Claire Sutherley Appointed Deputy Lieutenant for the County of West Yorkshire

Claire Sutherley Appointed Deputy Lieutenant for the County of West Yorkshire


We Are Wakefield Ltd is delighted to announce that Claire Sutherley, the Managing Director of the company, has been appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of West Yorkshire. This prestigious appointment reflects Claire’s outstanding contributions to the community, her dedication to fostering positive change, and her unwavering commitment to the betterment of West Yorkshire.


As the Managing Director of We Are Wakefield Ltd, Claire Sutherley has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, innovative thinking, and a strong sense of civic responsibility. Under her guidance, the organisation has not only achieved remarkable business growth but has also actively engaged in various community initiatives, demonstrating a deep-rooted passion for the welfare and progress of the district.


In her new role as Deputy Lieutenant, Claire will play an instrumental part in representing and promoting the County of West Yorkshire. Her ability to connect with people, drive positive change, and mobilise resources will undoubtedly contribute to enhancing the county’s social, cultural, and economic landscape.


“I am truly honoured to be appointed as Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire,” said Claire Sutherley. “This appointment is a testament to the collective efforts of the entire We Are Wakefield team, as well as the community that has supported us. I am committed to using this platform to further strengthen the bonds within our community and contribute to the growth and prosperity of the Wakefield District.”

Deputy Lieutenants are appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant to assist in representing the monarch and promoting the county’s interests on various occasions. Their roles include supporting visits by members of the royal family, engaging in civic and voluntary activities, and acknowledging the achievements of local individuals and organisations.

We Are Wakefield Ltd extends its heartiest congratulations to Claire Sutherley on this notable achievement. The organisation remains dedicated to continuing its mission of positive impact under her leadership.



Meet Architecture 1B – Celebrating 10 years with a move to Tileyard North!

Welcome to new WAW members, Architecture 1B.

Architecture 1B is a Wakefield based small yet knowledgeable and passionate architectural team lead by Director Darren Bailey, who boasts over 30 years experience in the industry having worked for some of the North’s largest and respected architectural practices. As a practice we aspire to create high quality architecture and buildings that are enjoyed, approaching every project big or small with an appropriate level of design to make a positive contribution to the built environment in which we live, while satisfying the requirements of the client.


The team are proud to have developed an impressive reputation both locally and throughout the UK, having worked with a diverse range of clients from community groups and individuals to property developers and corporate companies, delivering projects of varying scale and sectors. From domestic extensions and large bespoke new build houses, through to large commercial, educational, or leisure buildings, we apply a design led approach based on a bespoke tailored response to any brief.


The practice enjoys great existing relationships, fostered over many years, with local Planning and Building Control Authorities, Approved Inspectors, and many local construction companies, along with various consultants and trades people. As such, we have the ability and experience to deal with projects in all design stages and successfully navigate the planning, building regulations, and construction processes.


Architecture 1B, celebrates its 10th year in the industry in 2023, with the practice becoming one of the first residence of the newly opened Tileyard North community, and are delighted to continue to have work recognised through winning regional design and conservation awards, and having been nominated for many more.


Pictured: Darren Baily & Mark Smith


Connect with Darren here: (14) Darren Bailey | LinkedIn

architecture 1B

Wakefield Business Awards achieves OUTSTANDING Awards Trust Mark

We’re delighted to announce that The Wakefield Business Awards has achieved Outstanding: “Ethical Awards Scheme Accredited”.

You can have absolute confidence that The Wakefield Business Awards has a robust and fair entry and judging process and that our event is planned ethically and professionally.

