Inspiring women from across Redcar and Cleveland were honoured at a special ceremony at the weekend.
Nearly 100 people attended the event at Redcar & Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart in Redcar and witnessed the following women being recognised for outstanding achievement:
• Theresa Cave who won the Individual Achievement Award for her work in educating children on why they should not carry a knife following the loss of her son to knife crime.
• Julie Donaldson who won the Volunteer Award for her work with Zetland FM, a community radio station based in Redcar and Cleveland.
• Susan Sherrington who won the Community Contribution Award for her work in setting up ‘Jessica’s Smile’, a charity which fundraises and supplies a gift to a child who is poorly in hospital.
• Joanna Fisher who won the Woman in Business Award for founding The Lipsticks, a vintage female trio who have performed all over the UK since 2013.
• Melanie Hennessey who won the Inspiring Others Award.
The overall winner of the Mo Mowlam Award was Melanie Hennessey who, after the birth of her daughter, was diagnosed with three brain tumours. Still living with the tumours, Melanie lives with the resulting consequences of side effects of the medication she takes.
Melanie has actively organised charity events to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research, and set up her own charity MIND.
She has abseiled off the Transporter Bridge, organised an en masse climb up Roseberry Topping, as well as supported her husband and friends who have ran marathons and cycled the country to raise funds.
Julie Donaldson, who announced that Melanie was the Mo Mowlam Award winner, said: “She never lets her tumours get to her despite the pain she is regularly in. She takes every opportunity she can to promote the charity and Brain Tumour Research.
“She inspires people to think they can do things they thought they couldn’t, and she never gives up. She is an inspiration to everyone she meets and is so positive about the future even though she doesn’t really know what it holds for her.
“She is determined that life is for living and three tumours won’t beat her.”
Councillor Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, added: “I look forward to this event every year and it was so wonderful hearing all of the stories of these Inspiring Women.
“I’d like to congratulate every single woman who has been nominated. The Suffragette slogan ‘Deeds Not Words’ is very fitting for these women, who have taken action and made such a difference in their community.”
Anna Turley, MP for Redcar, said: “It has been amazing to see the Inspiring Women project grow every year into a real highlight of the calendar.
“We have so many brilliant women and girls in our borough, who often quietly get on, working hard to make a difference in our community, or facing down a challenge. The awards are about recognising these everyday heroes and celebrating what they have achieved.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners, and, to every woman nominated, thank you for being such inspiring role models.”