Women, who have made outstanding contributions to improve women’s lives, have been honoured at an awards ceremony at Manchester Town Hall.
Awards were given in nine categories for women who made an outstanding contribution in business, art, sport, culture, science, the environment, older people, young person and the special women’s award in honour of a former councillor in Manchester, Kath Fry.
Councillor Suzanne Richards Manchester City Council's lead member for women's issues said:
"For those of us on the judging panel this year it was an extremely difficult task. The quality of nominations exceeded our expectations and is a reflection of the breadth of talent we have in the city.
From an outstanding young woman Sinead Andrews, who from the age of 12 has advocated the rights of young people, and recently was lauded locally and nationally for being the articulate teenage voice during the riots, to an inspirational older woman Margaret Mayne who won the Valuing Older People award for sharing her passion of singing as well as running an over 50’s singing group, there were some outstanding women in each category.
Details of the winners are below -
Women and Art – Charlotte Newson
Charlotte has a history of working with women from a variety of cultures and backgrounds on fantastic art projects including the successful art exhibition ‘Women Like You’ a portrait of Emmeline Pankhurst made up of images of women.
Women and Business - Rachel Ray
Rachel has a successful business based around a franchise model that trains women across the UK to manage a team of professional housekeepers delivering a high quality service to clients. This industry is largely unregulated but Rachel’s business implements proper training, salaries and fair working condition for its 100% female workforce.
Women and Science – Professor Ruth Itgzhaki
A Professor at Manchester University, Ruth won the science award because of her hugely positive impact on women and the wider community for work that she and her team have done in understanding the underlying reasons for Alzheimers with the real hope of a control for the disease
Women and Sport – joint winners Sarah Stevenson and June Kelly
Sarah is Britain’s only Olympic taekwondo medallist and four times European title winner. She won bronze in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She is part of the Great British academy in Newton Heath and is committed to helping young people to aid their athletic and personal development.
June has made a massive contribution to her community through sport. She coaches football at the Abraham Moss Warriors football club six days a week and in the past five years, she has personally coached 44 players that have gone for trials with professional clubs. She gives up more than 45 hours a week voluntarily and encourages the young people of Cheetham Hill to lead a healthy lifestyle, to steer clear of drugs, gangs and anti-social behaviour.
Women and Culture – joint winners Re-Verb and Ramona Constantin
Re:Verb are a group of young women with a passion for music and entertainment who want to change the way women are represented in the music industry especially within the hip hop genre. They have performed for Prince Charles and created their own five track EP of their music.
Ramona came to Manchester in 2009 from Romania and since then has been bridging the gap between the Roma culture and the wider community.
Women and Environment – Clare Sefton
Clare works as a scientist but her award is for her passion and commitment to the protection of bats and their environment. She is one of the leading authorities on bats in this country. She has run hundreds of events and activities over the year to raise awareness and understanding about bats and with her help the Council has undertaken a major city nature project to install bat boxes along city centre canals.
Outstanding Young Woman – Sinead Andrews
Valuing Older People – Margaret Mayne
Special Award in honour of Kath Fry – Jo Wiggans
Jo is the director of the Aimhigher initiaitive, which targets initiatives to young people from under-represented groups to progress to higher education. She was successful in raising aspirations and supporting young women from the most deprived areas to progress to higher education, enabling them to fulfil their potential.