AVON and Women's Aid Empowering Women Awards 2010
In association with Marie Claire
A HUGE congratulations to Kerry Whincup, Susan Ashcombe-Hurt and Lesley Paterson, the winners of the Avon and Women's Aid Empowering Women Awards! Celebrated at a special ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel on 16th June, the winners Awards were presented by Beverley Knight, Sarah Brown and Fay Ripley.
We had hundreds of entries for the three categories, and it was difficult to pick a single winner. Runners Up for each category were: Eileen Myers (Survivor of the Year); founder of Aanchal, Sudarshan Bhuhi (Campaigner of the Year); and Mary Whitfield from East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services (Grass Roots Hero). Well done to everyone who was nominated!
Read more about our winners stories below, and to find out more about the Awards click here.
Have a look at more photos from the Avon and Women's Aid Empowering Women Awards.
Woman Survivor of the Year – awarded to a woman survivor of domestic violence who has inspired others.
WINNER: KERRY WHINCUP
Kerry was repeatedly told by her abuser that she was stupid, lazy and worthless – her achievements in the 13 years since she left the relationship clearly show that she is anything but. Despite enduring seven years of horrific abuse, both physical and emotional, this incredible woman has remained determined not to let her experiences hold her back, and has dedicated her life to helping other women escape abuse.
She has worked tirelessly to support women and children affected by domestic abuse, through volunteering at a refuge, supporting survivors and raising awareness amongst her local Police force, and setting up a training, consultation and awareness raising service led entirely by survivors. Showing remarkable drive and determination, she has also completed a three-year advanced diploma in therapeutic counselling, a business management course, and has set up her own specialist counselling and consultancy business.
This incredible woman has shown the true spirit of a survivor in everything she has done, and her commitment to improving support for domestic violence victims in the Devon area has no doubt saved many, many lives.
RUNNER UP: EILEEN MYERS
Marie Claire Campaigner Against Domestic Violence – awarded to a woman who is committed to campaigning against domestic violence and is working to make a difference for the future.
WINNER: LESLEY PATERSON
Lesley, who started the charity Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid 30 years ago, has shown a lifetime of commitment to creating vital services and raising funds to support women and children who have suffered from domestic abuse. You can read her full story in the October issue of Marie Claire.
RUNNER UP: SUDARSHAN BHUHI MBE, founder of Aanchal
Grass Roots Hero – a volunteer who goes beyond the call of duty to help survivors in need of support.
WINNER - SUSAN ASHCOMBE-HURT
Susan has dedicated over ten years of her life to helping women who are suffering because of domestic violence. She has generously given up enormous amounts of her time to volunteer at her local domestic violence service, Crewe Women’s Aid. Initially joining the organisation in the role of Trustee and Treasurer, she has gone far beyond the call of duty to help improve the support that is available to abused women and children in her local area.
In recent years, she has managed the opening of a new support centre, which is now being expanded in order to help provide support for an even greater number of families. She has also worked hard to bring about the purchase and refurbishment of four houses in the community, which are being used by families who would not thrive in refuge accommodation and by women who need somewhere to stay in-between leaving refuge accommodation and moving into a home of their own.
Her dedication to the cause knows no bounds - as a self-employed business-woman, she gives her time to Crewe Women’s Aid at the cost of her own earning potential. Through being nominated for this award, she has also secured a £10,000 grant for Crewe Women’s Aid, which will be used to equip the newly extended support centre and train volunteers to help run the facility.
This incredibly committed woman has put an enormous amount of time and energy into ensuring that abused women and children have access to services that can help them to turn their lives around, yet has never asked for any recognition or financial reward.
RUNNER UP: MARY WHITFIELD, East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services
Marie Claire for supporting and featuring the awards, and particularly Editor of Marie Claire and one of our judges Trish Halpin.
Our panel of judges – Sarah Brown, Tana Ramsay, Anna Segatti, Reese Witherspoon and Trish Halpin, who have generously given their time to be on the judging panel. These women are all endless supporters of the work we do to raise awareness and end domestic violence.
Thank you to all the presenters of the awards: Sarah Brown, Beverley Knight and Fay Ripley, and to Charlie Webster for hosting the Award Ceremony.
And finally, it's all about you....
A very special and heart felt thank you to all those who nominated, were nominated and who applied for these awards. You are all winners in our eyes and we truly admire your strength and courage.