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Tue 5th Sep 2023 - Spa queen Dorothy Purdew passes away
Spa queen Dorothy Purdew passes away: One of the world’s most influential spa operators, Dorothy Purdew, the entrepreneurial force behind Champneys, which employs more than 2,000 people, has passed away. Dorothy Purdew, 91, opened her first health farm, Frimleys, in 1970. With her son Stephen, she went on to buy Springs, Henlow Grange, Forest Mere, Champneys, Eastwell Manor and Mottram Hall. Her clients have included Victoria and David Beckham, Barbara Windsor and Naomi Campbell. In February this year the company reported turnover increased 312% to £56,554,245 for the year ending 30 April 2022 compared with £13,719,013 the previous year. Revenue also exceeded the £49,821,877 for the year ending 30 April 2019 – the last full year before the pandemic. In 2011, Dorothy Purdew published her memoir, The Long Road to Champneys, which details her resilience and determination in rising from running a weight watchers class to founding her first spa – and pioneering the spa industry. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “I had the good fortune to meet Dorothy on many occasions. She was very much a family friend who combined incredible tenacity and talent in business with a huge amount of personal warmth.” Two years ago, Dorothy Purdew attended the Propel Women’s Entrepreneur conference and talked to journalist Kate Oppenheim about her incredible career. Below, in tribute to Dorothy Purdew, we include a video of that interview. Please click on the image to view.

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