We have had a tremendous response to Inspire call of nomination. Thank you each one of you who took the took to nominate others. You all are amazing!

The Team has started the mega task of collating nominations forms and sending reminders, if needed.

The first panel of judging will take place in April, to shortlist the finalists.

Early bird ticket bookings are open, please do not leave your booking to the last minute.



Mentors share their wisdom, skills, success and time simply because they  are in a position to help someone who needs it. They guide and advise so  another person may thrive and flourish, making an immeasurable investment in others and having a life-shaping effect.

The shortlist 

Sajida Hanslot
Karen Salisbury
Sue Stubbs

Sajida Hanslot – Winner  of this award has experience of mentoring that spans almost three decades and involves hundreds of students. Many of these have come from minority communities and she has helped both with English as well as with life skillsSajida  plays a crucial role in encouraging people from conservative, traditional Muslim families to allow the education of women and girls and is a well-respected figure in the community. She has a natural ability to make people feel at ease and her helpful, supportive nature translates to many opportunities for all her students and families.


Sponsor:  SCAN Computers


Nila Raja arrived in England in 1972 with three very young children and only £50 to her name. Despite having no financial assistance, being unable to speak English, and having no knowledge of running a business, in 1973 Raja’s Penny Profit was set up. The business moved on to selling saree’s, Indian jewellery, and cooking utensils and eventually needed to expand its floor space – in 1983 Nila gave her approval on a building on Fletcher Street, what is now famously known as the House Of Rajas Ltd.

Where most people were thinking of retirement, Nila made plans to expand and began making her own brand of pickles, chutneys, curries, pilau rices, and ready meals. It wasn’t long before these products were found on the shelves of Kendals and other House of Fraser stores!

In 1996 the brand, and the store, won an award from the North West Tourist Board for transforming the business into a tourist attraction and significantly increasing the footfall into Bolton town centre. Nila created a tailor-made ‘tourist package’ which not only included a tour of the shop but included a visit to the local temple and to Bolton Market. Coach parties would regularly arrive to partake in this experience and word spread resulting in the House of Raja’s being given its own municipal signpost!

Nila has worked hard to educate herself, and has the drive, energy, and motivation to not only do the right thing but to embrace everyone around her by teaching, nurturing, and setting an example. She has created a warm hub for the entire local community and still insists on raising money for local charities, sending aid to worthy causes far and wide,  at the same time giving back to her local community. Nila is truly an inspiration!

Do you know someone who is deserving of the 2019 Inspire Women Lifetime Achievement Award? 
Be ready to nominate them from the 10th January 2019.

Edith Conn OBE JP DL, was born in 1948 and was educated at Manchester Metropolitan University where she was awarded a B.A. (Hons) Humanities.

Edith was awarded with a Honorary Doctorate from Bolton University in 2008 for her outstanding commitment to the local community. Currently she is a Trustee for The Octagon Theatre, Bolton and a Board member for Bolton Lads and Girls club.

In 2000 Edith was honoured by Her Majesty The Queen when she was awarded the OBE for services to The Greater Manchester Red Cross.

Over the years Edith has given a significant amount of her time to the community and to a number of different charities and charities. She worked as a counsellor with the Citizens Advice Bureau and was the treasurer for the NSPCC. Edith became chairman of Manchester International Exhibition of Expressionism, was a committee member of the North West War Pensions Committee, chairman of Heart Research, Greater Manchester and a committee member of Christie Against Cancer.

Edith joined the Greater Manchester Branch of the British Red Cross in 1978 and since that time has held varied responsibilities including: District co-coordinator, Finance committee member, Branch Trustee, Awards Panel Chairman, 125th Birthday Chairman, North West Chairman of the National Humanity Awards, Landmine Appeal Chairman, a member of the Board for British Red Cross Events Ltd., committee member of the International Red Cross Gala Ball, Honorary Branch Director and chairman of the Manchester Gala Ball. In 1989 Edith was awarded the Badge of Honour for Devoted Service and Honorary Life Membership and in 1993 the Badge of Honour for Continued Dedicated and Distinguished Service. She was appointed Deputy President of The Greater Manchester Red Cross in 1995 and that same year she was appointed Magistrate to the Bolton Bench and became a chairman in 2000. In 1999 she was appointed President of the Greater Manchester Red Cross.

Edith continued her interest in the Red Cross and she was appointed President of the North West Area of the British Red Cross in 2005 and received the Badge of Honour for Outstanding Service to the British Red Cross.

In 2001 she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant to the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy, and was appointed the High Sheriff for Greater Manchester for the period 2008/2009. From 2013 – 2016 Edith was appointed Vive Lord-Lieutenant for Greater Manchester.

Currently Edith is a Trustee for The High Sheriff Police Trust; a Trustee of Broughton House; a Trustee of the Skelton Bounty Charitable Trust and a Trustee of the The High Sheriff Police Trust. Edith has recently been appointed as a Trustee of We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. Edith is a member of the Patrons group for Manchester City Art Gallery; a member of the development committee for the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester; a Board member for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit and is the Chair of Greater Manchester Crimestoppers

Edith has given considerable time to other charitable activities. She has been Chair Queens Award for Voluntary Service QAVS in Gretaer Manchester 2014 – 2017 and continues to be an Assessor; a Member Duchy of Lancaster Development Fund 2014 – 2016; Chairman Reclaim Youth Charity 2010 – 2014; Patron – Manchester City Art Gallery 2010 – 2014; a Volunteer for NSPCC, New Heart New Start, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Christie against Cancer and a member of the Citizens Advice Bureau CAB.