Inspiring Northampton women nominated for award at International Women’s Day event

Karen Rogers, nominee for the Inspirational Woman Award 2015 with son, Alfe, and daughter, Sophie-May
Karen Rogers, nominee for the Inspirational Woman Award 2015 with son, Alfe, and daughter, Sophie-May

Six women have been shortlisted for the Northampton Inspirational Woman Award 2015 for their dedication to charities and supporting people in need in the community.

They were selected from a record number of 107 nominations for the award, presented by Northampton Borough Council and BBC Radio Northampton.

The shortlisted inspirational women include:

- Carol Dunstone, who helped to found both the Facefax Association and Dunstone Bennett Complementary Centre cancer support charities, despite having battled with two episodes of cancer herself.

- Zahira Case, for her work with Pearls of Peace - Northampton-based group for women of all religions and cultural backgrounds in the town - in supporting women in crisis. She has been described as a “pillar of strength” and a “positive role model” for Muslim women across the county.

- Gemma Dearsley, for four years of dedication and inspiration looking after people at the Lighthouse Centre, which provides complimentary therapy to people with long term conditions and cancers.

- Faye Jordan, who overcame the physical challenges of cancer and meningitis to represent England in powerlifting and become a personal trainer, inspiring others with medical problems to have confidence and achieve in sports.

- Charlotte Nobbs, who established the Grange Park Church to provide activities for children and families in the community and runs the London Marathon every year to raise money for various charities.

- Karen Rogers, who set up the Alfe’s Cause charity in 2010, following her son’s diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, to support and organise events for Northamptonshire families whose children have a life threatening or long term illness, as well as campaigning for education about early childhood cancer signs.

All shortlisted nominees will be invited to a celebration event at the Guildhall to mark International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 7, when the winner will be announced.

Councillor Anna King, the borough council’s assistant cabinet member for community engagement and co-chair of the Northampton Women’s Forum, said: “The Inspirational Woman Award is going from strength to strength.

“Last year there were around 60 nominations, so receiving over 100 this year has been incredible.

“All of the women nominated deserve recognition for what they do. Many of them have overcome very difficult times in their own lives, and yet they still make time to help others.”

A full day event will be open to women of all ages with free activities, workshops, talks, performances and pamper sessions.

These will include self-help and improvement talks and workshops, stalls offering a range of information about services and opportunities available for women locally, as well as health, wellbeing, beauty and fitness demonstrations and taster sessions and a full programme of stage performances and entertainment.

International award-winning superstar of burlesque Khandie Kisses will also be making an appearance.

Councillor King added: “International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women across the world. Our Northampton event is going to be the best ever.

“Everything is free and it will be a lot of fun and a great opportunity for women to network.”

The event will take place at the Guildhall in the town centre from 11am to 3pm on March 7. For a full list of what’s on and to book spaces on the workshops, visit: www.northampton.gov.uk/international-womens-day.