Celebrating the Suzy Spirit Award 2016 finalists

Celebrating the Suzy Spirit Award 2016 finalists


An individual of exceptional character, integrity and determination will receive the Suzy Spirit Award in a celebration in London on Friday. Think about the people that have inspired you during your career. The unsung heroes that quietly go about their daily jobs nurturing and encouraging talent.

People who make a positive difference because of who they are, and not necessarily because of their qualifications or business performance.

People who are not only good at their job, but who show passion and kindness for the people around them, both in and out of work.

Suzy Spirit Award

Suzy Ferguson had all these characteristics, and more. She died from bowel cancer in July 2012, aged just 31. The Suzy Spirit Award is an annual award in her memory.

Suzy’s employer, LEWIS, teamed up with Gorkana and Bowel Cancer UK in 2013 to launch the award. I joined the judging panel last year.

Unlike other awards in the communications or public relations industry that acknowledge professional achievements, the Suzy Ferguson Spirit Award aims to recognise individuals of exceptional character, integrity and determination.

The third winner of the award will be announced at a lunch event on Friday in London. Here are the five exceptional finalists.

Chloe Couchman


Chloe, head of public relations, Merlin Entertainments, was nominated by former colleague Carrie-Ann Cooper, global media relations manager, Carlson Wagonlit Travel for her creativity, enthusiasm and for being a fantastic mentor.

Carrie-Ann said, “I’ve been so influenced by Chloe’s drive and enthusiasm that I wanted other people to know all about her too.”

Anita Glover


Anita Glover, head of corporate communications, MHS Homes, was nominated for the award by Maria Soleil, digital communications co-ordinator at the company and member of her team.

Maria says, “When I read about Suzy’s qualities, Anita was the first person I thought of as she has them all – integrity, inspirational leadership and a strong personality.”

Henry Playfoot


Ben Caspersz, founder and managing director, Claremont Communications nominated Henry, who “lights up our lives.” He says that he was inspired to make a nomination after reading about Suzy standing at the door of her church welcoming people in, “welcoming people, that’s what Henry does every day. He brings out the best in others.”

Henry is strategy director at Claremont and according to Ben was described, totally unprompted, as an inspiration by two-thirds of staff interviewed in a recent senior management team feedback review.

Chloe Staniforth


Chloe is the youngest nominee for the Suzy Spirit Award, and is an account executive at Cream PR. This is her first job because she decided not to finish her A-Levels and to head straight into public relations.

A few years ago, Chloe suffered a brain haemorrhage at work – she’s since recovered and has remained intensely focused on her career. Jane Whitham, Director at Cream, said, “There seems to be so many tremendous similarities between Suzy and Chloe which immediately resonated. She has a great attitude and spirit, and I’m immensely proud of her.”

Louise Thompson


Louise is the marketing and public relations manager of Dalton Park Outlet and was nominated by Jeanne Holland-Young from public relations agency Holland Young.

Jeanne says that, “First and foremost Louise is a total professional. She handles every situation with skill and diplomacy and every person with the utmost courtesy.” “This award is all about the person behind the role and highlights their attitude to work and life, as well as those they work with and those they help in the community.”

Previous winners

The Suzy Spirit Award is now in its third year. Nicola Green, Director of Communications & Reputation at O2, received the award in 2015, and Rosie Warin, CEO, Global Tolerance in 2014.

The award is sponsored by Gorkana and LEWIS and provides a donation to Bowel Cancer UK every year to support its valuable education and awareness programme. You’ll find more information on the Suzy Spirit Award website.

The Internet Marketing Workshop

The Internet Marketing Workshop

Using Facebook Audience Insights for public relations planning

Using Facebook Audience Insights for public relations planning