THERE were four Dorset winners – including the county’s global cosmetics brand Lush – at the National Venus Awards celebrating women in business.

All the winners of last year’s NatWest Dorset Venus Awards went on to represent the county in the national event at Audleys Wood Hotel in Basingstoke.

Rowena Bird, who co-founded Lush in Poole 22 years ago, collected the International Business of the Year title on behalf of the company.

“It has been such a lovely surprise,” she said. “It has been such a pleasure to be a part of.”

Suzenne Revell, group sales and marketing director for Ringwood-based Churchill Retirement Living, won the media marketing and PR category.

She said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has helped contribute towards this success, especially my colleagues and the senior management team at Churchill Retirement Living, who have been so supportive of my development and helped me progress throughout my career. It’s a wonderful place to work and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this award without such a fantastic team around me.”

Rory Jones of BEBC, the national seller of English language teaching materials, won the customer service category.

She has been responsible for customer service at BEBC for more than 30 years and was described as approachable, efficient, calm and popular.

Singer Helen Jenkins won the musical talent category.

She performs at events from birthday parties to corporate functions and weddings.

The Venus Awards national finals saw more than 50 regional winners compete for the overall titles.

They heard from inspirational speakers Seema Flower, founder and managing director of Blind Ambition Business Consultancy; Dorset lifestyle coach and business mentor Sue Stone; and Tara Howard, who founded the Venus Awards in Bournemouth and has rolled them out across the country.

Tara Howard said: “My hope for the National Finals day was that everyone left a little bit more motivated than when they arrived.”