The second Northern Big Shots looks set once again to raise more than £14,000 in aid of the furnishing industry’s charity, The Furniture Makers’ Company.
Former Millbrook sales director Victor Giannandrea proved his selling skills are undiminished even in well-earned retirement. It was largely thanks to his efforts that 17 teams took part in the second annual fund raiser for the charity’s Northern fundraising group, chaired by Karen Fairhurst of Panaz, Burnley.
“After such a successful second year we are certain Northern Big Shots is making its mark,” says Karen. “It’s now established as a focal point for the furnishing industry in the north to network and as a significant fundraiser for our industry’s charity, raising funds to encourage new talent through its education programme, drive excellence and help those in need when times are tough. We are immensely grateful to all those who support us – sponsors, participants and helpers alike.”
Companies used the event to entertain customers or reward staff with a day away from the normal stresses and strains of business, with teams from Silentnight Group, Barker & Stonehouse, Bensons for Beds, Breasley, DFS, Furniture Village, John Cotton, Kayfoam Woolfson, Peroda, Panaz Silentnight, Sleepeezee and Sweet Dreams. For many, it was their first attempt at clay pigeon shooting but everyone had at least a few hits, thanks to the helpful tuition of Coniston Country Estate’s instructors.
The organisers are grateful to the many sponsors who ensured the event was a successful fund raiser – AKA PR, Ashley Manor, Bensons for Beds, Coniston Hotel & Country Estate, Furniture Village, Harrisons Spinks, John Cotton, Landrover, Panaz, Silentnight Group, Sweet Dreams and Bentley, which offered a prize of a visit to the Bentley factory in Crew, lunch with the directors and a Bentley Continental for a weekend.
The Top Team prize went to the founders of the original Big Shots event which over the past 20 years has raised more than £300,000 for the charity – David Langford of Peroda and David Imrie, formerly of Maples and Furniture Village.
Steve Kelly, joint owner of e-tailer Mattress Online, a guest of the Breasley team, successfully defended last year’s Top Male Gun title, while Top Female Gun went to delighted newcomer Helen Tinker, sales manager for Irish bed makers, Kaymed.
David Oxley, channel manager at Silentnight Group, won best male novice shot, while the best female novice was Charlie Fitchett, key account manager from John Cotton. The intermediate shot prizes went to Claire Harrison owner of e-tailer Beds on Legs, shooting with Breasley, and Duncan Weister, guest of the charity president Tony Attard, MD of Panaz.
Meanwhile The Furniture Makers’ Company team, including Master Paul von der Heyde, Master Elect David Dewing, Clerk Jonny Westbrooke and Training and Education Committee Chairman Charles Vernon, scooped the prize for the flurry.
The northern fundraising team now turns its attention to the next few events in the calendar – the Northern Golf Day at Preston Golf Club on 12 June, and a Race Night on 19 June in Newcastle.
The 2016 Northern Big Shots will take place on 21st April. For those who have the shooting bug, there is the national Big Shots event on 11th June.