The Cardiff Life Awards 2024 – one of the biggest annual events in the networking calendar and the talk of the town – took place on March 21st at The Mercure Cardiff Holland House, treating attendees to a night of glamour and accolades. Among the twenty-one winners, as always, were some of the Welsh capital’s brightest creative and enterprising minds, alongside charities doing some amazing work for those in need.

Each of the winners deserves a place in the spotlight, so make sure to check out the full list at the end of the article. But in the meantime, here are three organisations which took home a trophy and a bit more about their award-winning work.

Mercury Theatre Wales

Credit: Natasha Buck Photography

Mercury Theatre Wales, a Cardiff-based theatre company, is dedicated to crafting exceptional pioneering and thought-provoking productions. Their focus is nurturing Welsh talent and presenting fresh theatrical works tailored to resonate with modern audiences and local communities.

The creative organisation first achieved recognition with an ACW-funded tour of Nine Suitcases by Bela Zsolt, performed by David Prince with original music by Bethan Morgan and directed by Lynn Hunter. Originating as a project for the Welsh Fargo’s On the Edge series, the production captivated audiences in Cardiff and Swansea in March 2011, gaining two five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe that year. The subsequent ACW project funding enabled a tour across Wales and beyond, establishing the company in the theatrical scene.

In 2013, following ACW-funded research and development, Mercury Theatre Wales presented Spangled, a pioneering production based on 1990s nightlife experiences as told by nightclub staff, DJs and clubgoers. The innovative journey, which started the year before with the financial boost of an Arts Council grant and participation in a Wales Millennium Centre project, earned Lee Mengo a nomination for Best Actor in the Wales Theatre Critics Awards.

The following year, the company delved into an extensive research and development phase for their alternative Christmas show Anamnesis 25.12. The production, which toured Cardiff, Swansea and Pontardawe, explored diverse Christmas experiences. Supported by ACW, it extended its reach in 2015, embracing inclusivity and bringing joy to communities by visiting care homes and engaging local groups.

The company then embarked on their ongoing domestic abuse project, marking the beginning of a significant endeavour. One notable production stemming from this initiative is 35 Times, written and directed by the theatre’s artistic director Bethan Morgan. The show debuted in 2017, touring South and West Wales, captivating audiences with its poignant narrative. The show was so impactful that it returned in autumn 2019, garnering immense popularity and demand. Beyond public performances, the production has also been performed to specific audiences, including the police force and other service providers, underscoring its social relevance.

Mercury Theatre Wales’ commitment to fostering local talent and addressing pertinent social issues remains unwavering. As they delve deeper into their exploration of domestic abuse with their signature dedication to impactful storytelling and their hallmark proactive approach to engaging with pressing societal issues, they seek sponsorship for their forthcoming projects. 

Find out more about the theatre’s projects and donate on mercurytheatrewales.co.uk.

2wish

Credit: Natasha Buck Photography

2wish provides immediate and ongoing support for those affected by the sudden death of children and young people aged 25 and under. Now marking their sixth year in North Wales, the charity has had a remarkably moving journey since its inception in 2012. Steadfastly dedicated to ensuring that individuals impacted by the sudden and unexpected loss receive the support they rightly deserve, 2wish have made incredible strides in extending their support services across Wales.

In February 2012, Rhian Mannings, founder and CEO, suffered a profound tragedy, losing her son George and her husband Paul within a week of each other. Determined to turn her grief into something positive, she founded 2wish. The aim was clear – to ensure no parent would have to navigate such profound loss alone.

The early years of the charity were marked by tireless efforts to create spaces which offer solace for grieving families. In 2014, the first 2wish bereavement room was established at the University Hospital of Wales, offering a sanctuary for those grappling with the shattering news of a loved one’s passing.

Between 2014 and 2015 the focus of the organisation shifted towards supporting families across Wales affected by sudden loss through a pilot initiative which provided memory boxes and ongoing support. This period also saw the establishment of the Immediate Support Pathway, extending assistance to those mourning the loss of a child up to the age of 18.

