Suzy chose PR because first and foremost, she loved seeing the positive in people. As a cynical journalist and a liver of this world, I know that’s not an easy task.
It wasn’t when I first knew Suzy, it wasn’t when we were married, and it isn’t now. But Suzy saw the positive in everybody. She was willing to give them a chance – from her colleagues to her clients to the companies she worked for. She wasn’t a fool – she could quite easily see through if someone was lying, but she was always willing to give people a chance. That’s something in this world people don’t often do.
In terms of work, she certainly was the ‘rising star’, but Suzy believed in other people. And because she believed in people, she believed in those around them. She loved working with her team at LEWIS and seeing the best in her colleagues, and they loved her back. I think that’s how you get ahead in PR and get ahead in life – you really believe in your clients, your journalists, and your team. Suzy also loved her clients, and they loved her. She wasn’t a cynical person. Nor was she fake, either.
She got her belief in people from the church and her strong Christian faith. There is no other way of putting it. She was the daughter of a vicar and from an early age she had a relationship with God. From that, she learned to believe in people. Suzy was always the person who could deal with the ‘difficult people’ in life – even me!
I often think that that is a key ingredient to our winners so far – the belief in people. Suzy would have loved these awards because they are all about people believing in other people and being recognised for it, and I think it’s fantastic we’ve had so many nominations.
The people who were moved to nominate believed in those people enough to put them up for an award. We’ve seen awards from small agencies, big agencies, mega-agencies…and you know what? It’s been absolutely incredible. Every person who has nominated should also be recognised.
For me personally, this award is about belief almost above anything else. In people. In God. In loving others. And the Suzy Spirit Awards reflect as much about her as anything else I’ve seen in the four-or-so years that she’s been gone.
Please take this opportunity to nominate someone who moves you, the closing date is Friday 23rd December – so good luck.
Suzy Ferguson inspired me in sickness and in health. I know this because even when she was in her final days, ravaged by cancer and lying in the hospice, one of her friends was talking to her about her problems. The same case was with another work colleague who needed Suzy’s advice about her current trials and travails.
Suzy was a confidante, a friend, and someone people loved to be around. One of her biggest strengths was her ability to be welcoming. She loved standing on the steps of the church, welcoming people to come into the service. In fact, that was where I first met her. She smiled at me – as she did to everyone.
Suzy was so welcoming – and inspired me to be more so – and people loved her for it. You can never say words like “to a fault”, when it comes to being welcoming, because you can only be positive about someone who is. Suzy’s ability to be welcoming came with a beautiful heart – and people knew it. To some, people might have seen her as someone that people took advantage of (sometimes, cynically, it was me!), but to her, it was being the person she loved to be: The listening ear, the wise word, the great consul.
One of the things I’ve been asked to write is about how I’ve coped since she’s been gone. I know I’m doing OK, because I’ve got a beautiful new girlfriend….and I’m still alive. The Suzy Ferguson Award means so much because Suzy was loved by everybody she knew – her family, her friends, and her colleagues.
This is a way of showing people what sort of person she was. There is nothing deeper or Oscar-like about that. And by this award, we want someone who reflects her values. Her values of kindness, hard work, and being nice to everyone she was around was rooted in her background as a Christian. People should nominate if they feel like that the person they are nominating (regardless of faith) fits into those categories.
There are two new categories in 2017 – the Suzy Spirit Inspiration Award, and the Suzy Spirit Rising Star Award– visit the respective nomination form pages to find out more about each award, and how easy it is to nominate.
I met Suzy on the steps of St Barnabas Church, Kensington when she had already started working at LEWIS.
Suzy loved the job, the people and the clients as much as they loved her. She was sad every time a person left the building. She revelled in their successes both ‘on and off the field’. She came home and told me all the good news, and she LOVED working with people.
But what always stuck with me was the time that she was having a rough time handling the workload and the stresses that come with her job, so went to look for other opportunities. She handed in her resignation….and the LEWIS office handed it back, with the same terms as the new job, plus agreement to reduce the stress. Suzy was so taken aback by the generosity that she phoned me immediately – came home in tears!
She was very much the graduate but kept her beautiful smile and her “go-getter” attitude, which prevailed until she could no longer work.
LEWIS showed how invaluable she was to them….and she showed loyalty and hard work back. And it never changed. Until it had to for health reasons.
Suzy didn’t have a huge schedule outside of the workplace (frankly, because I was quite the project!), but she always made sure that she made her church Bible studies on a Friday and didn’t put work before her weekends with friends or family.
Her biggest charity was volunteering at the church – she gave so much time and effort to being a member at St Barnabas, and they loved her for it. She put faith first, and everything else came second.
In terms of mantras to live by, she had one, and that was: “Bring it on!”. She never gave up the good fight for anything or anyone. And that was a beautiful thing.
If you know someone who inspires you the same way that Suzy inspired me, her colleagues and her friends, then please nominate them for the 2017 award today.
There are two categories – the Suzy Spirit Inspiration Award, and the Suzy Spirit Rising Star Award– visit the nomination pages to find out more about each award.