Jo Brazier (pictured) is a 2018 FSB South East Business Awards winner! She won the Community Award and since her win in March, her business has gone from strength to strength. Jo won the award for her company, New Style Events and the annual ‘Y-fronts run’ in Hastings, which raises awareness of all male cancers.
“There is a popular race for life charity event through Alexandra Park each year which men cannot enter so in listening to my male friends I decided in the interests of diversity to organise an equivalent male only race said Jo.
The race, which is based around a superhero theme, where men are encouraged to wear pants on the outside, is now a regular event in the local running calendar. Hundreds of men register to run, with their families cheering them on around the landmark Victorian town park.
The event has made £20,000 for charity since it started in 2013, attracting sponsors including Eastbourne Audi, Best of Hastings and local firm, Kings Stationers.
Jo’s background is in secretarial and administrative work and has run her firm, J&L Secretarial Services since 2005, with a number of prestigious clients on her books. A hard-working single Mum entrepreneur, over the years Jo has battled with her own mental health difficulties, which she openly speaks about.
“I have built a mutually supportive network of friends and business people and we bring consistent positivity to each other. Whether I am feeling up or down, this helps me greatly.” Jo adds, and she is no longer frightened to ask for help. She counts as additional strengths an ability to get things organised, a flair for making things happen and a passion to represent and ‘be’ her clients, working on their behalf.
“I love being self-employed”, says Jo. “No day is the same and whilst some people work in a box – there are no sides to mine. Comfort zone: what comfort zone? I am not tied to one sector and can communicate at any level”.
With the FSB’s 2019 Business Awards now open, Jo is urging businesses to enter the competition. “It actually didn’t take me a great deal of time to put an application together”, says Jo “and look where it has helped me get to!” Jo adds that she really enjoyed the South East Awards celebration event, which will again be at Sandown racecourse, near Esher, Surrey on 12 April.
Jo’s business and ‘Y- fronts run’ community project is now moving to its next phase. ‘Y-fronts juniors’ are school events where children are encouraged to dress up as super-heroes and run for 20 minutes. “This is for all children and makes physical activity fun, encouraging healthy family lifestyles,” Jo explains.
Charity proceeds from this will go towards St Michael’s Hospice in Hastings. With 12 categories to choose from, you can enter the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards at www.fsbawards.co.uk