An East Sussex-based luxury travel firm has been recognised by Lloyds Bank for its generosity during the pandemic, winning an award and mentoring from a prominent business leader.

Wanderlux is a travel and concierge service that works with wealthy clients across the world to provide tailored experiential holidays. From bucket list requests to seeing gorillas in Uganda, and helicopter trips to Canada to spot grizzly bears, no request is too big.

Rebecca Puttock launched the business in 2018 with the aim of using her passion for travelling to benefit others. Having visited 73 countries, Rebecca used her extensive experience to create bespoke holidays for clients.

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, with foreign travel restricted, Wanderlux diversified by offering holidays in the UK.

During this time, CEO Rebecca discovered she was pregnant and decided to re-mortgage her home to secure the future of her business and her family. Rebecca also offered the firm’s services for free during the pandemic to support the wider travel and hospitality industry. This included giving away two honeymoon holidays via a competition, with the winners enjoying breaks in Mauritius.

As a result, Wanderlux has been named a winner in the Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2021 awards, which celebrate the achievements of small businesses across the UK. It was selected in recognition of how it adapted to the challenges of last year and went above and beyond to support others in the industry.

The prize is a mentoring session with Dominic Cools-Lartigue, founder of Street Feast, which will provide insight and support to help Rebecca navigate new opportunities and grow her business in the year ahead.

Rebecca Puttock, CEO and owner of Wanderlux, said: “When the pandemic hit, we couldn’t book anything due to the restrictions, and we didn’t have any real certainty of what lay ahead. I’ve always loved travelling and remained optimistic that the world would return to normal. But when I found out I was pregnant, I decided to make personal changes to support the business and my family’s future.

“Since restrictions have started to lift, my clients are starting to think about their next adventure. I’d hoped to reach £1million turnover this year and thanks to the changes I’ve made, I’m already on track to hit that over the summer. Thanks to the loyalty of my clients, and wider industry support, we’re now in a strong position to continue growing as the travel industry gets back on its feet.”

Gareth Oakley, managing director of business banking at Lloyds Bank, said: “So many have been affected over the past 18 months so it’s inspiring to hear how Rebecca has used her passion for travel to remain optimistic and make the changes needed to survive.

“Wanderlux is a great example of a business that uses its entrepreneurial spirit to remain focused on its long-term plans while helping others in a time of need. Rebecca is extremely deserving of this award, and I wish her the best of luck in the future.”