The following year marked several milestones for 2wish, including the expansion of their support network to encompass individuals up to the age of 25, recognising the diverse needs of grieving families. They also opened up their support services to professionals impacted by such tragedies, ensuring a holistic approach to healing. What’s more, in a lighthearted yet impactful moment, 2wish secured a place in the Guinness World Records for the largest gathering of people dressed as elephants – an achievement symbolising their commitment to making a memorable difference.

The charity transitioned into an all-Wales organisation listed in the Procedural Response to Unexpected Death in Childhood (PRUDiC) document in 2018, which allowed them to broaden their reach to North Wales, forging partnerships and ensuring families across the region receive the support they urgently need.

As they forge ahead, 2wish remain dedicated to their core mission of providing solace and support to those navigating the unfathomable terrain of loss. With an unwavering commitment to compassion and community, they continue to illuminate paths of hope amid darkness, one heartfelt connection at a time.

Find out more about 2wish’s work and donate on 2wish.org.uk.

AltraLaw

Credit: Natasha Buck Photography

Pioneering legal institution AltraLaw distinguishes itself not only through its exceptional legal services but also through its unique commitment to philanthropy. Founder Nathan Vidini’s vision behind AltraLaw was to establish a law firm where profits would serve to empower the marginalised while offering top-tier legal guidance and support to clients.

In January 2020, after two years of meticulous planning and unwavering determination, AltraLaw first opened its doors, marking the advent of the UK’s first not-for-profit law firm. Since then, the company has experienced remarkable growth, expanding its team and attracting skilled attorneys from various legal domains, all driven by a shared dedication to bringing about positive change.

The firm’s dedication to delivering exceptional legal services has garnered widespread recognition, with AltraLaw’s team earning prestigious awards and commendations from esteemed legal directories. Moreover, the firm continually receives glowing testimonials from satisfied clients, which highlights its unwavering commitment to excellence.

At the heart of AltraLaw’s ethos lies a profound desire to give back. This altruistic spirit is epitomised by its unique business model, whereby all profits are directed towards causes chosen by clients and aimed at addressing pressing societal needs. This distinctive approach ensures that every legal transaction is not merely a service rendered but a catalyst for meaningful change.

What sets AltraLaw apart is its steadfast focus on understanding and fulfilling the needs of its clients. The firm exclusively recruits and collaborates with compassionate attorneys who recognise that exceptional client service is inseparable from a commitment to social justice. By harnessing the power of business for good, AltraLaw ensures that its profits serve as a lifeline for those most in need, aligning its success with the broader goal of advancing social welfare.

In essence, AltraLaw embodies a holistic approach to legal practice – one that seamlessly integrates professionalism with philanthropy. As clients seek expert counsel to navigate complex legal matters, they also find reassurance in knowing that their contributions to the firm are instrumental in driving positive change in society. With a relentless dedication to excellence and a steadfast commitment to social impact, AltraLaw continues to redefine the boundaries of legal practice, demonstrating that the pursuit of justice can also be a vehicle for transformative societal change.

Learn more about the firm’s services and meet the AltraExperts at altralaw.co.uk.

Credit: Natasha Buck Photography

Congratulations to the Cardiff Life Awards 2024 winners:

  • Arts & Creative – Mercury Theatre Wales
  • Bar – The Gwaelod y Garth Inn
  • Business Services – Ogi 
  • Charity – 2wish & Cardiff Women’s Aid
  • Civic – Media Academy Cymru
  • Education – Cardiff & Vale Tutors
  • Employer – New Directions 
  • Event – Tafwyl 
  • Financial – RWB Wealth
  • Hair & Beauty – Simon Constantinou at O.Constantinou & Sons
  • Health & Wellbeing – Sarah Alex Carter Wellbeing Coach
  • Homes & Interiors – Norah Rose Staging
  • Legal – AltraLaw
  • Leisure & Tourism – The Royal Mint Experience 
  • New Business – Weboss 
  • People Services – Cleverchefs
  • Property – PLATFORM_
  • Restaurant – Home, Penarth
  • Retail – Jokeshop.com
  • Sustainability – Cardiff Cycle Workshop
  • Technology – Checks Direct
  • Welsh Language – Menter Caerdydd
  • Platinum Award – Checks Direct

For more of the latest business news in and around Cardiff, take a look at our brand new dedicated magazine Cardiff Business Life.

Author WCS

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