Northampton's Inspirational Woman Award finalists announced

Pictured L-R: Lorraine Lewis of the Lewis Foundation with Leonie Heard of Breast Friends.
Pictured L-R: Lorraine Lewis of the Lewis Foundation with Leonie Heard of Breast Friends.

​Five Northampton women have been recognised for being fantastic role models to others.​

The Inspirational Woman Award finalists, which have been announced today (March 2), have made the shortlist by providing support to others and being wonderful volunteers.

BBC Radio Northampton’s Annabel Amos and the chairs of Northampton Borough Council’s Women’s Forum will announce the 2018 Inspirational Woman Award winner during the International Women’s Day event on Saturday, 10 March.

The finalists are:

Inderjit Jutla who takes part in numerous and varied community work in the town, each week, in support of the Nightshelter, Northampton Inter Faith Forum (NIFF) and Safersikhs. This includes volunteering every Friday night at the Nightshelter and collecting clothes for refugees!

Karen Rogers who provides support to families of children with long term illnesses, through the charity Alfe’s Cause. Karen set up the charity because her son, who was diagnosed with B cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, wanted to help other children in a similar position.

Leonie Heard who founded the charity Breast Friends after being diagnosed with cancer herself. She works tirelessly to engage with local businesses and other charities and produces chemotherapy bags, which contain all the things people might need when going through treatment, organises social events, meetings and trips.

Morcea Walker MBE is a volunteer who dedicates many hours each week to help the Sikh Community Centre and Youth Club, Northampton Carnival, Black History Association, supplementary schooling and the Youth Forum. She connects people and communities, getting involved with hands on support.

Sian Knight is a regular volunteer at Northampton’s Nightshelter, who also finds time to provide support as a SEN Key Worker at Kingsthorpe Grove Primary School. Sian has so far, volunteered for 300 hours at the NightShelter, working 2 nights a week, regularly cooking meals for the men and arranging donations, all while raising a family.

Councillor Anna King, the borough council’s Cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “This year we received some really fantastic nominations, recognising the hard work and achievements local women who help make our town a better place.

“Receiving so many great nominations, meant that the judging was exceptionally hard and I want to thank John Griff, Natalie Faulkner, Sarah Passam, Neelam Aggarwal-Singh MBE and Pat Haslam, who, as part of the judging panel, helped hone the list down to the final five.

“We now look forward to crowning the winner of the Inspirational Woman Award at the upcoming International Women’s Day event on 10 March.”