Liverpool Hope University is celebrating success in the regional heats of year’s Young Enterprise awards.
Not only did Business Management and Marketing Hannah Darling achieve runner-up in the Student of the Year category, but Hope academic Dr Tony Bradley was named ‘University Enterprise Ambassador’ at the North West Regional Finals.
The awards themselves celebrate young entrepreneurs and showcase students who successfully run their own enterprises while also making a positive impact on society.
In 20-year-old Hannah’s case, she was Managing Director of a Hope initiative called Talk Box.
She and six other colleagues hit upon the notion of selling wellbeing hampers - filled with mindfulness-boosting items such as candles, art therapy, green tea and doodle books - and with 10 per cent of profits going to the mental health charity MIND.
Another crucial element of the business was a forum on the Talk Box website where users could engage with other members of the community, sharing their thoughts and feelings about their own mental health journeys.
Second year student Hannah, from Darwen, Lancs, said: “Our slogan is ‘We’re Listening’, and that’s what we’re all about. We’re here to listen to anyone who might be struggling, or who might be able to help others.
“And we wanted the forum to be a little community where people can support each other.
“I’m really pleased to be recognised by the YE awards - but it’s definitely a team effort where it’s not just me who deserves to be praised. Everyone did a great job and worked hard.”
Dr Bradley, meanwhile, is a Lecturer in Business in the Liverpool Hope Business School.
And it’s fair to say that his award win caught him slightly off guard.
He laughs: “I was stunned, and delighted, to receive the award. I didn’t even know I’d been nominated for it. As the introduction to the award was being given, and the recipient being described, I was sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t know who’s getting this, but it sounds a bit like me’. And, funnily enough, it was me!
“I’m also extremely pleased for Hannah and her team. Hannah came extremely close to the Student of the Year award and she’s a great ambassador for the Business School.
“We don’t seed ideas with students, we don’t create teams beforehand, and groups are assigned on a random basis. It’s then up to them to work together to create something unique from scratch.
“Hannah’s nomination is a testament to how well they worked together as a team.”