Newton Abbot’s Hannah Burgon as winner of Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2015
Hannah Burgon, founder of Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship, has been selected as the winner of Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2015 (BTRRM) – an initiative run by the global leading direct selling company, Amway UK.
Now in its fifth year and designed to uncover and reward budding British entrepreneurs with funding towards their business, this year’s BTRRM competition was themed around Passionpreneurs; those individuals who have set up a business off the back of a passion or hobby of theirs. Hannah Burgon from Newton Abbot, South Devon fought off tough competition to be crowned the winner, for her start-up enterprise Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship, which provides equine-assisted therapy sessions for disadvantaged children.
Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship was founded in 2012 and is designed to help people learn about themselves, others and the world through their interaction with horses. The centre allows children and their parents to examine behavioural issues in a non-confrontational way whilst also helping to build up confidence, communication skills and assertiveness through equine-assisted therapy sessions.
The competition was judged by a panel of leading figures in enterprise, including: Interior Designer and ex-Dragon’s Den Kelly Hoppen MBE; Amway UK Corporate Affairs Manager Sheryl Franklin-Worth; successful business owners and husband and wife duo, Mark and Kiran Khutan; and BTRRM 2014 winner, Louise Webster. Together, the panel decided that Hannah will be awarded £5,000 to invest into her business and benefit from the prestigious accolade of Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2015.
Hannah, whose passion for horses stemmed from her parents’ divorce, at the age of five, when the family relocated to North Wales near some horse stables. Hannah would spend every waking moment surrounded by the horses and ponies, either cleaning out the stables, caring for or riding the ponies. That passion continued right through her 20s when she first stumbled upon the concept of equine-assisted therapy and made it her mission to learn the skills and gain the knowledge required to set up her own centre.
Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship will receive 5,000 in funding to enable more disadvantaged children to have access to equine-assisted learning.
Hannah told the Devon Week: “I am absolutely delighted to be crowned this year’s winner by Amway UK. The investment awarded will facilitate further growth of the business, making therapeutic horsemanship sessions more widely accessible to children who will benefit from equine-assisted therapy. The funding will also be put towards providing vital equipment including safety helmets and boots, not to mention the upkeep of the horses.”
She said: “For a small organisation such as ours, the accolade of BTRRM 2015 will have a huge and positive impact. It will help us create a greater awareness of equine-assisted therapy in the community. It will also act to assure everyone that we are professional, with our business acumen being recognised by leading figures such as Kelly Hoppen.”
Kelly Hoppen said: “I was overwhelmed by the talent of entries received this year, which made the judging process ever harder. Hannah’s business model was one that really sparked my attention. It’s an original idea and deserves recognition for the fabulous work that she does with young people. I wish her the best of luck in the future.”
Sheryl Franklin-Worth, corporate affairs manager at Amway UK, said: “This year’s competition was one of the toughest yet as we received entries from so many credible entrepreneurs with interesting ideas. It is fantastic to see passionate entrepreneurs in the UK – we must celebrate the wealth of talent this country inspires. Hannah was the resounding winner and a real role model in business. She is the perfect example of a successful Passionpreneur, which reflects Amway’s goal of inspiring change in enterprise and also helping disadvantaged children.”
Amway business owners Mark and Kiran Khutan comment: “Judging this year was incredibly difficult, but it came with the hard task of choosing a winner from so many fantastic entries. We chose Hannah for her incredible work ethic and dedication to assisting others in need. Hannah is a thoroughly deserving winner and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store for her.”
(from a press release)