Three Northampton women were announced as winners of Northampton’s 2021 Inspirational Woman Awards at the town's virtual International Women’s Day celebrations on Saturday, March 6.
The awards were presented by BBC Radio Northampton presenter, John Griff, and the winners were announced from six shortlisted women.
The winner of the Community Inspirational Woman Award was pub landlady of The Swan and Helmet, Teresa McCarthy-Dixon. She was described in her nominations as a ‘real gem’ in the Northampton community, a ‘tireless individual’ and a ‘truly inspirational woman who worked hard throughout the pandemic to make sure vulnerable members of the community were looked after.
Teresa transformed her pub into a food bank and helped to provide many local families with essential goods as well as free services to decorate their homes, do their gardening and offer emotional support.
Teresa ran a Monday club for elders - when restrictions allowed - to combat loneliness and isolation and set up the McCarthy-Dixon Foundation to help local schools with food donations.
The Business Inspirational Woman Award was presented to Dolores Sanders, the recipient of the 2019 Women in Innovation Award. Dolores was described as a ‘true inspiration for women in manufacturing’, actively promoting STEM learning environments and regularly sharing advice and guidance with others in the industry.
Prior to lockdown, Dolores shared her journey in innovation with school children and advised them on the resources and possibilities available to them should they decide to follow their passions and dreams in STEM.
Maureen Cook received the Community Inspirational Woman special recognition for her long service to the community and animals. Maureen helped and improved the lives of Northampton’s most unfortunate animals through the Save the Strays initiative for over 50 years.
Maureen began this work in 1971 and soon found herself getting up in the early hours of the morning to take food to one round of strays, doing a full day’s work, then taking food and medical care to more strays across the town.
Maureen continues to do this despite being long retired and a non-driver in addition to arranging veterinary care and fundraising. Her ‘feed - neuter - return’ programme has had a profound effect for Northampton’s cats resulting in small colonies of strays that are controlled and naturally reduce over time.
Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, Cllr Anna King, said: “As always, choosing a winner from the many nominations we received this year was extremely difficult- each of the six award finalists deserve recognition for the hard work and commitment they have shown in their communities.
"However, Teresa, Dolores and Maureen really stood out through their tireless efforts to make the town a better place and we wanted to highlight the positive impact that these ladies had on their communities.
“We hope that giving them these awards helps to show our appreciation for the work that they are doing in the community and we are all very grateful for the difference they make every day.
“Although we were unable to present them with their awards in person due to the current restrictions, we were delighted to have them joining our online celebrations proving once again that distance makes no difference for today’s inspiring women.”
The three shortlisted women were Emma Lynham, Kirstie Pope and Angela Ghavami and the recording of the International Women’s Day celebrations is available to watch online.