A BAKERY owner who managed to turn her life around after being made redundant has been crowned runner-up in a prestigious Royal awards ceremony.
Hartlepool woman Victoria Burns – who got herself out of the dole queue and opened her own bakery – has scooped second place with a Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Enterprise Award.
The 27-year-old was given the accolade at The Prince’s Trust and L’Oréal Paris Celebrate Success Awards, at The Sage, in Gateshead, Newcastle, on Monday night.
As reported in the Mail last week, Victoria, of Mardale Avenue, Hartlepool, sought help to realise her dream of owning her own bakery business from The Prince’s Trust.
She said she was thrilled with the recognition and added: “I’d like to thank The Prince’s Trust for nominating me for this award and helping me to set my business up.
“I really couldn’t have done it without their advice and support.”
And David Thompson, from RBS, said: “Victoria has proved that it is possible to succeed in business against all the odds. The Royal Bank of Scotland is proud to be sponsoring this award and we wish Victoria every success in the future.”
Victoria worked for the Three Cooks Bakery, on the Fens shopping parade, in Hartlepool, for eight years before she and three other colleagues were told the devastating news they were out of a job.
The 28-year-old had started as a Saturday girl before working her way up to assistant manager.
But the former English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College student did not let the 2008 closure setback get her down.
Victoria found a job at Tesco’s and, while working at the supermarket, set about realising her dream of owning her own shop.
After months of hard work and help from The Prince’s Trust, she eventually opened her own bakery, Victoria’s, which is on the shopping parade site of her former Three Cooks Bakery employers, and runs VB Catering.
She also employs three other people and a trainee from Hartlepool College of Further Education.
A spokesman for the Trust said: “Her shop, which sells high quality bread and pastries, is a valued part of the community and benefits from regular customers.
“This has helped to increase sales in other businesses in the area. Victoria is very grateful for the financial help and mentoring she received from The Prince’s Trust.”