Fortitude and courage in face of danger recognised at glittering ceremony.
In a break from tradition and after a most tumultuous year, a group of women from the UK’s Police, Fire and Ambulance Services have been jointly rewarded today at a gala award ceremony in Birmingham, in gratitude and recognition of their leadership and dedication in the face of the terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London and the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower.
Receiving the Woman of Achievement Award 2017 on behalf of the women of the Emergency Services were Commissioner Dany Cotton of the London Fire Service, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi of the Metropolitan Police Service, PC Alice Jacobs, who was one of the first on the scene during the recent London terror attacks, Heather Lawrence OBE of the London Ambulance Service and Tracy Porter, Head of Resilience and Special Operations of the London Ambulance Service.
The Award was presented to the women by former winner Baroness Helen Newlove of Warrington, Victims Commissioner for England and Wales. The women take over from the current holder, Liverpool’s Margaret Aspinall CBE, who received the award in recognition of her tireless campaigning for justice for the families and friends of the 96 people who lost their lives at Hillsborough.
Former winners of the Woman of Courage or Achievement Award include Martine Wright, who overcame the horrific loss of both of her legs in the 7/7 terrorist bombings of 2005 to rebuild her life and compete at the London 2012 Paralympics, and Katie Piper, whose personal story My Beautiful Face inspired millions.
Also celebrated at the awards was Fleur Sexton, co-founder of PET-Xi Training, which has helped more than 100,000 youngsters from across the UK, who received the Businesswoman of the Year award from Nicola Elliott, founder of home fragrance brand, Neom Organics.
The 35th annual Women of the Year luncheon and awards ceremony, hosted by BBC Midlands Today’s Arti Halai and Nick Owen, took place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, NEC on 6 October 2017. Around 500 guests were treated to a three course luncheon before the presentation of the awards. Proceeds from the event will be divided between Revitalise and Tomorrow’s People.
Revitalise CEO Chris Simmonds, who attended the event, commented:
“I can’t think of a more deserving group of people for the Woman of Achievement Award the women of our Emergency Services, as exemplified by those here today. In recent months the women of our Police, Fire and Ambulance Services have displayed incredible courage and fortitude in the face of quite terrifying circumstances.
“By their actions, these women have proved themselves to be worthy custodians of the grand traditions of the Emergency Services. As a charity supporting disabled people and carers, Revitalise operates in a very different sphere of activity, but we understand that it takes time to build a legacy, something these women have achieved through many years of tenacity and dedication. We applaud them for displaying these qualities in such abundance.
“Finally, I would like to thank everyone here today for showing your support of our charity. Your continued generosity will enable us to continue our vital work supporting disabled people and carers, from here in the Midlands and all across the UK.”
Pauline Edden, Board Director of the Woman of the Year Awards, said:
“We departed from tradition with pleasure this year in order to present this award to a group of women, not just an individual. The women of our Emergency Services are worthy of our recognition, this year more than ever.
“It is testament to their dedication that many women have risen to the very top of their respective Services, in domains which until recently were traditionally regarded as exclusively male-oriented. They have also proved themselves in action, by protecting and serving us with great skill and determination, often under the most frightening of circumstances.
“I would also like to give thanks to all the wonderful supporters who continue to make our event possible.”
The Women of the Year Awards honour women’s outstanding individual achievement in all professions. In addition to the Woman of Achievement Award, the Businesswoman of the Year Award recognises outstanding achievement in the sphere of business and provides positive role models to encourage other women to enter the business arena.