Moving mountains: The second annual Pf Award Winners Club

J Pinching 13 November 2017


View our photo gallery of the evening here. 


The second annual Pf Award Winners Club brought together years of industry talent.


For the second consecutive year erstwhile Pf Award winners convened in the House of Commons for a Winners Club event, sponsored by Ashfield. It was a wonderful opportunity to bask in the glory of belonging to a very special club.

As the sun went down on Westminster, guests made their way through the labyrinthine corridors of Parliament, where the lingering scent of history, democracy and, quite possibly, Churchill’s cigar swirled in hopeless romance.

On arrival at our destination – a delightful room overlooking the Thames – it was clear that the heavens would remain resolutely closed. Thus, our exultant band of winners peered over the balcony, as the last embers of sun dappled the world’s most famous river. Naturally, a frenzy of selfies unfolded, all desperate to include as many iconic buildings as possible.

Once everyone had settled into their opulent surroundings, Melanie Hamer, organiser of every Pf Awards for the last 18 years, reflected on their considerable significance and history, before presenting attending winners with a commemorative pin. The applause rang out, as memories of the night they received their trophy returned anew.

Special guest was the majestic Bonita Norris; a mountain climber with the unique distinction of being the youngest person to do ‘the double’ – climbing to the top of Everest and reaching the North Pole.

Curiously, it was her ability to humanise her achievements which made her such an inspiring figure. She explained that her interest in mountaineering emerged from reluctantly accepting an invitation to what she assumed would be a "boring" seminar on mountain climbing. The speakers, however, mentioned seeing the ‘curvature of the earth’ from Everest, and Bonita was determined to see the view for herself.

She recalled the immensity of the mountain as she stood at base camp and described the occasions when she had to negotiate terrifying ice precipices, using an old ladder.

Her adventure was crystallised, however, by a bizarre incident, when she had to discreetly go to the toilet in a bottle, but ended up “dropping a litre of urine” inside her sleeping bag.

“My teammates knew straight away,” she said. “I smelt awful, but it became a joke and the laughter actually helped us up the mountain.”

Those ordeals completely melted away as Bonita’s expedition reached its fruition. “The sky cleared and I looked up to see a most incredible sight,” she remembered. “It was one of those moments of lightness that makes you smile and reminds you why you’re doing something.” It was a profound notion that everyone in the room could relate to – the fulfilment of an ambition, in spite of the travails and frustrations that precede it.

Intoxicated by life's possibilities, guests revelled in past achievements, compared the exact location of their Pf Awards (on mantlepiece, above fireplace, in bedroom) and revealed triumphant personal journeys since winning their titles.

Presently, a famously towering timepiece indictated it was time to go. We floated back; through the pomp, through the paintings, through the passages of power and on to the streets of London.

Before embarking on our return trips, we gazed at the horizon and, in the distance, many of us could see with sudden clarity the lofty peaks of our ambitions; the unclimbed mountains of our dreams.


Talk of champions:

Reflections from the Pf Award Winners Club


“Being a Pf Award winner has had a really positive effect on my career. I gained promotions to Senior Nurse Advisor, Executive Nurse Advisor, Nurse Manager and have gone on to become a Programme Lead. Everybody in industry recognises the awards as prestigious.” Gillian Prescott, AbbVie, Nurse Advisor Award 2004 (won with Astra Zeneca)

“Winning a Pf Award gives you a boost to your professional confidence, because you’re not just competing against people from your own company, but across industry. Knowing you’re the best of the best is a great feeling and provides new opportunities.” Jenny Page, MSD, Account Team Award 2017 (won with MSD)

“It validated me and I’m immensely proud of being a Pf Award winner. It’s followed me around all these years – people remember.” Michelle Rust, MCR Insights, Sales Team Award 2012 (won with Shire).

“The Pf Awards are vital because there’s nothing else that recognises how important our reps are. To bring everyone together and give them the opportunity to demonstrate how good they are, in a tough job, is great.” Annie Dingley, Dingley Development, Pf Awards judge

“It gave me a surge of ambition. When I won I was head-hunted for a promotion in my company and it gave me the confidence to take the next step in my career. My boss at the time said, ‘now that you’ve got a Pf Award you will always get an interview’.” Beverley Moorhouse, MSD, New Representative Award 2007 (won with Organon Laboratories)

“The Pf Awards have a long heritage and I’m privileged to be here with such a talented group of peers. It’s great for previous winners to network, but also to reflect on past performances. These people are a projection of how industry grows and continues to develop. I’ve even used the Pf Awards photo to show my achievement.” Andy Roberts, Consilient, Account Management Team Award 2015 (won with Lundbeck)

“You’ve been benchmarked and it reinforces the belief you have in yourself. It’s also an endorsement of how well your team is working together.” Sue Huish, MSD, Account Management Team Award 2016 (won with MSD)

“The Pf Award was a massive rubber stamp and it galvanised everything. It showed what could be achieved when industry and the NHS strive for a common goal. I’m from Cheshire and when we won, I was smiling like a Cheshire cat.” Phil Unsworth, Novo Nordisk, Joint Working Award 2017 (won with Novo Nordisk)

“The award is next to my television and surrounded by fairy lights. It felt amazing to win one and has changed my life massively. It has opened the door for promotion and I’ve got a place on a Master’s degree course.” Tracey Murphy, Coloplast, Account Project Award 2017 (won with Coloplast).

Go to pfawards.co.uk   

View our photo gallery of the evening here. 







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