A WOKING business has been nominated for a national award run by the Family Network.

Funmumsfitness, a workout group built around children started by Dora Szentivanyi, is on a shortlist of six for the Small Business of the Year award, sponsored by Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support. The category is open to all businesses with fewer than five employees.

“We're very proud of ourselves,” Dora said. “It's amazing to be a finalist.”

The Family Network has 13 branches and some 27,000 members in the UK. It supports parents in business with free networking events and affordable workshops. There is no charge for membership.

This is the seventh year of its National Business awards, which recognise hard-working families across the country.

Entry to the awards is by public nomination, and Victoria Alcock, a director of the Family Network, was impressed by the response to Funmumsfitness. “It stood out by the number of nominations and testimonials,” she said.

“This is our biggest year yet, and Dora’s category attracted about 300 businesses. To be on a final list of six really is a significant achievement.

“We look for detail about the business, what makes it stand out,” Victoria went on. “Could a judge read about the business and think ‘I know them, I get that’. And, of course, the personality behind the business.”

Dora began Funmumsfitness about two years ago, to provide a safe environment for young children so that their mothers can exercise.

“I always say that motherhood is rewarding, it’s the best thing in the world, but it is hard and challenging too.

“It’s very easy for new mothers to feel lonely and isolated, and we want to offer them the chance to meet up and have a chat over coffee.

“The award means a lot to me and to Funmumsfitness. It’s always a nice feeling when your hard work and dedication gets noticed and rewarded, but when it’s by an organisation that is run by mums and based on mums and dads, who all know how hard it is to juggle family life and business, it is even more heart-warming."

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Saturday 28 March in Bournemouth, and the evening will also be raising funds for Pandas, the post-natal depression charity.

For more information on Funmumsfitness and its classes, visit www.funmumsfitness.co.uk, or to learn more about the Family Network visit www.thefamilynetwork.net

For the full story get the 30 January edition of the News & Mail