Manchester City Council

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Manchester International Women's Day Awards 2014 - The Winners

The Awards were held on 7 March at Manchester Town Hall and were a great success thanks to the fantastic women and groups that were nominated for the awards. These awards highlighted some of the amazing work that women do in the city.

Nominations for the 2015 awards will open in the autumn.

The 2014 winners are:

Women in Culture and Art winner: Hazel O’Keefe

Hazel O'Keefe is the founder of 'Laughing Cows Comedy which was founded 15 years ago. She has also created the country’s first ever 'Women in Comedy Festival' celebrating all things funny and female across a variety of platforms including live performance, comedy and theatre. Hazel’s work has nurtured and empowered hundreds of female performers to explore their talent by providing a supportive space.

Hazel has achieved a unique way of supporting women in Manchester and has created a legacy for women both at a local and international level in an art form where women are still under represented.

Women in Legal and Business winner: Professor Margot Brazier

Professor Margot Brazier is a barrister and a leading academic. Her expertise is in relation to health care law and bioethics. She has chaired a number of panels including the Retained Organs Commission in England and Wales established following the Alder Hay scandal. Margot Brazier’s work has resulted in creating new fields of enquiry in academic debate and cuts across a number of disciplines including law, policy and science. Professor Brazier’s pioneering work has directly impacted on the lives of women and the wider community in disciplines which are often still male dominated.

Women Protecting our Environment winner: Didsbury Dinners

With a core team of 15 women, Didsbury Dinners aims to help people save money and eat green in the Burnage, Chorlton, Didsbury and Withington areas of South Manchester . 

They already have a number of successful projects under their belts; their contributions to their localities include the establishment of Community Orchards in Didsbury and Fog Lane Park, thriving Community Food Gardens to encourage cooking from scratch and a now annual family friendly Green Food trail. 

Outstanding Woman Coach or Mentor winner: Kirsty Mae Henderson

Kirsty is a youth worker in Ladybarn Community Centre, who started out as a volunteer at 17 and now, 10 years later, is a core member of the centre’s staff team. Kirsty is passionate about women’s rights and has worked tirelessly to empower young women and build their confidence in order for them to lead happy and productive lives.

Women in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics
sponsored by Withington Girls School winner: Centre for Women’s
Mental Health

The Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the University of Manchester was established in 2002 and works with vulnerable and hard to reach women and their families. The centre is focused on promoting and facilitating women-centred research concentrating on women with mental illness and their children. CWMH involves service users as researchers in all aspects of its work. The Centre’s innovative work around mental health is fundamental to the lives of women and their families.

Valuing Older Women winner: Anne Goldrick

Anne Goldrick is an active member of Moss Side’s Voluntary and Community Sector Forum and works to support good community relations and a sense of well being in her local Moss Side community and has volunteered  for many years. Her strength is in bringing groups together, both young and old, to make Moss Side a better place to live. During the last 3 years she has been the inspiration and driving force behind creating the Moss Side Peace Garden on a piece of muddy derelict land on the junction of Moss Lane East and Upper Lloyd St. Anne’s commitment and activity to challenge the negative perceptions of Moss Side has culminated in a visible testament to peace for local people and is a significant community legacy.

Women Shaping their Community winner: Zoe Doyle

Zoe Doyle has been involved with 42nd street , an organisation that supports young people in emotional distress, for about 10 years. Zoe benefited from the support provided by the organisation but has repaid this in a number of ways: as a founding member of 42nd  street  young women’s group, supporting young people, speaking at conferences and  devising training packages and developing self help tools and then becoming a secretary and then a trustee of 42nd street. 

Zoe’s dedication from Young Person to Trustee of 42nd Street reflects a young woman shaping and leading in the mental health and well being community.

Women in Sport and Leisure sponsored by Manchester
City Women's Football Club winner: Valerie Zebrokova

At the age of 16, Valerie has already made herself a star of tomorrow today. Valerie’s achievements in the male-dominated field of BMX racing have challenged her commitment and endurance, as well as challenging conventions. Far from shying away from these tests though, Valerie has attacked them head-on and holds an impressive collection of British and World Championship medals to show for it. Perhaps her most significant recognition to date though is her selection for the British Cycling Olympic Development Programme, which will raise Valerie’s profile even further, along with the aspirations of many more young women worldwide who witness her abilities.

Outstanding Young Woman winner: Kyra Laird

Kyra Laird lives and volunteers in Moss Side. She currently volunteers for Manchester Active Voices (MAV), Mosscare Housing and Hideaway. Kyra is passionate about helping young people to boost their self-esteem and to consider options that divert them from gang violence. Her work with MAV has included mentoring 5 other young women at risk of gang violence and delivering workshops on this subject. She is also a volunteer member of Mosscare Housing’s Continuous Improvement Team and has helped at events designed to bring the community together.  Kyra is described as a young woman who is not afraid to tackle issues that others would shy away from.

Women’s Champion in honour of Margaret Ashton 
winner: Anne Stebbings from Manchester Rape Crisis

Anne Stebbings has been manager of Manchester Rape Crisis (MRC) for the past 8 years. MRC work with women who have experienced sexual violence at any age, often in childhood. MRC will celebrate 35 years as a charity in 2014.

MRC works with hundreds of women every year and Anne supports this indirectly and directly in her role supporting counselling and helpline staff. Anne and MRC’s work stands out as this service offers free, open ended, specialist counselling and support to women. It also supports and signposts men and agencies supporting these women. Anne allows the women to take the time they need to recover and find their voice which is often lacking elsewhere. The work of MRC is vital and is not given enough recognition.

For more information please contact Mary Meehan m.meehan@manchester.gov.uk

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