Kath Parson, OPAAL Chief Executive, tells us about her exciting night at the UK Blog Awards:
It began 24 hours beforehand wondering what to wear of course! The invitation said formal so long dress with all the trimmings, shoes, bag and jewellery to match.
The event took place at the Westminster Park Plaza London in the shadow of Big Ben. I knew it would be a special night as the paparazzi were out in force clicking away at every gorgeous girl alighting from the fleet of taxi’s lining the entrance.
Once divested of coats we were directed to the huge ballroom three floors below street level. My first surprise the sheer number of people, around 500 guests mingling and networking amongst the many attractions provided by headline sponsors The Odeon. The second surprise was the average age of the guests, I definitely felt like an old lady as most people were in their late twenties early thirties. No doubt a reflection of those who drive social media today. I met many fantastic and inspiring people all keen to learn about our blog. I’m sure I’ll stay in touch with several.
Wonderful hospitality, we were wined and dined like kings. Then came the main business of the event, the awards ceremony itself.
Opened by Gemma Newton, CEO, UK Blog Awards, Chrissie King, Online Influencer and Charly Lester, Head Judge we were told there were 2,400 entries, and 94,000 public votes. Entries were whittled down to a short list of 240 all read by no less than 42 judges across the dozen of more categories. For each category there were individual and company winners.
We were in the Health & Social Care category company section and up against stiff competition, seven amazing blogs all doing a wonderful job informing and supporting their constituency audiences.
We didn’t win, but then I had not expected to. I am just so very proud of our partners and OPAAL staff that we had reached the final’s stage at all. We would not have a blog if the older people we support and our wonderful dedicated volunteers had not agreed to share their many inspiring stories with us, so my sincere thanks to all of you.
I reserve a special mention for our Operations Manager Marie McWilliams who tirelessly manages our blog, well done Marie you can feel very proud of this achievement.
Finally I’d like to thank all those people that voted for us, without you we would not have reached the final. I’m already looking forward to UK Blog Awards 2018, so please keep those stories coming in.
Kath Parson, OPAAL Chief Executive