Meet Britain’s most Amazing Women

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  • We are thrilled to announce the winners of the woman&home Amazing Women Awards 2020

    In a particularly challenging year, we are especially proud to celebrate the achievements of 10 fabulous women whose inspirational work pushes boundaries, broadens minds, changes lives and improves our world.

    Here they tell us what motivates them, who inspires them and their hopes for the future.

    Woman&home’s Amazing Women Awards: Meet Britain’s most Amazing Women

    Celebrity doing good

    Kate Humble, 51

    Amazing Women Awards

    Copyright: Discovery

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: Being an ambassador for international conservation charity, Zoological Society of London.

    What does this award mean to you? 

    I was delighted, but accept on behalf of the entire team at ZSL, from the keepers who worked so hard to keep animals healthy in lockdown, to the individuals doing scientific research and working to combat the illegal wildlife trade. 

    Which woman inspires you?

    Primatologist Jane Goodall, and Sylvia Earle, who has done remarkable work in marine conservation. They are from a generation of women who had to overcome societal prejudice to be taken seriously and combine their scientific talent with brilliant communication skills. 

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    It feels great whenever someone says watching my programmes sparked their curiosity about wildlife or made them study zoology. I want to ensure wildlife and nature is accessible to everyone. 

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    Say two fingers to 50! If you’re lucky enough to have good health, then age should be immaterial. 

    What is your mantra?

    Do something that scares you every day. It’s about tipping yourself out of your comfort zone. 

    What couldn’t you live without?

    The natural world. I get so much joy from being in the open air. I also couldn’t live without being able to go for a run.

    Changing our country

    Naomi Sesay, 50

    Amazing Women Awards

    Naomi Sesay, W&H Amazing Women Awards 2020

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: Promoting diversity and inclusivity to create equal opportunity

    What does this award mean to you?

    Validation. I am honoured and thoroughly tickled to have won. It shows me that all these years of working hard has paid off.

    Which woman inspires you?

    My mother is my ‘shero’. We call her ‘The Silent Warrior’. She came to the UK from Sierra Leone and is the quintessential rags to riches story – her power to influence people was astonishing. 

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    Don’t believe the midlife crisis story. Women get better with each year that passes. We are far more powerful than we’ve been conditioned to believe and that power can change the world!

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    I am most proud of my three children. They are amazing – definitely the leaders of the next generation. I’m also proud of Swiipe Wealth, my initiative designed to raise the level of financial freedom for people. It’s a must, especially for single mothers, not to have to suffer the stress of worrying about money.

    What is your mantra?

    The one who is most certain wins.

    What couldn’t you live without? 

    The power of imagination. I believe it is our greatest asset. Once we truly tap into its power, we evolve.

    Smashing the glass ceiling

    Kanya King CBE, 51

    Amazing Women Awards

    Kanya King, W&H Amazing Women Awards 2020

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: Being founder and CEO of the MOBO organisation, which champions black music and culture. 

    What does this award mean to you?

    My life’s work has been about recognising and awarding others, so to win myself feels humbling and meaningful. I dedicate this award to my partner and son – without them I could not do what I wanted to do or be who I want to be. 

    Which woman inspires you?

    My late mother. She came to England from Ireland as a teenager to become a nurse but was ostracised by her family when she married a man of colour. She worked in caring professions all her life and made huge sacrifices to support others. 

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    Be thankful for what you have while working towards what you want. 

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    I am proudest of being able to provide opportunities for under-represented young people to achieve their dreams. I’d also like to launch a platform to build a more representative future workforce.

    What is your mantra?

    Don’t get bitter, get better!

    What couldn’t you live without? 

    My mobile. It holds everything.

    Don’t tell me I can’t…

    Jane Howorth MBE, 59

    Amazing Women Awards

    Jane Howorth, Woman & Home Amazing Women Winner 2020

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: Being founder of the British Hen Welfare Trust, which has saved 750,000 hens from slaughter.

