The PR and comms industry is full of talent and exceptional skill, but on 26th July 2012 the industry lost one of its brightest young stars. Suzy Ferguson’s spirit, enthusiasm and talent meant that she had a lasting impact on clients and fellow professionals; she always showed great integrity and determination and worked tirelessly in the community outside of work too.
Aged just 31, Suzy died of bowel cancer; an illness that affects almost 42,000 people every year in the UK alone.
A lasting legacy
To honour Suzy’s leadership, commitment and spirit, her former employer, LEWIS, decided to create a unique industry award. Now in its sixth year, The Suzy Spirit Award recognises those who lead by example, who inspire and motivate, and who demonstrate exceptional character, principle and determination. The award is unique in the industry in that it goes beyond professional achievements, and instead focuses on the person behind the work.
The award recognises people in the UK in a PR or comms role, of any age, and any job title. Someone who inspires others and who leads by example by mentoring or championing others. Often the unsung heroes of our industry, these people often give but never expect anything in return.
As well as the award, an annual donation is made to Bowel Cancer UK to help continue its vital work saving lives and improving the quality of life for those affected by bowel cancer.
The award is a fantastic opportunity to recognise a PR and comms professional who displays the attributes that made Suzy so special to so many people. A person who goes above and beyond to inspire and bring out the best in others.
Suzy’s husband, Alex Ferguson, said: “Suzy did everything in her life with passion – be it in the workplace, at church, or home. She made everyone feel loved and welcome around her, and her favourite line, that she used repeatedly, was ‘Bring It On!’
“She challenged her cancer, and she battled it, and although it eventually beat her, she never gave up without a fight. The biggest thing that Suzy did through everything was love and inspire other people, and I hope this award is given to the person who embodies these same qualities.”
2019 – Addy Frederick, Prudential
2018 – Andy Garner
Andy was nominated by his CEO, Frankie Cory, from Mischief PR for fostering a creative culture throughout the agency. He also provided graduates with a creative mentor they wished to emulate.
“It was an unbelievable feeling to win this award. Suzy’s passion for work and life touched so many, and I endeavour to continue inspiring others to achieve great things.”
Find out more about why last year’s shortlisted finalists were chosen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLj-TnBeqBU&t=42s
2017 – Emma Tweedie
Emma was nominated by her colleague Grace Garland from Teacake Tuesday PR for her unrivalled support and guidance for new staff members. Emma is also an inspiration outside of work, taking part in many charitable causes. She won the Inspiration award.
“Winning the award has really reinforced who I am and what my business stands for.”
2017 – Euan Steedman
Euan was nominated by his colleague Natalie Clark when he was press officer at the BBC for his perpetual positivity and determination. As well as doing voluntary work, Euan takes times to coach and develop those he works with to achieve their full potential. He won the Rising Star award.