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Steamship Shieldhall a winner at SO Star Awards ceremony

Southampton’s finest tourism individuals, attractions and related businesses celebrated their achievements at the 2020 SO Star Awards, a dinner and award presentation which took place at the Grand Café. Steamship Shieldhall was a big winner on the evening, being awarded ‘Attraction of the Year’.

In unprecedented times SO Star award winners represent true beacons throughout their industry, all that is best in a sector which has been hit with more challenges than most by the Covid pandemic.

Postponed from spring due to lockdown, the SO Star Awards, delivered in association with A-One Insurance Group, Ange’s Brows, DA Training Consulting, Compass Spirits, Double Dutch, Elis, Enotria Wines, Estrella DAM, Harvest Foods, Meridian Lifts, Signable and Wave 105 were staged successfully by adhering to government guidance and regulations and in association with the Southampton City Council environmental health team.

The evening genuinely retained the kudos and glamour of past gala ceremonies and attracted hundreds of entrants from throughout the SO postcode area.

Jackie Phillipson, co-founder the SO and BHStar Awards, paid tribute to the sponsors who made the event possible as well as the participants who took part.

She said: “The hospitality and leisure sector has been affected to a massive degree during the past few months, yet despite that new independent venues launched, businesses diversified, pivoted or invested in additional screening and outdoor equipment as required. They have never given up, rather, they made every effort to combat hardship, welcome visitors and locals alike and provide a wonderful customer experience in changed circumstances.

“People supported much-loved favourite venues, attractions and businesses, beginning with Eat Out to Help Out, then, as restrictions eased, going out more frequently with family and friends, whether for exercise, entertainment or mental wellbeing. They tried new places, explored, learned about this city and its wider environs, and provided much needed revenue to keep doors open and valued staff in their jobs.

“The commitment of these winners – and all who entered – shows that they take immense pride in offering the best of the Southampton region. They all exude that star quality which we have come to recognise during the past few years since we launched the SO Star Awards.”

Lewis Folland, Shieldhall website manager, accepted the award on behalf of all Shieldhall volunteers: ‘We are thrilled and very proud to have won the SO Stars ‘Attraction of the Year’ award. It gives us all a great boost as we plan ahead to what we hope will be a kinder 2021. It was also a pleasure to share the evening with our partners SEE Southampton, who were other category winners. SEE Southampton provide guided tours on our popular ‘In the Footsteps of Titanic, Spitfire and Mayflower’ packages, available exclusively for groups of 10 or more. We will be working with SEE Southampton in 2021, when we look forward to staging a number of cruises held over from this summer.’