BURNHAM'S BARB Search and Rescue has been named Sedgemoor's charity of the year at a prestigious regional business awards ceremony.

The charity, which operates two hovercrafts and an inshore rescue boat, was awarded the title by a panel of judges at the Sedgemoor Business Awards on March 20.

Over 200 people attended the event, held at the Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College.

BARB's Operations Manager Mike Lowe and Chairman Mark Newman received the award. Mark said: “It's a great honour to receive this award on behalf of our dedicated volunteer crewmembers, particularly after a very busy start to the year.”

Steve Leahy, chairman of Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce, who is on the committee which organised the awards, said the judges had a tough time choosing the winners this year as the standard of entries was extremely high.

He added: “To have an award is a real accolade because the competition's so tough.

“It gives businesses a chance to be highlighted and recognised for their quality.

“We had a lot of diverse entries for the retail awards category, which were all very different and just go to show the range of quality businesses on offer in Sedgemoor.”

Categories included independent trader/retailer of the year, charity of the year, family business, best new business, green business, service excellence, best business, business innovation, marketing and promotion and best international trader.