In 2016 the first Inspiring Women awards were held to celebrate the achievements of local women making a difference across Redcar & Cleveland.
The awards coincided with International Women's Day and a week-long schedule of events, including school competitions with the Royal Air Force and work shadowing opportunities for girls in years 10, 11 and 12.
The Inspiring Women project came about after Anna sought public ideas for a way to commemorate the late Mo Mowlam MP on the tenth anniversary of her death. It is led by a steering group including Redcar & Cleveland Council, Anna's staff, former winners, Zetland FM and other members of the community.
In 2017 the awards were back for a second year at Bellamy Pavilion at Kirkleatham Museum.
The overall winner for 2016 was Stacey Phoenix, a solicitor at Redcar-based Cygnet Family, who was recognised for the significant impact she made on the local community. She dedicates a substantial amount of her own time to provide help and support to domestic abuse and forced marriage victims.
Emma Thomas for individual achievement
Helen Anderson for individual progress
Dot Ahmed for volunteering
Ruth Fox for innovation
Irene Pointer for inspiring others
Caitlyn Manley for being an inspiring young woman.
Linda Dickinson - Volunteer Award and the overall Mo Mowlam Award - Linda juggles various charity and volunteer work with caring for two disabled children. Her voluntary work includes coordinating parent support groups and fundraising for families affected by Autism, being a volunteer advocate for a family whose first language is not English, being a local charity trustee, and a positive campaigner on Autism and Disability Matters.
Glynis Rodgerson won the Individual Achievement Award for her work as a volunteer at Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Marske Hall and fostering 59 children
Kat Kempen won the Inspiring Others award for her work at a foodbank and community café
Vera Rider won the Community Contribution Award for her work as chairperson at the Gleneagles Community Centre at New Marske
Mia Flood, aged 17, won the Young Woman’s Award for her fundraising work in memory of a friend who died of cancer
Speaking at the 2017 awards, Anna said:
“We have so many talented women in our borough and I hope the achievements recognised at the awards will inspire others too. The woman who really inspired me was my friend, Jo Cox. I often think of her maiden speech in the House of Commons. She said, ‘there is always more that we have in common than that which divides us.’ The wonderful women who won these awards are proving that and making a huge contribution to our local community.”