MWOTY 2019
Winners & Runners Up

Laura Hughes

Michael W Halsall Solicitors Merseyside Woman of the Year 2019

Laura Hughes is the sister of Colin McGinty, who was brutally stabbed to death in a shocking case of mistaken identity. Sadly, since Colin’s death, the number of knife crime victims have risen at an alarming rate.

 

Laura believes that there is a danger that young people will start to believe that carrying a knife is normal and campaigns to prevent this. Her positivity is infectious and she is determined to bring about change, to prevent other families enduring the pain hers has suffered.

Mia Austin

Michael W Halsall Solicitors Merseyside Woman of the Year 2019

Mia sadly passed away before a couple of days before the Awards took place and so was posthumously named Merseyside Woman of Year.

 

Mia’s family asked that the ceremony be celebrated with its usual joy, humour and enthusiasm. They also requested that Mia’s accolade be passed on to the first runner up in the public vote for Merseyside Woman of the Year, so that the it could be used to do good in the Merseyside region.

Clare Milford Haven

Winner
Woman Making a Difference

Clare is the founder of James’ Place in Liverpool, a ground-breaking charity which has an innovative non-clinical approach which offers support to men in suicidal crisis within a community setting.

 

The centre is the first of its kind in the UK, delivering suicide prevention interventions by trained therapists. Clare is passionate, determined and driven to ensure the best for the charity, which was established in the memory of her son who tragically took his own life aged just 21.

Kelly Stokes

Kelly Stokes

Runner Up
Woman Making a Difference

Kelly Stokes is the founder of the For Ava Foundation, which she set up after her daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with cancer twice from when she was just 20 months old. After life-saving treatment, Ava was kept in isolation.

 

Following this, Kelly launched the foundation which delivers Be There Boxes to children in both Alder Hey and Manchester Children’s Hospitals. Each box is bespoke for each child, ensuring they have items to keep them entertained and provide much needed distraction.

Georgina Aasgaard

Winner
Arts, Culture & Media

Cellist, Music and Health practitioner, Georgina, has a passion for bringing music from the concert hall to more intimate environments. She works across a variety of Social and Health areas including Alder Hey and HMP Liverpool.

 

She has been a lead musician in the partnership between the RLPO & Mersey Care for over 10 years. She runs projects across Liverpool for children and adults with autism. In all her work, Georgina thrives to promote creativity, wellbeing and recovery through music.

Angela Preston

Angela Preston

Runner Up
Arts, Culture & Media

Angela is a 3 times bestselling author, Tedx speaker, radio presenter and playwright, she is a wife to Barry and mum to her 3 sons. After walking away from a 20-year career due to sexual harassment she overcame depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts and credits her achievements to the support of family.

 

She believes that having courage to dream can turn the impossible into the possible. She empowers others to be great at being them and her passion is coaching children to achieve their dreams.

Karen Bennett

Joint-Winner
Social Impact

Karen is CEO at Enterprise Credit Union, a financial cooperative with its roots and values in the local community. Brought up in the Scotland Road area of Liverpool, she has led the organisation for over 20 years. From its simple beginnings and she has transformed it into the largest community development credit union in the country.

 

Her approach brings change by giving people the key to their own financial destiny and ensuring social change for individuals and members of other local areas.

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Laura Hughes

Joint-Winner
Social Impact

Laura Hughes is the sister of Colin McGinty, who was brutally stabbed to death in a shocking case of mistaken identity. Sadly, since Colin’s death, the number of knife crime victims have risen at an alarming rate.

 

Laura believes that there is a danger that young people will start to believe that carrying a knife is normal and campaigns to prevent this. Her positivity is infectious and she is determined to bring about change, to prevent other families enduring the pain hers has suffered.

Jessica Gallier

Winner
One to Watch

At the age of 26, Jessica received the heart-breaking news that her Dad had been found dead at the age of 55. The death was initially recorded as an alcohol related death, but Jessica knew that her father suffered with mental health issues.

 

Jessica challenged the system and now is breaking down the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health. She formed the #TheMartinGallierProject (Gallier House CIC), a centre that educates families in “Suicide First Aid”, this knowledge will save lives.

Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones

Runner Up
One to Watch

Sarah has been the CEO of local independent charity, Mencap Liverpool, since 2009. She also volunteers in local schools with Diversity Role Models and is a Trustee of Christ Church Youth and Community Centre in Bootle.

 

She’s a member of the Dockside Runners Running Club and is a two times London Marathon finisher. She lives with her partner Bex and their dog Bobby. Sarah is a passionate ambassador for equality and human rights – and she makes amazing gin marmalade!!

Saoirse Redmond

Winner
Young Apprentice

Believing that her hopes of employment were slim due to her diagnosis of Autism, ADD and moderate learning difficulties, Saoirse Redmond 17, has nearly completed her year with Amey plc.

 

She has become an active role model for other girls with Autism by delivering assemblies, mentoring younger girls, co-delivering Autism research and development group with employers and university professors in Liverpool. Saoirse has also started training employers in autism inclusivity and support.

Danielle Flynn

Danielle Flynn

Runner Up
Young Apprentice

Danielle is a degree apprentice from Jaguar Land Rover. As the only female degree apprentice in her year and the organisation’s first STEM ambassador, she felt the need to encourage more females to experience STEM fields as they are typically underrepresented.

 

She supports, empowers and inspires many women to pursue careers in this field and apprenticeships on the TV, radio and in schools throughout Merseyside. She is an incredible role model who is changing Merseyside.

