Cast your vote as Merseyside Women of the Year awards shortlist is revealed

Judges have chosen 26 women from across the city region, from a record number of entries, with the winners of 11 categories being announced at the awards ceremony in June

Merseyside Women of the Year
Merseyside Women of the Year awards 2019 will take place in June


Public voting is now open for the top accolade in the Merseyside Women of the Year awards 2019 as the shortlist is revealed.

Judges have chosen 26 women from across the city region, from a record number of entries, with the winners of 11 categories being announced at the awards ceremony at Liverpool’s city centre Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday, June 28.

And the top award – Merseyside Woman of the Year – will be decided by a public vote which you can take part in now. You can vote via the awards website by clicking here or by post until Monday, June 10. The address is Merseyside Women of the Year, 3 Burbo Point, Hall Road West, Blundellsands, Liverpool L23 8SY.

The categories for 2019 are Women’s Group, Young Apprentice, Arts & Media, Entrepreneur, Inspirational Woman, One to Watch, Social Impact, Woman of Courage, Business Leader, Woman Making a Difference and Community Change. 

The top prize will be presented by Michael W Halsall Solicitors, who return as headline sponsor for the sixth consecutive year.

Category sponsors already confirmed for 2019 are: Leonard Curtis, Community Foundation for Merseyside, Courage & Sparkle Foundation, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, Curtins, Alder Training, Everton FC, Financial Planning Corporation, NEO Community & ADDvanced Solutions.

The event will also be supported by Harvey Nichols, Electric Hair, The Dutch Flower Shop, Sisterhood Gin, Dollar Shake Boutique, Fazenda, Veuve Clicquot and Handelsbanken.

Jean Gadsby, one of the awards organisers, said: “We received a record number of entries this year, which made the voting process incredibly challenging for our judging panel.

“It was a humbling and extremely emotional experience that has culminated in this list of exceptional women, who are all making a real difference to the lives of people and communities in Merseyside and beyond.”

The 26 finalists are:

Georgina Aasgaard


Georgina is a Cellist and Music and Health practitioner who specialises in the creative and interactive use of Music in Social and Health settings.

Claire Morton

Prescot, Knowsley

Claire Morton is the Director and Lead Facilitator of Ell&Dee NLP Consultants. Ell&Dee offers a variety of solutions and interventions for the corporate world as well as private clients.


Bootle, Liverpool

RASA has worked tirelessly for almost 35 years to support victims of rape and sexual abuse. The small grassroots voluntary service welcomes close to 3,000 new clients each year.

Refugee Women Connect


Refugee Women Connect is a grassroots, women only charity set up to support female asylum-seekers, refugees and survivors of trafficking. They work together to build a safer life in Liverpool.

Saoirse Redmond

Anfield, Liverpool

Seventeen-year-old Saoirse Redmond is an apprentice with Autism, ADD and moderate learning difficulties who is excelling and being an active role model for other girls with autism by mentoring younger girls and training employers in autism inclusivity and support.

Danielle Flynn

Halewood, Liverpool

Danielle is a degree apprentice from Jaguar Land Rover. She supports, empowers and inspires many women to pursue careers in STEM fields and apprenticeships on the TV, radio and in schools throughout Merseyside.

Angela Preston

Birkenhead, Wirral

Angela is a three times bestselling author, Tedx speaker, radio presenter and playwright, as well as a wife to Barry and mum to her three sons. Her success came after walking away from a 20-year career due to sexual harassment and then overcoming depression.

Margot Walker

Blundellsands, Sefton

Margot’s independent family-run pawnbrokers has survived despite competition from large national companies for over 100 years. For many years she was the only woman representative of the National Council of Pawnbrokers, eventually becoming President.

Mia Austin

Heswall, Wirral

Mia was 21 when her life was turned upside down. She had a stroke and was left with Locked In Syndrome. Despite Mia has refused to give up and undertakes a lot of charity work, while also inspiring others.

Rachel Griffiths

Higher Bebington, Wirral

Rachel is the founder of Mums 2 Marathons. She turned to running to lose weight, but in it she also found freedom from her battle with depression. She encourages others to love themselves for who they are through her encouraging and inspirational personality.

Jessica Gallier

New Ferry, Wirral

Jessica has worked to break down the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health since her Dad was found dead at the age of 55. She has set up the The Martin Gallier Project, which educates families on how to complete “Suicide First Aid”.

Sarah Jones


Sarah has been the CEO of local independent charity, Mencap Liverpool, since 2009. She also volunteers in local schools with Diversity Role Models and is a Trustee of Christ Church Youth and Community Centre in Bootle.

Laura Hughes

Formby, Sefton

Laura Hughes is the sister of Colin McGinty, who was brutally stabbed to death. She campaigns to prevent young people carrying knives and ensure that other families don’t endure the pain hers has suffered.

Victoria Charlton

Prenton, Wirral

Victoria Charlton is a dedicated, hardworking and courageous woman who, despite her own battle with a chronic, debilitating disease called Polycystic Kidney & Liver Disease (PKLD) continues to inspire young people to follow their dreams and never give up.

Rebecca Slater

Sefton Park, Liverpool

After a road traffic accident at the age of 21 that left her an upper limb amputee, Rebecca refused to just roll over and quit. She takes every opportunity that comes her way, embraces it, grows from it and inspires others.

Rita Waters

Birkenhead, Wirral

Rita Waters has been Chief Executive of the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) for the past three years. The service has been made stronger under her leadership, bringing stability and turning the charity’s finances around.

Andrea Edwards

Mossley Hill, Liverpool

In seven years, Andrea’s business has from a consultancy with a hobby coffee shop, to a consultancy with eight hobby restaurant/bars. Together, they have £1.5 million turnover and 100 employees.

Clare Milford Haven


Clare is the founder of James’ Place in Liverpool – a groundbreaking charity which has an innovative non-clinical approach which offers support to men in suicidal crisis within a community setting.

Kelly Stokes

Aughton, Liverpool

Kelly Stokes is the founder of the For Ava Foundation, which she set up after her daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with cancer twice from when she was just 20 months old. 

Karen Harper

Croxteth, Liverpool

Karen is a Community Champion and advocate for the Croxteth Park area and wider areas around it. She is the inspiration behind The Rhys Jones Foundation and its legacy of positivity, in the name of a little boy murdered on his way home from playing football.

Debbie Layfield

Claughton, Wirral

Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer just over 10 years ago. Now proudly cancer free, Debbie uses her personal experiences to inspire and help other cancer sufferers and their families.

Pam Smith

Wallasey, Wirral

Pam, 77, was one of the first Yoga teachers in Merseyside and has been teaching Yoga full time for 50 years this year and is an inspiration to all as we age. She has helped thousands of people physically, mentally and spiritually.

Christine Allen

Oxton, Wirral

Christine’s life has impacted more than 50,000 young people across Merseyside over a 33-year career, leading a unique and vibrant housing provision.

Brenda Porter

Ainsdale, Sefton

Eighty-year-old Brenda is a tireless “Champion of the Community” in Ainsdale and her impact is far reaching. Brenda has not let much get in her way but her age and gender have meant that she has always had to work harder to prove herself.

Maureen More & Margaret Grundy

Birkenhead, Wirral

A duo who go out of their way to help others, Maureen and Margaret have given up their own time to help individuals and their local community. Both are inspirational women go above and beyond to help anyone or anything in need.

Karen Bennett


Karen is CEO at Enterprise Credit Union, a financial cooperative with its roots and values in the local community. She has a keen sense of social justice and her approach means change by giving people the key to their own financial destiny.

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