Organisers of the Merseyside Women of the Year awards have secured the services Cherie Blair to open the event. Tony McDonough reports
Cherie Blair will open the 2022 Merseyside Women of the Year (MWOTY) awards ceremony taking place in Liverpool in July.
Waterloo-born Ms Blair is a QC and founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. She also spent more than a decade in Downing Street as the wife of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.
For 16 years she has been patron for MWOTY Inspirational Woman category sponsors, Community Foundation for Merseyside. She gives her time to promote the importance of supporting communities.
Ms Blair also has a previous connection to the awards ceremony. She was a patron of previous MWOTY winner The Lily Centre. Operating until 2015 it offered support to women in the region with breast cancer.
MWOTY awards return to the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool city centre on Friday, July 1. This is the first time they have been held since before the pandemic. Nominations for this year’s ceremony closed at the end of last month with a total of 80 entries. This was the most to be received in the event’s 12-year history. 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)
With judges’ votes now counted, the finalists have also been put to a public vote to determine who will be the overall Merseyside Woman of the Year 2022.
Ellie Kerr, founding director and original ‘Merseyside Woman of the Year’, said: “It has been a long wait for these awards. We have received so many incredible entries. Cherie is an incredible woman whose values and work align closely with MWOTY’s mission.
“To have her join us to open our first in-person awards ceremony in two years is a pleasure and an honour.”
Ms Blair added: “As someone both passionate about Merseyside and seeing women empowered to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals, I am tremendously excited to support the forthcoming Merseyside Women of the Year Awards.
“It promises to be an inspirational event and I look forward to learning more about the remarkable achievements of all the wonderful finalists.”
The top prize will be presented by headline sponsor Hill Dickinson. Category sponsors for 2022 include Community Foundation for Merseyside, Courage & Sparkle, Everton FC, Financial Planning Corporation, Neo Community and ADDvanced Solutions.
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