Bolton’s third annual INSPIRE Women Awards ceremony was held on Friday 12th May in the Chancellor’s Building, University of Bolton, was the biggest and best yet, with a much larger audience and more awards being presented than on previous occasions.
The awards is organised by WiN( Women in Neighbourhoods), a women’s charity working to engage and empower women from with diverse groups in Bolton.
Gulnaz Brennan, founder of IWA, is responsible for a portfolio of events and projects in Bolton that engage, empower and celebrate the successes of women of Bolton.
“We created the Inspirational Women of Bolton Awards to celebrate exceptional work done by women in our communities. Women are shaping the future of Britain with immense energy dedication and flair. These awards recognise the incredible work and achievements of our unsung heroes.
Once again the guest of honour and ‘master of ceremonies’, introducing each of the winners, was Gordon Burns, best known for being the host of Granada TV’s ‘The Krypton Factor’ for 18 years and BBC’s regional news programme ‘North West Tonight’ for 15 years.
During the ceremony there was an interval for a beautiful ballet performance by Niamh and Jasmine, from Bolton Dance Theatre, and singer Zoe Ainsworth, from Leigh, sang powerful versions of ‘Desperado’ and ‘Proud’. Inspirational Women Speakers spoke on the subject of women’s accomplishments, Phil Mason of BWCT, spoke on contributions and merits of volunteering for young people. 30 young girls were recognised with medals and certificates for their volunteering in the community. Robin Graham entertained the audience with his unique brand of ‘Laughter Yoga’.
The recipient of Bolton Woman of the Year was Elizabeth Newman, Octagon Theatre’s Artistic Director. Receiving her award, Elizabeth said “I am completely overwhelmed and very honoured. I thought I was coming here to present an award – not receive one!’’
Inspire Women Award Founder Gulnaz Brennan said, “Elizabeth does incredible work in Bolton building links with women in underrepresented communities.”
“Her work with the Octagon on Integration has broken down barriers and she has gone above and beyond her all of duties as an artistic director.”
Raffle was organised by Sital Raja with a beautiful cake provided by Asif Timol of Room Four Desserts. The money raised will help towards paying Tution fees and related costs for two sisters in India. This is the second year of WIN sponsoring their education.
The evening’s proceedings closed with speeches from Bolton Interfaith Council’s Chan Parmar and Inspire founder Gulnaz Brennan, who both pointed that all of the nominees and all women selflessly working to improve life for the people of the town’s communities were winners.
Award winners in each category are :
Helping Hands Award – Nilufar Patel
Community Star Volunteer Award – Jacqui Grady
Contribution in Film, Art and Media Award – Iram Sayeed
Going the Extra Mile Award – Ginny Allende
Women in Enterprise Award (Start-up) – Mina Khan (Just One Spice)
Women in Enterprise Award (Accelerated Growth) – Jan Shorrocks (Soapy Skin)
Judge’s Award – Margaret Koppens
Rising Star Award – Tina Philip
Popular Award – Domino Achioyamen
Community Interfaith Award – Wendy Handley
ABCD Community Builder Award – Val Hulme
Anna Kinley Community Integration Award – Farzandah Razzaq
Women in Education Award – Shaheeda Kaduji
Young Star Volunteer Award – Meera Solanki (and 30 young volunteers from Bolton Interfaith Council also received medals and certificates)
Women Together Team Award – Melodramatics Community Theatre
Promoting Health and Well Being Award – Shafina Iqbal
Lifetime Achievement Award – Cllr. Madeline Murray
Community Leadership Award – Christine Fitton
Outstanding Senior Woman Award – Sumati (Sue) Desai
Founder’s Award – Carole Marsden
Event Associate & Partner : University of Bolton
Headline Sponsor- Bolton at Home
Gold Sponsors– MBDA(UK), Keating Supercars, ASL, Ambition for Ageing, Bolton Interfaith Council, Fieldings and Porter
Media Partners: Lancashire NorthWest, ChaiTimes, Bolton FM
Category Sponsors – Bolton College, BIWP, Unique Ladies Network, TheBestofBolton, ROOM FOUR, The OrangeclubUK, BWCT, Bolton Young Person Housing Scheme, Karen Openshaw Consultancy, David Lloyd Leisure Club, House of Rajas & The Octagon.