voice as we continue to educate the business world on the valuable and alternative service a VA provides.  That said, cue sound of heart sinking…

Half a glass of prosecco later and the Ambassador category was announced.  This was tough.  The ladies in this category were all deserving; championing the network and supporting fellow PA’s in the development of their careers.  We’ve always felt our role was to bring a new dynamic to the PA Network and advise others looking to dip their toes into the world of a VA, so felt we stood as good a chance as any.  But it was not to be as Tracey Williams from Indigo Planning took to the stage to accept her award.  Cue wobbly bottom lip…

Helen was there in spirit!

So that’s a wrap, the awards are done…or so we thought.  As co-founders Amanda Hargreaves and Mel Sheehy took to the stage, I knew we were all in for a surprise but I was not prepared for what happened next.  The ladies announced a Special Recognition Award and as they started to describe two deserving people, one of which was on holiday (Helen’s currently with family in Nice), the adrenaline kicked in and so did the tears!

As I walked up on stage, carrying Helen’s head on a stick (!!! – see photo), all I could think about was how overwhelmingly supported we have been by the Network.  Queen Bee’s a bit left of field, a bit different but my god we work hard and to hear everyone’s cheers and claps was just so wonderful.

The Manchester PA Network is designed to give PA’s, EA’s and VA’s (!!) the opportunity to meet, network and collaborate with other individuals in their profession.  It has offered an invaluable source of encouragement and support for Queen Bee PA, so to win this award feels we have credibly earned our place in the Manchester PA scene.


We still have some work to do with plenty asking ‘What’s a VA?’ on the night, but with this kind of backing, we’re confident we will continue to make inroads.

Amanda, Mel and Holly from Make Events should be hugely proud of the evening’s success, it was fun, glitzy and fabulous.  We’re hugely grateful to them and Robert Walters for putting on a fantastic event, but moreover for raising £5000 for deserving charity The Christie in the process, bringing their total to date to a whopping £70,000!

Special recognition logo

We won!!

I’d be high-fiving Helen with a glass of champagne in my hand right now if it weren’t for the fact that (a) Helen’s still in Nice and (b) my head is a little bit sore, but the weekend is yet young!!!  Thanks to our amazing Clients for getting us here, to the Network for their continuous backing and well done to all who entered, were shortlisted or won!  Your sparkle has not gone unnoticed.