My MWOTY story, by Jacqueline Winstanley, Executive Chair of Courage & Sparkle

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“I was first invited to attend by our founder Úna McBride in 2016, when she was nominated for an award. She was presented with the MWOTY Woman of Courage Award in June and passed away a few weeks later, following a battle with the Cancer Dragon.

Since then, we have sponsored the award and we will continue to do so, as supporting MWOTY is part of Úna’s legacy. Although this was initially a commitment in accordance with the wishes of our founder, it is also now a personal commitment on my part.

I have seen first-hand the dedication of the MWOTY team and other sponsors who help to pull all this together. Coupled with the ‘Sparkle’ that is sprinkled throughout the day, I can assure you there is not a dry eye in the room during the event

This magic can be seen and felt so clearly by all involved in the event – nominees, judges, guests, families. The impact on the individuals concerned and all those who assist and are showcased at the event lives on long after the event is over.

Everything I have seen about MWOTY to date has filled me with confidence in terms of its integrity and purpose. Having myself sat on the awards panel, I’ve been impressed with the nominations and the judging process.  The event itself is an enchanting experience, but most importantly it represents the aspirations and achievements of real women who live and work within the city.

I enjoy seeing the recognition of the nominees and the amazing work that is being done within the city by such extraordinary women. The pre-award ceremony events really encapsulate the essence of MWOTY, the support provided by the MWOTY team and the amazing awards community that exists within the city, beyond its confines, nationally and internationally.

One thing I particularly like, is the fact that the finalists have the opportunity to meet with each other and mix with the sponsors prior to their big day. This helps with pre-event nerves and ensures that everyone is supported through the whole process. This year, we are eager to get even more involved and embrace the opportunities offered by the MWOTY team.

The North is a powerhouse, and there are so many women who deserve to be celebrated here. MWOTY reflects the ‘Northernness’ of the award and it puts the spotlight on the amazing women in our region, and in particular Liverpool, which is close to my heart.

There are plenty of awards for women in the UK, even here in the North. However, this one stands out because it actively seeks out those who would choose not to put themselves in the spotlight, but should be recognised, nonetheless.

MWOTY is a magical experience that embraces and brings out the true empowerment of women and the continued support they can access through the very successful MWOTY alumni, long after the award ceremony draws to a close.”

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