Cherie Blair is set to open the 2022 Merseyside Women of the Year (MWOTY) awards ceremony, in a year that has seen the awards ceremony’s largest-ever number of nominations.
For sixteen years the barrister and founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women has been Patron for MWOTY Inspirational Woman category sponsors, Community Foundation for Merseyside, donating her time to passionately promote the importance of charitable giving that will support communities with the most need.
Brought up in Waterloo in Sefton, she has been invited to open the 2022 awards in recognition of her unwavering passion for Merseyside and commitment to empowering women to achieve their goals, which supports the ethos and aims of the much-loved MWOTY awards.
Cherie also has a previous connection to the awards ceremony, as a Patron of previous MWOTY winner The Lily Centre, which won the Women’s Group category in 2004 for its work supporting women in the region with breast cancer. The charity operated from 1999 to 2015 supporting some 1,700 people, before founders Peggy O’Brien and Winnie Keating retired and the charity’s work was taken over by the Marina Dalglish Centre.
The awards return to the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool City Centre on Friday 1st July for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Nominations for this year’s ceremony closed at the end of last month with a total of 80 entries – the most to be received in the event’s 12-year history.
Renowned for shining a spotlight on those women who do not seek the limelight or push themselves to the front, but instead work to make a difference to the people, sectors and communities they serve, their return has been hotly anticipated.
Ellie Kerr, Founding Director and original ‘Merseyside Woman of the Year’, said: “It has been a long wait for these awards and we have received so many incredible entries. Cherie is an incredible woman whose values and work aligns closely with MWOTY’s mission, so to have her join us to open our first in-person awards ceremony in two years is a pleasure and an honour.”
Cherie Blair CBE QC, said: “As someone both passionate about Merseyside and seeing women empowered to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals, I am tremendously excited to support the forthcoming Merseyside Women of the Year Awards. It promises to be an inspirational event and I look forward to learning more about the remarkable achievements of all the wonderful finalists.”
Rae Brooke, CEO at the Community Foundation for Merseyside, said: “Every year, the Merseyside Women of the Year Awards celebrate the achievements of local women. They reward the best of the best and leave a legacy of amazing role models for the next generation of women, which complements our own mission through our Merseyside Women’s Fund – supporting and empowering women to overcome barriers. There really is no other event quite like it.
“Cherie Blair has long been a strong advocate for women’s rights, promoting the financial independence of women in low and middle income countries through the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. She is also a wonderful ambassador for our own organisation who frequently donates her time to passionately promote the importance of charitable giving that will support communities with the most need. We are delighted she will be doing the honour of opening the awards.”
Kerstie Skeaping, partner at headline sponsor Hill Dickinson, said: “Cherie Blair has carved out a successful career as a leading barrister and is an inspirational role model to many of us in the legal profession. Her presence at the awards underlines the importance of celebrating women’s achievements and adds to the excitement of this year’s event.”
The overall Merseyside Woman of the Year 2022 will be selected from all finalists, following a public vote (contributing 50% of the overall score) and being marked by the organisation’s judging panel against its criteria, which can be viewed here, contributing the remaining 50% of the final score.
The coveted top prize will be presented by headline sponsor Hill Dickinson and category sponsors for 2022 include Community Foundation for Merseyside, Courage & Sparkle, Everton FC, Financial Planning Corporation, Neo Community and ADDvanced Solutions.