Andrea Edwards

Joint-Winner
Business Leader

In 7 years Andrea’s business has grown from a “hobby” coffee shop, to 8 restaurant/bars.Together, they have £1.5 million turnover and 100 employees.Committed to reducing the impact of her businesses on the planet. Tusk Baltic Bar, is the first Carbon Free Dining location in Liverpool.

 

Andrea has achieved all this despite having dyslexia, her business acumen is natural, her love of people to help them grow is evident, she sees things differently and always find a solution whatever the problem.

Rita Waters

Joint-Winner
Business Leader

Rita Waters has been CEO of National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) for the past three years. The service has been made so much stronger under her leadership. She has personal experience of the care system, is passionate about the importance of giving children and young people an independent voice.

 

She has brought stability, turned the charity’s finances around, grown the work of the charity by over £1.5m, enabling it to reach, support and improve the lives of more young people in care.

RASA

Winner
Women’s Group

RASA has worked tirelessly for almost 35 years to support victims of rape and sexual abuse. Defying the odds in challenging times, RASA has grown in size and professionalism to welcome ever growing numbers of referrals into service for support.

 

Respected at the highest levels and recognised nationally as a source of information, RASA has grown from a small grassroots voluntary service into a highly professional and hugely experienced group that welcomes close to 3000 new clients each year.

Refugee Women Connect Logo

Refugee Women Connect

Runner Up
Women’s Group

Refugee Women Connect is a grassroots, women only charity set up to support asylum-seekers, refugees and survivors of trafficking. They work together to build a safer life in Liverpool for all women in the asylum seeker and refugee community, create spaces where women can enjoy respite from the stresses of their daily lives and challenge the stereotypes in order to look at how we are treating the most vulnerable people in society, giving power to the women who suffer.

Karen Harper

Joint-Winner
Community Change

Karen is a Community Champion and advocate for the Croxteth Park area and wider areas around it. She is the inspiration behind The Rhys Jones Foundation and its legacy of positivity, in the name of a little boy murdered on his way home from playing football.

 

She is a passionate advocate for young people, community unity and for the centre to become a community hub in that area. Karen is an inspirational woman and mum – she had a vision and made it real.

Debbie Layfield

Joint-Winner
Community Change

Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer just over 10 years ago. Now proudly cancer free, she uses her personal experiences to inspire other sufferers and help their families. She is a true community champion who works tirelessly, raising thousands of pounds and supporting hundreds of local community groups and charities.

 

A strong advocate for cancer charities, Debbie has made her story public to help inspire others who are battling cancer and to raise vital funds for cancer research.

Rebecca Slater

Joint-Winner
Woman of Courage

After a life-altering road traffic accident at the age of 21 that left her an upper limb amputee, Rebecca refused to roll over and quit. She took on new activities, from crossfit, cake decorating and playing in a brass band, to playing volleyball and wakeboarding.

 

She proves on a daily basis that being ‘disabled’ does not make you less able than anyone else. She inspires all who meet her with her humble nature and she will take every opportunity that comes her way embrace it and grow from it.

Victoria Charlton

Joint-Winner
Woman of Courage

Victoria Charlton is a dedicated and courageous woman who, despite her own battle with a chronic, debilitating disease called Polycystic Kidney & Liver Disease (PKLD) continues to inspire young people to follow their dreams and never give up.

 

When the building that housed her Dance School, Complete Works, was completely destroyed in the New Ferry blast in 2016. Her bravery, resilience and determination during the devastating circumstances have been an inspiration.

Mia Austin - resized

Mia Austin

Winner
Inspirational Woman

Mia was 21 when her life was turned upside down. She had a stroke and was left with Locked In Syndrome. Despite this Mia does not give up without a fight, she likes to travel and has done lots of charity work. Including sleeping out on the streets of Liverpool to raise money and awareness of homelessness and providing on a monthly basis for homeless people.

 

She has even travelled to Africa to support communities, visited orphanages and schools and has given them stationery and toys.

Rachel Griffiths

Rachel Griffiths

Runner Up
Inspirational Woman

Rachel is the Founder of Mums to Marathons (M2M). She turned to running to lose weight, but in it she also found freedom from her battle with depression. She is infectious and if she tells you that you can do it, you believe her. Although she has been through so much, she still carries on, she encourages others to do the same with her effervescent, personality.

 

She has a huge, selfless heart and if you feel you’re not worthy meeting Rachel will make your love yourself for who you are.

Claire Morton

Winner
Entrepreneur

Claire Morton is the Director and Lead Facilitator of Ell&Dee NLP Consultants. Ell&Dee offers a variety of solutions and interventions for the corporate world as well as private clients.

 

The need for mental health awareness and general well-being has also led Claire add another arm to her business, Ell&Dee’s Garden, offering holistic therapies such as meditation classes, massages and reiki.

Margot Walker

Margot Walker

Runner Up
Entrepreneur

As a partner in a family-run firm of pawnbrokers, Margot’s independent company has survived over 100 years despite competition from large national companies. She prides herself on personal, traditional service and values.

 

She was the first woman to be elected as the Vice President, and then as the President of the National Council of Pawnbrokers, having served on the council for several years. For many of those years, she was the only woman representative, encouraging more women to participate.

Denise Barrett-Baxendale

Winner of a Special Award
Outstanding Contribution to Merseyside

Christine Allen

Winner of Special Award
Lifetime Achievement

Brenda Porter

Winner of Special Award
Lifetime Achievement

Pam Smith

Winner of Special Award
Lifetime Achievement

Shazney Spence

Winner
Style Award