Happiness comedian and motivational speaker, Shonette Bason-Wood, has been shortlisted in the highly acclaimed WIN Awards 2018; in recognition of her passion for business and positive thinking, her huge fundraising and charity efforts, and inspiring fellow women in the industry.

The 46-year-old may be a single mother to her four children, but that hasn’t stopped Shonette from striving to achieve her dreams – including setting up her own business and owning the stage as a stand-up comedian.

Shonette, from Wynyard in Teesside, runs educational training company Spread the Happiness, which she launched in 2011 before launching its parallel charity in 2016. Alongside her team, she travels up and down the country to primary schools in highly deprived areas, to train teachers in neurological based ways of learning.

It all arose from Shonette’s former career as a primary school teacher in Stockton, when she realised her dreams of helping change the lives of as many children as possible. Her training has had a huge impact in the areas that she has visited – with her hopes of causing a ‘positivity ripple’ within the surrounding local communities.

The Spread the Happiness team also undertake regular fundraising events and campaigns and this summer, they raised over £18,000 to put together and distribute over 350 holiday hunger hampers to primary schools across the UK.

This was a bid to combat the reality that is holiday hunger; when during the six-week break, families who would normally receive free school meals and attend breakfast club, can struggle with the extra cost of feeding their children in the summer season.

But as well as juggling the business, charity work and family life, Shonette has big dreams of owning the national comedy stage, and currently tours the UK alongside her comedy partner Hywel Roberts. She calls her style ‘self-help comedy’, with the events titled the ‘Happiness Injection’, with hopes for the duo to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next year.

Dubbed the ‘wonder woman of the North East’, Shonette has been shortlisted for The Inspire Me Award in this year’s North East Woman of the Year Awards, which celebrates an individual who has had a positive influence in business and is a crucial role model.

Speaking on being shortlisted, Shonette said: “It’s a great honour to be shortlisted and recognised in my home region. It can be hard running a business as well as juggling your personal life, but it can be done, and I want to inspire as many women out there to go and achieve their goals.”

The winner of the category will be announced at a glittering ceremony on Friday 16th November, at The Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.