A party firm has seen off hundreds of rivals to win an award for throwing the best children's parties.

Jellybugs, which has a soft play area and play cafe, was voted the south east’s best children’s party venue in awards hosted by parenting site Netmums.com.

Paula Dixon, from Epsom, had breast cancer diagnosed just three months after starting a soft play area in West Ewell in September 2009.

Despite starting treatment she managed to open another Jellybugs branch in Kingston’s Rotunda complex the following year. The business has since gone from strength to strength.

Mrs Dixon said: "We are overwhelmed at winning this award. Running a party venue is no easy task and we always try and make it a fantastic experience for both the birthday child and parents.

"It makes it all very worthwhile. The award makes all the hard work worthwhile and proves that a local business like ours can get national recognition."

The firm, which runs up to 10 parties a week in both venues, will receive free advertising on the parenting site and a special certificate.

Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard said: "Putting on parties for little ones is very big business and the competition has been intense, but Jellybugs stood out.

"Parents couldn’t praise it enough so it is a worthy winner."

Jellybugs won the Best Small Independent Business prize in the Epsom and Ewell Business Awards 2011 which are supported by this newspaper.