Mum who battled brain bleeds wins 'best newcomer' at business awards

Colette Wall

Colette Walls founded qVirtual in April 2021 after years of ill health inspired her to prioritise her happiness. - Credit: Colette Wall

A Brentwood mum-of-three whose battle with ill health left her bed-bound has been recognised at a business awards ceremony.  

At the start of last month, Colette Walls won the best newcomer category at the annual Virtual Assistant (VA) Conference and Awards 2022 for her business qVirtual, which she launched in April last year.

 Working with small businesses and private individuals, qVirtual aims to help its clients “fulfil their scale-up dreams in a cost-effective way”.  

Services range from diary management to event ticket sourcing.  

This comes after Colette suffered from a spinal fluid leak that saw her battle brain bleeds and other serious symptoms, but she said she is “luckily 100 per cent healthy now".  

She said: “Winning the award meant everything to me, not only because I’ve worked really hard for the last year to get my business to where it is, but also everything I've been through with regard to my spinal leak.  

“It’s been extremely tough for me over the past few years, so to know I've got through that and to have achieved what I've achieved within a year has been fantastic.” 

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It was Colette's diminished quality of health that inspired her to start her own company.  

“When you’re sick and you’re lying in bed and can’t stand up for a long time, you have a lot of time to think about things.  

“I wanted to make sure that going forward if I ever got better, I wanted to do things that would make myself happy as opposed to doing a job that, even though I enjoyed it, it wasn’t mine.”  

Colette says being a virtual assistant allows her to work flexibly around her life. 

She added: “As well as helping other people, it helps your life too."  

Prior to launching qVirtual, Colette was an executive assistant in the city for more than 20 years. 

Colette says she now enjoys being able to help small businesses and private lifestyle clients “get their stuff in order”.  

“There are so many people out there that are disorganised and that you can help with home or business admin.”  

Colette is in the process of expanding her team to make qVirtual’s services available to more people.