In order to achieve the highest standard of awards accreditation, The Awards Trust Mark – Outstanding, an award scheme must have already launched and Orth November.un for a year, as well as met the criteria for both the Standard Awards Trust Mark and Awards Trust Mark – Advanced :

Awards Trust Mark – “Accredited Awards Scheme”

  1. Awards should be open to all within the specified region and sectors stated on the website, with no unwritten filtering (e.g. it is okay to be restricted to clients or association members – but only if clearly stated. Any filtering of applicants by brand name, company size, perceived reputation etc. is not allowed).
  2. Judging must be strictly in accordance with the process stated on the website for both the shortlisting stage, and the final selection of a winner.
  3. All judges must be independent and not employed by companies that have a commercial interest in table sales, advertising etc. or a conflict of interest with the nominees. If a judge is employed by the awards organiser or sponsor then there has to be a very clear rationale for this (e.g. they are an industry expert).
  4. No compulsion that finalists must attend the presentation event.
  5. The whole programme should be well organised, with full availability of dates, rules and other important information.
  6. Not charging for use of logos or promotion of a win.
  7. Providing winners with quotes for press releases for free whenever they ask.
  8. Winners being publicly declared (website etc.) within 7 days of any awards event.
  9. Fee transparency – all fees and costs declared on the website. Including entry fee, event attendance fees, any membership fees, and optional costs like duplicate trophies (if applicable).
  10. Clear website in terms of dates and processes – e.g. having the deadline date clearly visible on the homepage (a date not just a countdown timer), and rules/ eligibility/ how to enter pages are all easy to find.
  11. Allowing entry forms to be viewable prior to having to pay an entry fee to gain access.
  12. A contact email and phone number is provided on the website for those wishing to enter the awards to ask questions, with responses within 24 hours.

Awards Trust Mark – Advanced: “Ethical Awards Scheme Accredited”

  1. Giving feedback to entrants on why they did not win, when asked.
  2. Non-disclosure agreements signed by judges (digital acceptance is acceptable if legally binding).
  3. Clear scoring systems used by all judges, that remove bias and inconsistency.
  4. All decisions on shortlisting and winning to be made by at least two independent judges.

Awards Trust Mark – Outstanding: “Ethical Awards Scheme Accredited”

  1. Pay to enter awards schemes, must automatically provide feedback to all entrants.
    Free to enter awards schemes, must offer feedback to all entrants. Automatic feedback is not compulsory, unless requested by the entrant.
  2. Some form of training given to judges. This can be a briefing pack, webinar, pre-judging briefing. But judges cannot undertake judging without some form of thorough briefing.


We’re extremely proud of the Wakefield Business Awards and look forward to celebrating the very best in Wakefield District businesses at Tileyard North on 9th November.



We Are Wakefield · Representing diverse sectors around Wakefield and Five Towns



5: Episode 05 -Spawforths & Wakefield Council

In Episode 5 we are joined by Adrian Spawforth, Managing Director of Spawforths and Mark Lynam, Corporate Director for Regeneration and  Economic Growth at Wakefield Council. 

We talk about the past, present and future of the Wakefield District and how the two organisations plan how we work, live and play.  What can we expect to see happen in the near future and how did this all come about? A great conversation with two very influential people within our District. 

WAW Winners bring luck to Wakefield Trinity

WAW members, Wakefield Trinity, secured a much-needed victory over Salford Red Devils on Friday evening whilst being cheered on by our name badge draw winners from the First Friday event back in May.


Thanks to Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation for hosting our winners for an evening of good fun and great chat. Always promoting collaboration, it was great to hear everyone learning about each other and connections being made that will certainly go beyond the evening’s conversations.

On the pitch, Wakefield Trinity put in a fantastic performance to secure a 32-6 win which will no doubt give them the confidence boost they need at this point in the season.

The WAW winners were:

Gayle Summers – Nostell Estate

Phil Hodgson – The Yorkshire Broker

Andy Turner – First Choice Recruitment

Andy Stokes – Surefire Eco Ltd

James McManus – McManus Consulting

Callum Pollard – Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Teaching Trust

Benjamin Anderson – HOY Education Wakefield College

Clare Thorton – Thornton Jones Solictitors & WAW Vice Chair

Rachael Murphy & Claire Sutherley – We Are Wakefield

A huge thank you to Verity, Mark, Will and the Wakefield Trinity team for making the night such a great event for our WAW winners!




