18 on shortlist for Merseyside Women of the Year Awards

Organisers of the Merseyside Women of the Year (MWOTY) Awards 2022 reveal the 18 finalists with winners chosen by judges and a public vote. Tony McDonough reports

Dawn Coker
Dawn Coker, chief executive of Access2Funding


Merseyside Women of the Year Awards returns in July following a break due to the pandemic and the 18-strong shortlist is now revealed.

With judges’ votes now counted, the finalists have been put to a public vote to determine who will be the overall Merseyside Woman of the Year 2022. Voting closed on Sunday, June 5. The shortlist is: 

  • Afrah Qassim – CEO and founder, Savera UK (Liverpool)
  • Amanda O’Keefe – beauty therapist and charity fundraiser (Wirral)
  • Ashton Tansey – founder, Sparkle Networking Society (Liverpool)
  • Barbara Rouse – community volunteer  (Sefton)
  • Colette Goulding – assistant CEO, The Big Help Project (Liverpool)
  • Dawn Coker – CEO, Access2Funding (Wirral)
  • Debbie Rogers – founder, Sean’s Place (Sefton)
  • Deborah Stephens – CEO, Fun 4 Kidz and community volunteer (Sefton)
  • Ithalia Forel – co-director, Movema (Liverpool)
  • Jennifer Greenan – co-founder and director of E-Verve Energy (St Helens)
  • Jubeda Khatun – director, BlackFest (Liverpool)
  • Karina Molby – founder, designer and creative director, Molby the Label (Wirral)
  • Lynsay Armbruster – Detective Inspector, Merseyside Police (Liverpool)
  • Natalie Denny – writer, EDI Consultant for Anthony Walker Foundation and director of Skywriters (Liverpool)
  • Dr Natalie Kenny – CEO, BioGrad Group (Liverpool)
  • Olivia Hanlon – founder, Girls in Marketing (Liverpool)
  • Rachel Daley – founder, Positivitree (Wirral)
  • Rebecca Taylor – CEO, Aquarate (Liverpool)

MWOTY awards is a celebration of exceptional women from across the region. It returns to the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool City Centre on Friday, July 1, following a two-year break due to COVID. The pandemic meant that the awards missed its official 10th anniversary year in 2020.

Founding director and inaugural ‘Woman of the Year’, Ellie Kerr, said: “It might officially be MWOTY’s 12th year, but we’re determined to make up for lost time in celebrating our milestone 10th anniversary. And what a line-up of truly fantastic finalists we have to help us do that.

READ MORE: Jam-packed June for The Women’s Organisation

“As ever, I was bowled over by the quality of the entries and humbled by the fantastic women we have in our region. Every one of them is already a winner in our eyes and we’re looking forward to celebrating them and their achievements.”


Afrah Qassim
Afrah Qassim, chief executive and founder of Savera UK
Dr Natalie Kenny
Dr Natalie Kenny, founder of BioGrad in Liverpool


Speaking on behalf of headline sponsor, Hill Dickinson, partner, Kerstie Skeaping, added: “The calibre of entries was, as always, incredibly high this year. The judging panel had a very difficult time deciding on who to shortlist in each category.”

The overall Merseyside Woman of the Year 2022 will be selected from all finalists with the public vote and the judges each contributing to 50% of the final score.

The top prize will be presented by headline sponsor Hill Dickinson. Category sponsors include Community Foundation for Merseyside, Courage & Sparkle, Everton FC, Financial Planning Corporation, Neo Community and ADDvanced Solutions.

Click here to book tickets or find out more information.

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