The Inspiring Women awards ceremony last weekend concluded a programme of activities recognising the outstanding effort of women in Redcar and Cleveland.
The ceremony took place on Saturday, March 12 and saw the following winners take home their prizes: Emma Thomas for individual achievement, Helen Anderson for individual progress, Dot Ahmed for volunteering, Stacey Phoenix for community contribution, Ruth Fox for innovation, Irene Pointer for inspiring others, and Caitlyn Manley for being an inspiring young woman.
The overall winner, Stacey Phoenix, also took home the Mo Mowlam Award which recognised the significant impact on the local community she has made by dedicating a substantial amount of her own time to provide help and support to vulnerable people.
The ceremony followed a week-long programme which was in response to a call sent out across the borough by Redcar’s MP Anna Turley seeking ideas to recognise the late MP Mo Mowlam.
Work experience and work shadowing opportunities for girls in school years 10, 11 and 12 were organised which coincided with International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8.
Other activities included Operation X, hosted by the RAF, which saw over 350 students working together in small groups to participate in problem solving tasks enabling them to examine the qualities needed for professions within the RAF as well as other occupational areas requiring these skills within the world of work.
Flight Lieutenant Dan Jones from RAF Careers Newcastle said:
“My team were so impressed with the level of enthusiasm from the pupils and the teachers across Redcar and Cleveland, there were certainly some aspiring pilots, logisticians and engineering apprentices amongst the girls, we hope that we inspired them to seek their goal.”
A ‘Women in Politics’ lecture for A Level Politics students was hosted by Anna Turley MP, and a talk at Kirkleatham Museum about the life and exploration of Gertrude Bell was held by Gordon Hetherington during the week.
Anna Turley, MP for Redcar, said:
“It was an honour and a privilege to present the Inspiring Women awards to some amazing women who have achieved so much for their communities and improved the lives of others.
“The Mo Mowlam award was very well deserved by Stacey for her work supporting vulnerable women and the LGBT community through her legal advocacy and campaigning work.
“I am incredibly proud of all the winners and the nominees who make our Borough extremely proud.
“The awards brought a fantastic week of events, working with our young people, to a close. I enjoyed working with Emily, and Lucy who shadowed me for a day, and I hope the week inspired the girls and their peers to strive for the best in their own lives and to use their skills to help others.
“A huge thanks go to all those who brought the Inspiring Women project together, particularly the Royal Air Force for supporting the project and putting on some great events in our schools.”
Stacey Phoenix, a solicitor at Redcar-based Cygnet Family, which specialises in family law, mental health, conveyancing and wills and probate, said:
“It is a real honour to have won the Contribution to the Community accolade, which also is testament to the support that I have from my employers that enables me to become involved in supporting charities and other worthwhile causes in the community.
“To also be named the overall winner and be presented with the Mo Mowlam award was both overwhelming and humbling as there were so many other outstanding and inspirational women at the ceremony.
“I am really proud to be from and to work in Redcar and Cleveland.”
Cllr Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council said:
“Inspiring the next generation of women is so important, and I am so pleased we had Year 10, 11 and 12 pupils work shadowing us.
“I was delighted to have rounded off the week’s events by presenting the award for the Inspirational Young Woman, which Caitlyn thoroughly deserves.”
Cllr Brenda Forster, Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland said:
“We have some incredibly inspiring women in our borough and I am so proud we have honoured them with these awards.”
(Left to right) Back: Mayor Cllr Brenda Forster, Ruth Fox, Anna Turley MP, Helen Anderson, Emma Thomas, Dorothy Ahmed, Stacey Phoenix, Cllr Sue Jeffrey.
Front: Caitlyn Manley.