THE owner of an accountancy firm in Newport has been nominated for a Pride of Gwent award alongside his staff.

Phil Bessant, of Phil Bessant Ltd which is based in Caerau Road in the city, and members of his team have been put forward for the Charity Champion award at this year's event.

The nominator, who remains a mystery to Mr Bessant, spoke of how the team "work tirelessly throughout the year, organising their very own calendar of events and also supporting the events of St David's Hospice Care where they can".

"It is absolutely amazing to be put forward," said Mr Bessant.

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"The team spend a lot of time organising events to raise funds and to be recognised for that is all the thanks we would need."

It all started on March 1, 2013, when the team decided to lock Mr Bessant (the MD) into the boardroom with nothing but a phone and a list of phone numbers to see if they could raise £1000 for St David’s in order to set him free.

"I don’t know whether the response was to set me free or to keep me locked up but we raised over £3500," he said.

"This not only made us realise people wanted to support charity but that with some effort from us we can generate significant amounts of money."

Almost £60,000 later, the team are still going and are looking forward to their major event for this year which will be “An Evening with Sam Warburton” on October 11 at the Village Hotel in Cardiff.

"In 2013 we as a team agreed we would like not only to provide a service to the community via our profession but to make a difference within the community by helping a local charity," continued Mr Bessant.

"You can’t get a more deserving local charity than St David’s so it would reflect not only our commitment to the community but also to the charity.

"What we have shown is that in general people would like to support such great causes so we facilitate this desire, I won’t underestimate the work my team put into it but without the support it would not be viable.

"We have been doing it for more than six years now and see no reason not to continue and a thank-you along the way certainly brings a smile to the face."

To make a nomination of your own, visit before May 12.