MIDLANDS Co-op Travel shop staff in Sutton Coldfield are celebrating after being voted ?Best Travel Agent' in the Sutton Coldfield Observer 2003 Business Awards.
Shop manager Stephanie Wathen (centre, back) and her six-strong team fought off tough competition from 11 other local travel agencies to win this prestigious award for the second consecutive year.
The awards were originally launched in 2002 with the aim to give the general public, the readers of Sutton Coldfield Observer and the customers of local services and businesses the chance to vote for who they think is worthy of the awards. There were 24 categories in the 2003 awards and approximately 5,000 votes were received.
Guy Helliker promotions and marketing manager for Central Independent Newspapers commented: "The awards are going from strength to strength. I think the reason for their popularity is the fact that the winners are not decided behind closed doors by a panel of judges but are decided by the people who matter, the customers who encounter the staff and who use the services and businesses on a regular basis. All the winners are truly deserving of the awards and should be very proud."
Stephanie said: "I was completely stunned when we found out that we had won the award for the second consecutive year. These awards mean so much to myself and the team as the people who voted for us are the people who matter ? our customers. I am lucky enough to work with very knowledgeable and dedicated staff, who provide customers with excellent service and specialist, independent advice. I lived and worked in Greece for seven years and have extensive knowledge about the country and its neighbouring islands."
It is not just holidays in the sun that Stephanie and her team organise. Together with neighbouring Midlands Co-op Travel in Erdington they organised a weekend coach trip to London to take in the sights and sounds of the City. Stephanie guided the coach tour around the capital and they also raised £ 100 for the Midlands Co-op's chosen corporate charity ? Make a Wish.
Pictured (left to right): Leanne Hayward, Kath Henry, Stephanie Wathen and Lianne Smith.