Artisan cheese maker, Judy Bell of Shepherds Purse in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by Family Business Place, the UK’s leading resource for family-run businesses.

Judy joins a high profile short list of 5 finalists in the Red Ribbon Awards 2012, including Lord Harris of Peckham, founder of Carpetright; Bryn and Emma Parry, Help the Heroes; Charlie Mullins, Pimlico Plumbers and Pratibha Sachder of Lifestyle Care.

The Red Ribbon Awards aim to recognise the achievements of family businesses throughout the country, both large and small and the Lifetime Achievement category award is dedicated to someone who has made a major impact on the world of family business during their career.

The winner will be announced after the annual Family Ties 2012 business conference at a glittering ceremony and charity dinner held at the Shaw Theatre/Novotel, London on 23 November 2012.

Judy, a past speaker at the Family Ties Conference, works tirelessly to champion family-run and small businesses and was recently part of a ninety strong group of Northern Real Life Entrepreneurs from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) who joined together to march on Parliament to push the Government to act on its promises to remove the barriers to growth for small business owners. Judy was invited to be one of the speakers to address Shadow Small Business Minister, Toby Perkins MP to outline what practical steps can be taken to improve the confidence of small business owners and what action should to be taken to make a difference across key areas.

Award winning artisan cheese producer, Shepherds Purse, was founded by Judy Bell on her farmhouse kitchen table more than 25 years ago and is now in the capable hands of her daughters, Katie Matten and Caroline Bell, who took over the reigns from Judy this year, when she stepped back to take on the role of Chairman.

Famous for it’s Yorkshire Blue cheese, it counts the English rival to Roquefort, Mrs Bell’s Blue and the first Buffalo milk blue cheese made in the UK, Buffalo Blue, amongst its artisan range. It’s latest innovation, Harrogate Blue, an exclusive golden bodied blue veined cheese has already picked up 3 awards since its launch in June this year.