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Nominations for Inspiring Women awards open

ByCharley Williams

Jan 27, 2017

AN award-winning Inspiring Woman is urging people to submit their nominations for a ceremony which recognises the outstanding effort of women in Redcar and Cleveland.

The Inspiring Women Awards are back after last year’s inaugural ceremony and nominations are now open. The overall winner for 2016 Stacey Phoenix, a solicitor at Redcar-based Cygnet Family, was recognised for the significant impact she made on the local community.

Stacey, who dedicates a substantial amount of her own time to provide help and support to domestic abuse and forced marriage victims, is encouraging residents of Redcar and Cleveland to nominate someone in their life who deserves the same recognition.

Stacey said: “Redcar and Cleveland has so much to offer and we have been through some difficult times as a community, but all over the borough people are making such positive changes. So I think these awards are a great opportunity to say a ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’.

“I was overwhelmed when I won the Mo Mowlam award last year. My mum was there, who has been with me through everything, so it was lovely to be able to share it with my family.”

Specialising in family law, she is also committed to raising awareness of legal issues around parenting for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender relationships.

She said: “Since the awards last year, I’ve added to my charity work. I’ve joined the board of trustees at Redcar and Cleveland Mind, which does such amazing work. I’ve raised money taking part in their Pirate Festival, and I also took part in the Christmas collection for the Junction. I’ve even started walking dogs at Maxi’s Mates kennels at the weekend!”

Giving up a day a week of her time for different pro-bono causes throughout the area, Stacey has also set up free legal clinics around the Tees Valley.

“I started doing this job to help people, and my plan for 2017 is to keep it going. I don’t see what I do as worthy, because I’m lucky enough to work in a job that I do. I only wish there were more days in the week!”

As part of this year’s awards, she will be work shadowed by a student and more opportunities will be available for girls in years 10, 11 and 12 in Redcar and Cleveland to shadow other inspiring women from across the Tees Valley.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, events will begin in March and will culminate in an awards ceremony in the Bellamy Pavilion at Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds on Saturday 11 March. The ceremony will be hosted by Zetland FM’s Julie Donaldson who is also on the organisation team for the awards.

The week-long schedule of events was in response to a call sent out across the borough last year by Redcar’s MP Anna Turley seeking ideas to recognise the late MP Mo Mowlam.

Anna Turley MP for Redcar said: “We started this event last year as a way to commemorate Mo Mowlam and build on her legacy so it is great to welcome the Inspiring Women awards back for a second year.

“Last year’s event was a huge success, celebrating the achievements of brilliant local women like Stacey and providing opportunities for our young people to learn more and reach higher.

“I am really looking forward to this year’s awards and events and would encourage everyone who knows someone they find inspiring to submit a nomination. There are so many women making a huge difference in our area and this is a great opportunity to give them some recognition.”

Cllr Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council said: “Stacey is a great example of the hardworking and dedicated women we have in our borough. Her achievements speak for themselves, and I’m delighted we have been able to give her this recognition which she thoroughly deserves.

“It would be fantastic if every year we could do the same for other women in Redcar and Cleveland who give so much to their communities. So I’m encouraging as many people as possible to nominate.

“I am particularly looking forward to the work shadowing, as it is important we inspire our younger people who may one day wish to become solicitors, MPs and leaders themselves.”

The Royal Air Force will be supporting competitions in schools during the week, and there will be plenty of activities for adults to discover more about the inspirational women of Redcar and Cleveland, both past and present.

To nominate a local, inspiring woman, you can download or fill out a form online at: www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/inspiringwomen