    What does this award mean to you?

    It gives me an incredible opportunity to shout out for my beloved hens and to share the joy of keeping these amazing creatures as pets. 

    Which woman inspires you?

    Any woman who stands out from the crowd for her achievements inspires me – and there are so many.

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    All you need is vision and ambition, the rest will follow. Start small, start now. 

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    I’m most proud of shining a positive light on a controversial industry, and of creating a win-win-win happy ending for adopters, farmers and the hens. As for the future, I want to help more laying hens kept in cages.

    What is your mantra? 

    I have two. The first relates directly to my work: If there’s a hurdle between me and a caged hen, then get over the hurdle to help the hen. She needs me. The second relates to attitude: Being polite, patient and positive will set you on the right path to achieving your dream.

    What couldn’t you live without?

    Friends and family – including furry and feathered members. Oh, and chocolate.

    Entrepreneur

    Louise Hill, 56

    Amazing Women Awards

    Louise Hill, W&H Amazing Women Winner 2020

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: Inventing the Gohenry, a card and app that teaches good money habits to the next generation.

    What does this award mean to you? 

    My mum has been a w&h subscriber for more than 30 years and I’m a big fan too, so I’m over the moon to have been named Entrepreneur of the Year. 

    Which woman inspires you?

    Blondelle Barnes – my ex-husband’s cousin, from Antigua. She was labelled the ‘school dunce’ until a visiting aunt realised she was almost blind. She went on to become a Professor at the University of California in Berkeley and has travelled the world supporting partially sighted students to gain access to education. 

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    Believe that you can do it. If you believe it, others will believe it too.

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    Reaching one million customers and knowing that a category we created from scratch has a big community who, like us, believe being good with money is a vital life skill. I’d like to expand to make every kid good with money.

    What is your mantra?

    If you believe in something, give it a go. My dad always used to say to me, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’

    What couldn’t you live without?

    Friends, good coffee and cheese.

    Supporting the homeless and those in poverty

    Sandra Link, 64

    Amazing Women Awards

    Woman and Home. Amazing Women. Sandra Link. Shot by Claire wood on 11th August 2020.

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: supporting the homeless and those living in extreme poverty through the charity Chance Changing Lives and the launch of a Social Supermarket.

    COMMUNITY HERO: North East, North West and Yorkshire

    What does this award mean to you? 

    Winning is very humbling, especially when you read the achievements of so many outstanding women. It validates the efforts of all the volunteers who work tirelessly to support those most in need. 

    Which woman inspires you?

    I have met many inspirational women who have the courage to stand up for what they believe. I’m in awe of Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who has shown the power of great leadership. She is an incredible role model. 

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    Carry on regardless of age. If you have something you want to achieve, carry on taking steps towards your goal. 

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    Looking back, I’m pleased with career choices I’ve made that created opportunities to help shape the confident woman I’ve become. I’d like to continue to work to achieve a bigger foundation for the charity.

    What is your mantra?

    Throughout my adult life I’ve campaigned to see people treated fairly and am shocked when 

    I witness inequality. I work to assist people who have nothing and who suffer low self-esteem. Therefore the mantra that continues to guide my life is ‘Always treat people with respect and dignity’. 

    What couldn’t you live without?

    I couldn’t live without my family and friends who encourage and support me. 

    Raising awareness of a silent killer

    Adele Sewell, 55

    Amazing Women Awards

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: turning her ongoing personal battle against ovarian cancer into a successful charity and annual event.

    COMMUNITY HERO: South East and South West England

    What does this award mean to you? 

    I found the process very moving. People said such nice things. I felt loved, supported and appreciated, both personally and for everything I do to support women with ovarian cancer and to raise funds for Ovacome. The award belongs to the volunteers who help to put the Touch of Teal event together, and to the women who take part who are living with ovarian cancer. I hope this award will help me to take this charity further. 

    Which woman inspires you?

    My mother, Altona, was a role model of unconditional kindness and generosity.

