Sunderland business boss fought back from cancer to become an award winner

A business boss who overcame cancer has reflected on her company’s 2018 Portfolio Awards triumph – and described how it helped to raise the profile of her firm.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Sunday, 8th September 2019, 12:24 pm
Nicola Wood of The Wonderful Wig Company receives her 2018 award from Tony Davison of Sunderland Football Club.

Wearside entrepreneur Nicola Wood fought back from the devastation of being diagnosed with breast cancer at 36.

She set about changing the wig world in Sunderland and created a unique service with high quality wigs, and a personalised discreet service.

On an emotional night, her firm, The Wonderful Wig Company, won the Corporate Social Responsibility category at last year’s Portfolio Awards, as well as being shortlisted in three other sections.

The line-up of Portfolio Awards sponsors for 2019.

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Nicola recalled: “We were absolutely delighted not to mention totally thrilled to receive the Corporate Social Responsibility award last year.

“The achievement would not have been possible without the dedication and consistent hard work of all our team.

“The award was received on behalf of our whole team; and we were all able to celebrate each other’s successes and the hard work that had gone into our company.”

Judges at last year’s awards heard how staff at the Wonderful Wig Company go to extra lengths such as volunteering at the local hospice, visiting hospitals to give presentations about image and well-being for vulnerable sick people, .

The company donates a portion of profits to charity and has a charity kitchen, which is funded by the business, to generate money for local cancer charities.

Nicola added: “As a new company on the wig scene, this award also helped raise our profile and the businesses credibility and reputation in the local area, providing us with a genuine competitive advantage. Above all else, the award was a great esteem boost to everyone in our team as we continue to strive to become the North East’s leading wig supplier and service."

Now the search is on for this year’s winners.

There are plenty of well known categories from previous years such as small, medium and large business of the year, as well as exporter of the year.

Or you might want to enter sections such as apprentice of the year, technology of the year or best green business.

Whatever your choice, make sure you get those entries in so that we can honour the very best that Wearside has to offer.

Great support

Yet again, we have fantastic backers on board to help make the awards a success.

Sunderland City Council is again our headline sponsor, and will sponsor our overall Business of the Year Award, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award, which is in the sponsor’s gift.

It is also backing the contribution social enterprises make to the city in the Social Enterprise Award.

Other sponsors are Gentoo, BIC, Northern Rail, Stagecoach, The Bid, SAFC, Bradley Hall, Sunderland College and the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. We thank them all for their invaluable support.

How to enter

There’s plenty of time to enter before the closing date for nominations on September 27. Then, the judges face the unenviable task of trying to whittle down the field into a shortlist.

All of the chosen finalists will get to attend the grand finale. We will reveal the winners at a glittering evening of celebration on Thursday, November 7 at the Stadium of Light.

So come on, let’s get the process rolling by finding those businesses worthy of consideration.

To nominate, email