Dear Entrant

To say that this has been an extraordinary year for us all would be an understatement. While, as I write, it looks as if an astonishing breakthrough has been made with one of the coronavirus vaccines in play, the disruption caused by the pandemic has obviously been profound, and the constraints and restrictions are likely to continue until at least the Spring of 2021. Accepting this, we have taken the very difficult decision to merge what would have been the BCO’s 2021 Awards Competition with the competition which will take place in 2022.

We fully accept that this decision will be a disappointment for many, and can only apologise for any inconvenience which has been caused. All submissions received or still being prepared for submission for 2021 will be rolled forward to 2022, and there will be a further call for entries in due course to create, what we hope, will be a truly bumper crop of offices to assess in 2022. The awards portal will remain open until 5pm on Friday, 27 November 2020 and you can continue working on your entry until then as normal. You will be able to pick your entry up again when the website reopens next year. If, as we all desperately hope, life can return to normal in 2021, the judging process for the 2022 competition, can continue as it has always done, with the regional visits to be scheduled in February/ March 2022, followed by the national visits in June/July 2022.

I do hope that you may have had a chance to participate in our festival week of virtual regional awards last month, and will be able to join us for the presentation of the 2020 National Awards (at a virtual ceremony necessarily postponed until early next year). The quality of entries across the board was exceptionally high, further demonstrating the extraordinary skill of the BCO’s membership in generating the very best offices around. Despite the effectiveness of virtual ceremonies, we have all missed hugely our celebratory awards lunches and dinners, and will much look forward to their return in 2022.

As ever, please accept my sincere thanks for your continued support for the BCO’s Awards Competition, and our work more generally. Again, I can only apologise for any inconvenience which may have been caused by this difficult decision, and do hope that you will understand that, sadly, accepting the current restrictions on movement and gatherings, we were left with no choice.

With very best wishes

Richard Kauntze
BCO Chief Executive

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