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Meeting The Prime Minister at Women of The Year Lunch 2016

TV News London’s Managing Director, Roz Morris, attended the 2016 Women of the Year lunch and shook hands with the Prime Minister, Theresa May, who presented one of the awards made at the Lunch.

“It was fantastic to meet her as she walked through the crowd before the Lunch began “ Roz says. “ Sadly I didn’t get a selfie as there was a lot of competition for the Prime Minister’s attention.  It certainly made for a different start to the Lunch. This is usually an all-women event, but,  because of the PM’s presence there were several large men in suits with ear pieces dotted around the room looking slightly baffled by so many women gathered together.”

The 2016 Women of the Year Lunch & Awards took place at the InterContinental London Park Lane on October 17.  More than 400 women attended and of these outstanding women, six were honoured with Women of the Year Awards.

Roz, who is on the Nominating Committee of Women of the Year Lunch, is pictured above front row centre with guests at her table at the Lunch.  

Back row – Lucinda Marsden, the Fred Foundation, Frances Davies, Yorkshire Rows,   Mel Scott, Towards Tomorrow Together

Front row – Janette Benaddi, Yorkshire Rows,   Nusrat Ghani MP,  (Roz),  Brigadier Celia Harvey OBE, Arlene McCarthy OBE,  former MEP and Special Adviser to The Chairman of Bloomberg. 

The awards were presented by Prime Minister Theresa May, Katie Derham, Sara Khan, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Denise Gough and Lorraine Kelly.

The 2016 Women of the Year Award winners are:

  • Margaret Aspinall, the chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose son James died in the 1989 tragedy, received the Women of the Year Special Award on the families’ behalf and thanked the Prime Minister for her help with publicising the truth about the Hillsborough tragedy when she was Home Secretary.
  • Seema Aziz, for her work providing education for children in Pakistan – Barclays Women of the Year Award winner
  • Liz Clegg,for her work helping refugees in the Calais ‘Jungle’ – Good Housekeeping Women of the Year Award winner for Outstanding Courage
  • Marjorie Wallace, Campaigning journalist and Chief Executive of SANE, the mental health charity -Prudential Women of the Year Award winner for Outstanding Campaigner
  • Dame Fanny Waterman, for her work in musical education  – DFS Women of the Year Award winner for Lifetime Achievement
  • Lizzie Jones, who set upthe Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund after the death of her rugby playing husband – ITV’s Lorraine Inspirational Woman of the Year Award winner

All the award winners were selected for their courage, resourcefulness, flair and for their selfless actions. The Women of the Year Awards are sponsored by Barclays, DFS, Prudential, Good Housekeeping and ITV’s Lorraine                                    

Sandi ToksvigPresident of Women of the Year, said: ‘For over 60 years, Women of the Year has proudly recognised and celebrated the achievements of some of the world’s most incredible women. These women range from the super famous to unsung heroines who are the backbones of charities, industries and indeed every profession possible. The remarkable women who make up the attendees and winners at this year’s Lunch are being recognised for their work making the world a better place.’

Every woman who is invited to the event has achieved something extraordinary in whatever walk of life she comes from. The lunch is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate their bravery, determination, compassion and success.

Attendees included Paula Maguire, a midwife from Wakefield who set up the ice bucket challenge; Razan Alsous, who fled the war in Syria and set up a cheese manufacturing business in Huddersfield; Adele Patrick, Co-Founder and Creative Development Manager of the Glasgow Women’s Library; Lorraine Jones, who founded the community centre ‘Dwaynamics’ after the death of her son in Brixton and Hibo Wardere, FGM campaigner and author of Cut: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today.

(Roz pictured left with Susanna Reid from ITV Good Morning Britain) 

There were many familiar faces amongst the attendees, with guests including Prime Minister Theresa May, Noma Dumezweni, Lynn Faulds Wood, Denise Gough, Dr Katherine Grainger CBE, Sheila Hancock, Nadiya Hussain, Lorraine Kelly OBE, Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE, Maureen Lipman, Judy Murray, Susanna Reid, Sandi Toksvig OBE and Alix Wilton Regan.

The Women of the Year Award winners were chosen by a judging panel of accomplished women: Sandi Toksvig CBE, Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE, Ronke Philips, Sue Walton, Maureen Lipman CBE, Andrea Coleman, Anne Aslett and Rt. Hon the Baroness Tina Stowell of Beeston MBE.  ITV Lorraine viewers voted for their Inspirational Woman of the Year by a telephone vote.

Women of the Year has recognised, celebrated and inspired women of all backgrounds since 1955, when it was founded by the late Lady Tony (Antonella) Lothian OBE with Lady Georgina Coleridge and Odette Hallowes.

The very first event of its kind, Lady Lothian’s aim was to bring together a wide cross-section of working women who had distinguished themselves in their careers or their communities.