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    This is your time! Do what you want to do. If not now, when?

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    I’m delighted the ovarian cancer support group I started in 2011 is still going strong. I’m proud of our annual Touch of Teal Tea, where all the models in our fashion show have had an ovarian cancer diagnosis. I hope to expand the event. I am proudest of my daughter Zindzi, a remarkable young woman who makes the world a better place.

    What is your mantra?

    All will be well. 

    What couldn’t you live without?

    Red lipstick, daily walks, family and friends. 

    Helping victims of childhood abuse

    Diana Porter MBE, 73

    Amazing Women Awards

    Diana Porter, Woman & Home Amazing Women Winners 2020

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: Being founder of the charity Fresh Start New Beginnings, supporting children who have suffered sexual abuse.

    COMMUNITY HERO: East Midlands and East Anglia

    What does this award mean to you? 

    I am so pleased people now recognise the need for our service. It means we can help make children’s lives safer. 

    Which woman inspires you?

    The selfless women who work for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. I was a regular visitor to their home in Maputo, Mozambique, for 150 children under five. 

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    Age is irrelevant. Experience and life skills make you a valuable asset.

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    I’m so proud of the young people who work so hard to overcome trauma. I’d like us to be able to help all the children who need us.

    What is your mantra?

    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. (Walt Disney)

    What couldn’t you live without?

    My family – and hope, laughter and love.

    Bringing health awareness to the community

    Manjulika Singh MBE, 65

    Amazing Women Awards

    Woman and Home. Manjulika Singh – Amazing Women – Shot by Claire wood on 13th august 2020.

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: providing services to yoga, health and community cohesion.

    COMMUNITY HERO: Northern Ireland and Scotland

    What does this award mean to you?

    Winning means a lot to me because this will raise awareness about the benefits of practising yoga among the hundreds of thousands of readers of woman&home.

    Which woman inspires you?

    My mother, Lila Devi, inspires me. Whenever I face any challenges of life, her values remind me to keep calm, grounded and mentally strong.

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    It is never too late to start practising yoga, especially at midlife, when menopause is playing havoc with the body and mind.

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve? 

    My proudest moment this year was receiving an MBE for services to Yoga, Health and Community Cohesion. I would like yoga prescription to become part of mainstream holistic treatment in NHS and will work towards this.

    What is your mantra?

    Be kind and considerate to yourself and others.

    What couldn’t you live without?

    I couldn’t live without chai (tea), yoga, my wonderful family and without the possibility of connecting with people. Besides my classes, I present a show on local radio around health and fitness. I love to talk to interesting guests and keep the community informed.

    Caring in the community

    Tanya Jones, 62

    Amazing Women Awards

    W&H Tanya Jones – Amazing Women. Shot by Claire Wood on 18th August 2020.

    Won an Amazing Women Award for: providing activities to reduce social isolation and loneliness through the Live at Home Scheme for national charity MHA.

    COMMUNITY HERO: West Midlands and Wales

    What does this award mean to you? 

    It means a lot to me personally and professionally. It shows that the work we do in our MHA Live at Home Scheme is valued by those who use our services. 

    Which woman inspires you?

    My maternal grandmother Minnie raised 13 children, taught herself to read and write, did many jobs to support her family and for a woman of her generation showed an enlightened acceptance of all people.

    What’s your shout-out to women in midlife?

    Stay active. My long association with the care sector has shown me the effects of physical and mental inactivity, and if you don’t use it, you lose it. Whatever your age you should always be able to pull your own knickers up! 

    What are you proudest of and what would you still like to achieve?

    I am most proud of my daughter Carly. She continues to achieve so much. I’d like to live to a ripe old age and see all my grandchildren into their adult life.

    What is your mantra?

    I live by something my father told me as a teenager: Do unto others as you would do unto them.

    What couldn’t you live without? 

    Earrings. I can do without make-up, but you’ll always see me with earrings in.

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