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Helmsley businesswoman nominated at Yorkshire Women of Achievement Awards 2016

The owner of Duncombe Sawmilll, Emma Woods, has been nominated for a Yorkshire Women of Achievement Award, just four months after receiving an MBE.

The 30th Sue Ryder Yorkshire Women of Achievement awards will take place at New Dock Hall in Leeds on Friday 20th May. Women from all across Yorkshire will be gathering to celebrate their achievements, their trials, challenges and successes whilst also raising funds for Sue Ryder, which provides invaluable hospice and neurological care.

Last year, the event welcomed more than 700 of the most influential people from across Yorkshire and raised more than £45,000 for the charity.

Emma, 48, took over Duncombe Sawmill in Helmsley in 2003 as it faced closure, despite having no previous experience in the field. It is now a thriving and niche timber business which prides itself on manufacturing good quality British products and offering outstanding customer service.

By taking on the business Emma ensured valuable skills, passed down through generations for well over a century, were not lost forever. When she took over, Emma became the first woman to work in the business – although the team now comprises equal numbers of both sexes.  A team of eight people are now employed at the sawmill, which uses British timber and traditional woodworking techniques to create gates, fencing, outdoor furniture and timber framed buildings. Clients include the North York Moors National Park Authority, the Forestry Commission and London Fashion Week.

Emma Woods said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been nominated for this award, and I feel very honoured. It’s not been easy turning things around at the sawmill but it has been immensely rewarding and I am very lucky to have a fantastic team, and some very loyal customers. It’s also wonderful being based in the town of Helmsley as there is a very supportive business community there, and as a member of the Helmsley in Business group I have made some fantastic connections and seen the town go from strength to strength.”

Georgina Abbott, Senior Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, said: “This year is going to be an extraordinary year for us as we celebrate the 30th event since Yorkshire Women of Achievement was first launched. It’s an honour to be able to have an opportunity to celebrate amazing women across Yorkshire who with their passion, ambition and determination set an example for future generations to come”.