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Judging gets under way for The Society Awards 2022

The judges hard at work deciding finalists for The Society Awards 2022.
The judges hard at work deciding finalists for The Society Awards 2022.

It feels like we only just launched The Society Awards 2022, in association with Aberdeen Inspired.

But having already extended the deadline by seven days for any last-minute stragglers, entries for the awards are now officially closed.

You had until midnight on August 21 to get your entry in, and boy you guys did not disappoint.

But just in case you need a recap about what this incredible night is all about.

Adrian Watson, CEO at Aberdeen Inspired and Society’s Ellie House at Marischal Square. Aberdeen Inspired are the headline sponsor of The Society Awards 2022, for which the deadline for all entries has now closed.

The event aims to recognise and reward hard-working businesses within Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire‘s retail, well-being, lifestyle, food and drink sectors.

And with more than 100 entries, it’s clear this night is sorely needed.

The awards will be held on November 10 at The Sandman Signature Hotel in Aberdeen.

Sandman Signature Aberdeen Hotel.

Where better to celebrate all that makes the north-east so wonderful, than at the very heart of the Granite City?

Our fantastic events team is hard at work, although I have offered to lend a hand should they need a taster for the delicious menu.

The entertainment has been booked, vibes checked and double-checked, and we’re cooking with gas.

Judging now in progress

But before we reveal more details of what we have in store, there’s one impossible task to be completed.

Yep, judging is now in progress.

Having to whittle down so many incredible entries in order to create a shortlist is certainly not for the faint-hearted.

I am thankfully not alone, and will, of course, be joined by Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired who are our headline sponsor.

We decided to shake things up on the judging team this year and will be joined by experts across the industry.

Amy Singer, a successful business owner based in Rosemount, is a new face on the judging panel this year.

Rebecca Carr, Amy Singer, Ros Studd, Dr Sam Robson, and Gary Mcdonald will also be casting their eyes over the many entries.

We look forward to introducing each judge to you in due course, but we’ve also welcomed some fantastic sponsors this year.

With 14 wonderful categories, it’s no wonder that some of the biggest names in the north-east have wanted to get involved.

Independent Fashion / Clothes Business of the Year, sponsored by Finnies the Jeweller

This is a pretty exciting category and has of course attracted some stiff competition.

Finnies the Jeweller, which is of course an institution in Aberdeen, seems like the perfect fit.

“We are delighted to once again be able to support this wonderful event that highlights some of the amazing people and businesses that this great city and wider community has to offer,” said owner, Matthew Finnie.

“Being a proud, independent business, we feel it is crucial that the community works together to both celebrate success and help support the development of new businesses that call Aberdeen, and the wider Northeast, home.”

Another hotly contested category up next, and a tasty one of that.

Independent Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Dandara

We know is going to be hard to whittle a shortlist for this category, not least because there are so many fantastic eateries on our doorstep – a sentiment which Dandara couldn’t agree more with.

“Independent businesses are the backbone of the economy and as an independently owned housebuilder it’s great to show our support for The Society Awards,” said Claire Bathgate, Head of Sales for Dandara Aberdeen.

“A vibrant hospitality sector is key to attracting people to live and raise families in the city, so we are especially pleased to be sponsoring the award for Independent Restaurant of the Year.

“It’s been a tough few years for the hospitality industry, and so recognising the people who have worked so hard to keep their businesses afloat and often making huge sacrifices to safeguard the future of their restaurants and their employees, has never been so important.”

Supporting Charlie House

We also have some exciting news in regards to our nominated charity.

Charlie House was our final decision, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have them on board.

The charity supports babies, children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, alongside their families across north-east Scotland.

Susan Crighton, Director of Fundraising at Charlie House, is eager to get started following a tough few years during the pandemic.

Charlie House recently held The Big Bounce in Aberdeen.

“We are delighted to be partnering with 2022’s Society Awards,” she said.

“As a local charity, we understand the importance of supporting local businesses around the north-east and are looking forward to cheering on this year’s finalists.

“Support from Society means that we can continue to share our charity’s story and reach families that might need our vital services.

“We would like to say a big thank you to Society and the team at DC Thomson.

“After years of cancelled events, we can’t wait to dress up and celebrate lots of amazing local businesses.”