Unsung Hero Award 2022
This category is unique as it recognises an individual, working for a tourism business, who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry.
The winner of this category and all the Lancashire Tourism Awards category winners will be announced at the awards event in February.
The 2022 finalists are as follows:
Jenna Bullows, Assistant Manager, The Whitehall Hotel and Distillery
Jenna’s passion for hospitality, her family business, began at the age of eight, helping to polish cutlery at the hotel. Following her studies, Jenna’s ambition led her to being one of the youngest cabin attendants with Virgin Airlines. However, the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to her dream career and presented a critical challenge for the family business, as the hotel faced the real risk of closure. Not one to become dejected, Jenna turned her talent and passion to finding new revenue streams for the hotel, an established Lancashire business and key local employer. The result was the Whitehall Distillery. Jenna has been instrumental in the development of the gin distillery, responsible for all aspects from recipes to packaging, marketing, and sales.
Jenna is credited with ensuring the hotel’s future by creating a new gin in the Lancashire marketplace whilst continuing to ensure that all aspects of the hotel continue to innovate and thrive.
Joining Samlesbury Hall over 20 years ago, Sharon has been dedicated to making the Hall a destination for all who visit, over the years revolutionising the wedding offer; adding a Shepherd’s Hut Hamlet; wafflery and new café. Income from all projects is vital for essential repairs and maintenance of the historic building.
Sharon is known for living and breathing Samlesbury Hall and rarely taking a day off. During Covid-19 lockdowns Sharon’s commitment to ensuring the Hall had a future beyond the pandemic, meant that not a single member of staff was lost and not only ensured the future of the Hall but placed it in a stronger position. Sharon is an inspiration to her team every day. Facing staffing challenges due to infection isolation, Sharon is often found in the kitchen, ensuring visitors continue to enjoy a tasty lunch. Visitors will be enjoying Samlesbury Hall in decades to come, due to Sharon’s admirable commitment and talent.
Jeremy turns his talent and passion for Preston’s heritage into saving iconic and culturally important buildings. Responsible for the rebirth of the iconic New Continental, the venue has a reputation as a foodie hotspot, a real ale fans dream and a cultural venue. The beer festival attracts 5,000 visitors. The Continental also took ownership of the only surviving grass roots venue in Preston, The Ferret, offering a varied events calendar and the city’s first smokehouse menu. A run-down retail and bedsit space was transformed into PLAU, now a Grade II listed, award-winning building and dining experience.
During the pandemic, Jeremy created Once Was Lost, saving another historic building from demolition. This outdoor venue supports local independent creatives, hosting weekly makers markets. All these venues contribute to a thriving cultural scene, generate employment and income for the city. Jeremy inspires investors and visitors to see Preston’s potential, most recently via the Friends of Tulketh Hall, raising awareness of the former castle site.