Teamwork Makes the Dream Work! WAW Volunteer Day at The Prince of Wales Hospice

Teamwork really did make the dream work as an army of We Are Wakefield members volunteered for the day at The Prince of Wales Hospice in Pontefract.

Sanding, painting, clearing, building, sweeping, jet-washing, counting the stock – they got through a mountain of jobs to get the hospice gardens ready for their Summer Fair which takes place on Sunday 2 July.

Representatives from 14 member businesses joined forces for a day of real collaboration.  Lots of work got done, everyone had a great day.  New friendships were formed as always during a We Are Wakefield event and did anyone even realise they were networking?!

The weather was kind and everyone went home tired and dirty but with a real sense of achievement and pride!

The photo’s say it all – if Carlsberg did team work they’d re-brand as WAW!!


Businesses represented today by the following volunteers:

Eddie Atkins – National Compliance Solutions

Laura Bairstow – The Mortgage Master

Anthony Brook – Challenging Leaders

Rebecca Davidson – Parsons Accountants

Jessica Day – Dutton FM

Adam Fletcher – Ridley & Hall Solicitors

Madeleine France – Blossom Training & Development

Chris Gallacher – Solupak Ltd

Karen Horner – Handelsbanken Wakefield

Tracey Mearns – Good Fundraising

Kelly Smith – Juice Personnel

Samantha Stones – WF Web Design

Jodie Lawton – Affordable accountancy Solutions/ The Will Way

Ben Tordoff – National Compliance Solutions

Ninoska Torres – Dutton FM

Rachael Murphy & Claire Sutherley – We Are Wakefield

Meet Helen Smith of Professional Resources Consultancy

Meet WAW member, Helen Smith – Sales & Business Consultant – Coach, Mentor & Sales Trainer


Professional Resources Consultancy (PRC) was founded on Helen’s core value;

The sharing of experience, enabling people to be the best version of themselves and to fly!

An experienced Sales and BD professional with long-term Director level experience. Helen began in Retail and built a successful career in the sales & training arena encompassing FMCG, and over 25 years in Facilities Management (FM) working with well-known names UK wide.

An ILM Qualified Coach and Mentor Helen has extensive knowledge that is shared to empower others to develop and grow both as individuals and businesses. She does this through consultation, coaching, and the design and delivery of bespoke training and mentoring programmes for individual learning and development that is meaningful and focused to achieve objectives.

Helen is passionate about her business and works with huge enthusiasm and boundless energy engendering trust, building confidence, and inspiring motivation in working environments. She has an outstanding reputation for creating strong working relationships with clients, delegates, and associates, embracing her strong purpose to enable people. She adds value and focus for people and business alike, and is involved in supporting charities, mental health and wellbeing initiatives.

As a specialist consultant within Facilities Management strategies for growth include bid management, tender support, people productivity and efficiencies all focused on achieving a higher return on investment.

She supports and enables teams and encourages organisations to recognise and nurture the value of their people.

Achieving Customer Service Excellence is a specialism within her training workshops; maintaining a constant focus on our customers’ experience is one of the most powerful forms of investment!

Memberships & specialisms
ILM Accredited Coach & Mentor

  • NLP Practitioner & Hypnotherapist
  • Fellow Member of the Institute of Sales Management
  • ISM accredited Training Partner & Business Mentor
  • A proactive member of the Association of Business Mentors
  • Sales and Customer Engagement Specialist
  • A specialist in Facilities Management, in particular cleaning
  • Member of The British Institute of Cleaning Science

Please make sure you say hello to Helen at the WAW events or connect on LinkedIn HERE


4: Episode 04 – Elis & OE Electrics

We are joined by Jonny Parkinson, General Manager of Elis, and David Masters, Group Chair of OE Electrics.  We hear about their individual journeys: using gates as goal posts and why education doesn’t have to happen in your teens. 

