An up and coming County Durham businesswoman has topped off a successful year with a prestigious award win and a promotion to head up her family’s business.

Alison Stephenson was recently named the winner of the ‘Rising Star’ award at the North East Business Women of the Year Awards (WIN Awards).

This award is designed to recognise emerging talent and was open to women who have already made a mark in a business environment.

Alison was recognised for her commitment to promoting disability in the workplace and highlighting that people with disabilities can succesfully run businesses (Alison is deaf), particularly in a male-dominated environment.

The win came just weeks after the 39-year-old was named Managing Director of AAA Caring Caretaker, the cleaning company founded by her dad Richard H Tucker MBE in 2015.

The business, which provides cleaning and caretaker services to companies and organisations across the North East and Yorkshire, is currently in the process of relocating to flagship premises at Bowburn North Industrial Estate to support growth.

As part of that journey, Alison will now lead the business on the next phase of it’s development as Richard prepares for semi-retirement.

Alison, whose husband Robert also works for the company, said: “This is a very exciting time for the business and of course, for me personally.

“To be recognised on such a prestigious stage as the WIN awards, and honoured by my peers as winner in the Rising Star category, is a real highlight of my career and the fact it’s coincided with my step up to Managing Director of my family’s business makes it all the more special.

“Our business is going through a real period of growth and the move to Bowburn will enable me to successfully take us through the next stage of the journey.”

AAA works with the likes of the NHS, PD Ports, Hartlepool Marina, Esh Housing, and the MOD.

The company employs 41 people including 17 ex-armed forces personnel, nine of which have unseen disabilities, and was recently crowned Employer of the Year at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards and has been named ‘Most Trusted Cleaning Company in the North East’ at the SME Awards.

Last year, AAA Caring Caretaker Ltd won the Soldiering On Awards for Business Growth, sponsored by the London Stock Exchange, and was acknowledged in the top 50 worldwide veteran-owned companies at the 2018 Invictus Games.

Richard said: “Over the past seven years our business has grown significantly and even during the Covid pandemic we manged to diversify and move into new markets.

“But now I feel the time is right for me to take a back seat and put the business in the very talented and capable hands of Alison, who is ambitious and full of ideas to help AAA continue on this upwards trajectory.

“While I will still be involved with the business on a part-time basis, Alison is fully at the helm, and I know she’s relishing the challenging of putting her stamp on things.”