At a time when the concept of career networking for women was unknown, Women of the Year was, and remains, a gathering for inspirational women and an opportunity to hear the views of world-famous women on important issues.

More detailed information follows about the 2016 Women of the year Award winners.

2016 Women of the Year Award winners

Margaret Aspinall, on behalf of the Hillsborough families, Women of the Year Award winner – Special Award

The award honours the 96 lives lost as a result of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster on 15 April, 1989. When the Inquest delivered its conclusion in April 2016, it revealed to the whole nation that the Hillsborough families were right to have persisted in their search for truth and justice.

Prime Minister Theresa May said; ‘It was an honour to present “The Women of the Year Special Award” to the Hillsborough families today.  Having lost their loved ones in the most appalling circumstances, they then spent 27 years searching for the truth with extraordinary dignity.’

‘This April, when the fresh inquests delivered their conclusions, they made clear to the whole nation what the Hillsborough families have known to be true from the beginning – that the fans were blameless.’  

‘Thanks to their resolve we now know the truth about what happened that day.  This award is for all those who lost their lives at Hillsborough and their families who have shown immense courage and determination.’

Jane Luca, who lives in the North West and is Chair of Women of the Year, comments: ‘The mothers, sisters, daughters and aunts deserve to be recognised as our Special Women of the Year for working tirelessly for 27 years to establish the truth of what happened at Hillsborough. This award also honours those mothers who have died before seeing justice done.’

The FA cup semi-final game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was being played at the home ground of Sheffield Wednesday. The disaster resulted in a number of safety improvements in the largest football grounds, notably the elimination of standing terraces in favour of all-seater stadia, and the removal of spectator fencing, introduced to prevent pitch invasions.

Margaret Aspinall, the chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose son James died in the 1989 tragedy, received the Women of the Year Special Award on the families’ behalf and thanked the Prime Minister for her help with publicising the truth about the Hillsborough tragedy when she was Home Secretary.   

Liz Clegg, Good Housekeeping Women of the Year Award winner  Outstanding Courage

Liz Clegg is a volunteer who has fought to reduce the plight of women and children living in the notorious Calais Jungle. She set up the unofficial women and children’s centre at the camp and this award recognises her tireless work, her courage, resourcefulness and emotional resilience.

Liz Clegg, a mother of two grown-up children, arrived in Calais last July with a truck full of salvaged camping equipment. She quickly became a central figure in the camp, most notably as a surrogate mother to the hundreds of unaccompanied children. A year later she was still there, with a team of volunteers working where there with no official aid.

She set up the women and children’s centre to offer sanctuary in the camp, where the majority of the population was male. Liz gave up everything for this cause. Unlike most volunteers she lived in the camp and, as a former firefighter, held a position in its unofficial fire service. She continues to campaign for Government action to offer asylum to the youngest and most vulnerable child refugees and has set up the Meena Centre in Birmingham, helping women and children arriving in the UK.

Liz Clegg comments: ‘I am honoured to accept the award on behalf of the many amazing women who work tirelessly to support the refugees in this crisis, and on behalf of the incredible women who I work with, whose harrowing stories are part of our lives now and whose dignity and resilience is both inspiring and humbling.’

Lindsay Nicholson, Editorial Director of Good Housekeeping,adds:‘If the displacement of millions of people across the world is the crisis of our time, then Liz Clegg is a modern day heroine. Last year she left Glastonbury festival with a van filled with abandoned tents and boots and headed to the Calais Jungle. She didn’t plan to stay, but on surveying the scene she was met with she couldn’t leave. With the news that the camp is likely to be shut down, the situation for the children living there remains perilously uncertain, but Liz Clegg continues to fight for their future. For that reason, we couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient of the Good Housekeeping Woman of the Year Courage award.’

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, comments: ‘Liz is a truly inspirational woman. She turned her compassion into action of the the most effective kind. Her work in Calais and her campaigning will give a future to many women and children.’

Seema Aziz, Barclays Women of the Year Award winner

This award is in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to education in Pakistan, based on her belief that every child has a right to an education.

In the 1980s, businesswoman Seema Aziz was the owner of a very successful clothing business with shops across Pakistan and the Middle East. When the Ravi River burst its banks in 1988, Seema travelled into the countryside around Lahore to help bring food and clean water to the villages. She was alarmed by the number of children in the countryside with no school to go to and, that year, she set up her first CARE school.

She was ridiculed at the time, as many of the children who attended didn’t even have a home. Four years later she opened a second school and in 1998, the Punjab government asked her to take over failing government schools in the suburbs of Lahore. The CARE Foundation today operates in over 700 schools educating more than 200,000 children around the country.

Through her work, hundreds of thousands of children have a brighter future and many CARE students have gone on to become teachers, engineers, businessmen and women, doctors, surgeons and soldiers.

