Nominees & winner Karen Goodman, centre, Chair, LS29 Special Needs Support Group. Ilkley Soroptimists & Ilkley Fairtrade Group “Most Inspiring Local Woman” awards night
Soroptimist International Ilkley and Ilkley Fairtrade Group’s ‘Most Inspiring Local Woman’ awards night
Inspiring local women were the special guests of honour at an awards event at Ilkley’s Clarke Foley Centre last Thursday. The event was organised by Soroptimist International (SI) Ilkley, and was the culmination of a joint competition with Ilkley Fairtrade Group to mark International Women’s Day 2019 and celebrate local Wharfedale superwomen.
The awards night shone a spotlight on the wonderful work being done by the nominees, who make an incredible impact on the local community, and benefit and enrich the lives of thousands of others. The competition to find inspiring women attracted 19 nominations, and the judges were blown away by the variety and scope of the nominees’ activities. Many have been involved for decades with local charities including Ilkley Talking Newspaper, Ilkley and District Good Neighbours, The Manor House, Girlguiding, Martin House Hospice, Insight and Amnesty International. They have set up and/or run local clubs and organisations, help young and old to keep fit, enjoy art and sing, and volunteer to protect and save the environment. The nominees were Lynda Forbes-Wake, Susan Ross, Hilary Davies, Karen Goodman, Sylvia Mann, Shirley Woods, Elizabeth Hughes, Anne Lowe, Pamela Ravenscroft, Christine Fletcher, Anne Cutherbertson, Ros Brown, Christine Henney, Caroline Kelly, Judy Hutton, Alex Cockshott, Mary Hamilton, Charlotte Hawkins and Heidi Beardsmore.
All the nominees were worthy winners and local heroines, but the judges, Suzanne Watson, managing director of Approach PR, Chris Clark, Immediate Past President of Soroptimist International of Yorkshire, and Karen Palframan, chair of Bradford Fairtrade Zone, were unanimous in declaring Karen Goodman the overall superwoman. She was nominated for her role in supporting families of children with special needs. She helped found the LS29 Special Needs support group and has been chair for 14 years. She was also one of the original trustees of Outside the Box, which is best known as a local café providing training and employment opportunities for young people with additional needs. She has done all this whilst caring for her own family, which includes 3 adopted children with Down Syndrome. The person who nominated Karen, herself a member of the LS29 Group, said ““Karen has had such an impact on our lives and that of our families. She always makes the time for others and despite her own busy life, selflessly dedicates her energy and time to helping others and making a difference to their lives.”
Following a reception with drinks and canapes provided by Ilkley Soroptimists, Joy Lynch, Club President, and Karen Palframan, Chair of Ilkley Fairtrade Group, explained the work of the two groups which, in related ways, work towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Soroptimist clubs help women and girls locally, nationally and internationally to achieve both their individual and collective potential via projects to tackle the issues which may stand in their way such as poverty, domestic abuse, food and water shortages, FGM, literacy and climate change. Fairtrade puts people at the heart of all it does, which includes women’s empowerment. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Visit www.sigbi.org and www.fairtrade.org.uk for more information.
Chris Clark explained the judging criteria used to determine the winner, and Suzanne Watson thanked all those who had taken the time to nominate an inspiring woman. Ilkley Town Mayor Steve Butler presented inspiring woman award certificates to each nominee, and also gave overall superwoman, Karen Goodman, a hamper of Fairtrade goodies, kindly donated by Ilkley M&S, Booths, Tesco and both Co-op stores.
President of Soroptimist International of Yorkshire, Pat Kilbane, drew the event to a close by congratulating and thanking all the nominees for their amazing, tireless and truly inspirational work.
Winner Karen Goodman with Ilkley Town Mayor Steve Butler receiving Fairtrade hamper prize