As our national final is just over two week away, we think it is the perfect time to get to know the businesses vying for our coveted national awards. Over the next few weeks we will be taking a look at each of our twelve categories in turn, from Best Rural Start Up all the way through to the Triumph Over Adversity award.

Each national finalist has already won the award for their category in their own region. We think they’re all fantastic rural businesses, but who will our judges declare to be the cream of the crop?

Find out more about each of the business in with a chance of winning the national Rural Young Person of the Year Award below.


Charlotte Porter, Charlotte Jacqueline School of Dance – North Region

Charlotte Porter grew up the Yorkshire Dales and began dancing at an early age. She gained her dance teaching qualifications, then a diploma, through the Royal Academy of Dance and spent time dancing professionally across the UK and in parts of Europe.

Charlotte left professional dancing to come back to the countryside she loves and grew up in and opened her own business, the Charlotte Jacqueline School of Dance, as a way of providing children in rural settings with the same chance she had to experience dance and theatre arts.

The Charlotte Jacqueline School of Dance teaches ballet, tap dance, modern theatre and contemporary dance to rurally-based children and adults. Students have the opportunity to be examined by both the Royal Academy of Dance and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.


Elliott Myatt, Play Area Hygiene Services – South West Region

Elliott is the managing director of PAHS and is responsible for growing the sales, revenue and profits of the business. Since taking over the business in 2015 he has doubled the turnover each year while still making a profit. Elliott lives and breathes the Devon countryside – if he’s not out on a boat in Salcombe, he’s paddleboarding, canoeing or rock climbing, and in a professional capacity, he strives to help rural businesses to succeed with PAHS – providing play area equipment that drives footfall, revenue and profit.

Play Area Hygiene Services Ltd are the nationwide play specialists. PAHS is based in South Devon and was established in 1998. They provide soft play maintenance, cleaning services and play area sales to customers throughout the UK.


Toby Ballard, Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm – South East Region

Toby Ballard started work at Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm when he was just 15 years old and has become a vital member of the team. He works year round on the farm and, now aged 20, has gained a wide range of skills, from planting trees, pruning, weeding and applying herbicides and fertilizers. During the festive season Toby helps with the retail operation – preparing trees and selling. He’s developed an excellent approach to customer service and a level of maturity beyond his years. He has a positive mental attitude and always maintains a sunny outlook despite facing a number of personal challenges.

Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm is a grower and retailer in East Sussex that has just celebrated 30 years in business. Customers can visit and choose from 10,000 trees in the plantations or freshly cut ones in the yard. There is also a delivery and recycling service.


Which business will be triumphant? Find out on 27th February! We’ll be posting the results on our Twitter and Facebook channels, so you can follow along there. All that’s left is to wish the very best of luck to the businesses vying for the National Rural Young Person of the Year Award, as well as all of our other national finalists.

To see the full list of finalists or find more information on the National Final, go to www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk/national

If you think your business has a shot at winning one of our awards, why not enter the 2020/21 Rural Business Awards? Learn more at www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk/enter-2020


Sign up for our newsletter

Find out about the latest Awards news and exclusive offers.

You have Successfully Subscribed!