CHARD painters and decorators have won two top awards at the Dulux Select Decorator Awards.

Rachel Bates and Luke Watts, of Bates & Misons, have won the Adding Colour to People's Lives Category for their work transforming Pip's Railway Carriage Cafe in Lopenhead.

Luke said: "We did everything we could to ensure customers felt safe.

"We were able to bring members of the community together to transform the railway cafe safely, during such a difficult year and it’s fantastic to see our efforts recognised with this award.”

Rachel also won the Wallpaper Project under £1,500 category, with judges saying her skills were "a work of art".

"It was an honor to be named as a winner in not one, but two categories," Rachel added.

"After such a difficult year for everyone it was wonderful to be able to look back on 2020 and feel proud of the work I had done."

The Dulux Select Decorators scheme enrols professional decorators who undergo rigorous assessments to become members - they must have at least three years’ experience in the trade and have run their own business for a minimum of 12 months.

Following a challenging year for decorators, the members of the scheme came together for a virtual night of celebration.

Despite the 2020 awards being virtual, it was still a night to remember with live entertainment and a prize draw, as the judges including Dulux creative director Marianne Shillingford announced the deserving winners.

Vickie Mather, Dulux select decorators lead, said: “I was honoured to award deserving winners Rachel and Luke with these two awards.

“Now more so than ever, being a professional decorator can be very isolating, so to see Rachel and Luke get involved in a great community project in their local area is brilliant.

“The awards ceremony was a great opportunity to reflect on the hard work and dedication all our Dulux Select Decorators give the painting and decorating trade - as well as recognising those that go above and beyond in providing exceptional workmanship for their clients.”

Other categories included: Best Newcomer, Sprayed Finish, Exterior Project, Interior Project and Apprentice Mentor.

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