Andrea Bonafe, COO of Barclays Non-Core said: ‘We are very proud to honour this extraordinary woman who has worked tirelessly to provide a sound education to hundreds of girls and boys who might otherwise have no access to formal schooling. Seema’s CARE schools tackle two crying needs – healthcare and education – thereby utterly transforming the lives of their students and we applaud her commitment.’

Marjorie Wallace, Prudential Women of the Year Award winner – Outstanding Campaigner

This award is in recognition of Marjorie’s effective campaigning for the availability of mental health services in the UK over the past thirty years.

Marjorie Wallace CBE is a British writer, broadcaster, investigative journalist, and Chief Executive of SANE. She wrote a series of articles for the Sunday Times in 1972 highlighting the plight of the Thalidomide children. In 1986 she founded SANE, after writing about the lack of services and treatments for people suffering from schizophrenia, assembling a formidable network of politicians, media commentators and international scientists which enabled SANE to become one of the leading mental health charities in the UK. The charity raises money for people with mental health problems and it pioneered the UK’s first national out-of-hours mental health helpline offering information and emotional support 365 days a year.

Marjorie Wallace comments: ‘As an investigative journalist I didn’t succeed in being a war reporter, as I had so wanted, but found my own front line closer to home. This award is a tribute to all those individuals and families I have met who have allowed their stories to be told and shown such courage and resilience in the face of adversity, whether through physical or mental illness.’

Jane Rawnsley,Head of Group Corporate Responsibility, Prudential adds: ‘We offer our warmest congratulations to Marjorie Wallace CBE, winner of Prudential’s Women of the Year Award. Her award is richly merited and acknowledges her extraordinary achievements not only in establishing the pioneering work of SANE but also in advocating and raising greater awareness of mental health as a major issue for the 21stcentury.’

Dame Fanny WatermanDFS Women of the Year Award winner – Lifetime Achievement

This award recognises an extraordinary contribution to the world of music over her lifetime, her dedication in creating the renowned Leeds International Piano Competition and her energy in inspiring young musicians to excel.

Dame Fanny won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and played at the Proms in her teens. After a notable performing career, teaching became the centre of her life. Over the years she has given masterclasses on six continents and, with Marion Harewood (Marion Thorpe), compiled the Piano Lessons with Fanny Waterman/Marion Harewood series, which now boasts thirty volumes and has sold two million copies. For the past half-century any child in Britain taking piano lessons is sure to be learning from one of her books.         

In 1961 she founded the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition. Under Dame Fanny’s leadership, ‘The Leeds’ has long been regarded as the most coveted prize in the piano world and internationally acclaimed for introducing some of the greatest pianists of our time. Last year, at the grand age of ninety five, Dame Fanny announced her retirement from her role as Chairman & Artistic Director.

Dame Fanny Waterman said: ‘At first I shed a tear, thinking of my wonderful husband Geoffrey, and my parents who would have been so proud to share such moments. Then I thought about all the legendary women who have inspired and contributed so much to civilisation over the ages, from Joan of Arc through to our beloved Queen Elizabeth. At 96 years of age I feel justified to think that I have certainly spanned a lifetime, and for what I have achieved to be recognised in such a way, and as a woman who has made a difference to our great nation, I am truly honoured and deeply grateful.’

Toni Wood, chief marketing officer at DFS, adds: ‘We’re very proud to honour Dame Fanny today. Like DFS, Dame Fanny is Yorkshire born-and-bred, and has had a place in living rooms up and down the country for 50 years as children learnt to play the piano from one of her books – no doubt while mum and dad sat proudly listening from the sofa. We’re delighted to celebrate such an established and inspiring winner.’

Lizzie Jones, ITV’s Lorraine Inspirational Woman of the Year Award winner

Inspirational mum-of-two Lizzie Jones, from Halifax, is recognised for her incredible, life-saving work following the death of her husband from an undiagnosed heart condition.

In May 2015, Lizzie, 31, lost her husband Danny who collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest while playing rugby. Danny was just 29 when he died, leaving behind Lizzie and their five-month-old twins Phoebe and Bobby.

Despite the unthinkable tragedy, brave and inspirational Lizzie began campaigning for all rugby league division players to be able to have heart screening in an inspirational and determined bid to save lives.

And with the help of the Rugby League Benevolent Fund, Lizzie has also set up a charity in Danny’s name, the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund. Through the charity she aims to get defibrillators into all grass roots rugby clubs across the country. Eventually she wants every sporting venue, school and community centre to have them.

Lizzie’s good friend Laura Simeunovich, who nominated her for the award, said: ‘Lizzie is inspirational. Whilst dealing with her own grief and raising her children alone, she is making sure other people are safe, and is trying to save families going through what she has. Danny would be exceptionally proud of his wife. She is a fantastic role model for her children, and they will grow up knowing that their mummy is saving lives in their daddy’s name.’

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