We talk about why both these large businesses stay in Wakefield, aspirations for the future and the sustainability legacy we’re leaving behind for future generations.

Please welcome Anna McManus-Hughes – Pink Dragonfly Consulting

Anna is the founder of Pink Dragonfly Consulting – a Coaching, Mentoring & Business Planning service that specialises in working with female leaders and business owners to reclaim their power and realise their career dreams.

Helping women transform their lives and businesses since 2012, Anna uses her 20+ years experience of working at executive and strategic levels, to help others understand their businesses and work towards their own dreams, at their own pace and in their own way.

As a highly experienced business coach, mentor and qualified neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, she’s passionate about enabling entrepreneurs (particularly women) to build and grow profitable, happy businesses, through banishing overwhelm and procrastination.

Using a range of proven business strategies and methodologies, together with mindset and coaching tools, Anna is on a mission to empower creative business leaders to liberate their power and grow a thriving business, whilst choosing to live life on their terms.

By focusing on restoring the right balance of a positive and healthy mindset along with some basic business fundamentals, Anna will meet you wherever you’re at in your unique business journey and support you with key strategies, techniques and structures, helping you to gain clarity, power up your confidence and focus on taking action to fall back in love with your business goals to grow a thriving business on your terms.

The right balance of strategy and mindset is the key to achieving your dreams.

If you want to understand more about how coaching, mentoring or business planning can help you in your own journey, then please contact Anna through Linkedin or come and find her at the next WAW event!


The Wakefield Business Awards are OPEN!

Wakefield’s best business awards are back for 2023

After a stellar first year which saw 13 awards winners celebrated in style, the Wakefield Business Awards from We Are Wakefield are back for 2023.

With a refreshed list of categories aimed at giving businesses of all shapes and sizes from across the district a chance to show off their awesomeness, the awards are now open for entries, with a deadline of 28 July 2023.

Judging will take place over the summer and the shortlist will be announced in September, with the ceremony held on 9th November.

Following the sell-out success of last year’s event, capacity will be doubled for 2023 and held at an incredible new venue. TILEYARD NORTH will be the venue for the glittering awards ceremony and ITV’s Christine Talbot returns as host for the evening.

We Are Wakefield Managing Director Claire Sutherley said: “We couldn’t have dreamed of how successful last year’s awards ceremony would be. We celebrated everything that’s amazing about businesses from across the Wakefield District.

“We pulled off what we hoped to – providing a platform for our area’s companies to shout about what makes them amazing. So this year we’re going bigger and even better!

“We’ve listened to feedback and carefully curated the list of categories, so we hope all Wakefield businesses will find a category that suits them. And we’re maintaining the independence and credibility of the awards with an independent judging panel drawn from last year’s winners and a range of vetted volunteers.”

Businesses don’t have to be members of We Are Wakefield to submit an entry but they do have to have a WF postcode or be under the Wakefield local authority.

Our main sponsors return for 2023 with Wakefield First as Headline Sponsors supported by local businesses, Juice Personnel and Solupak Ltd.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said:

“We’re thrilled to be, once again, headline sponsor of the Wakefield Business Awards. The awards recognise the talent, success stories and hard work that goes on within our business community across the district and across all sectors including everyone small start-up businesses to large household names.

“We know the last few years have been challenging for businesses in many ways and we continue to support activity that helps rebuild our economy and support our businesses to thrive long into the future.”


The categories are:

  • Collaboration of the year *NEW*
  • Employee of the year *NEW*
  • Creative business of the year*NEW*
  • Not for profit/charity of the year *NEW*
  • Small business, big impact – supply chain hero*NEW*
  • Independent retail or hospitality business of the year *NEW*
  • Business growth success story
  • Thinking sustainability
  • Community engagement
  • New business of the year
  • Business of the Year
  • We Are Wakefield Member of the year – awarded to the WAW member entry to other categories with the highest number of points

To read more about the awards and enter visit:

We Are Wakefield · Representing diverse sectors around Wakefield and Five Towns