Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Women of Achievement winners revealed

Women of Achievement winners revealed

FOUR women from the Henley area were honoured at this year’s Sue Ryder Women of Achievement Awards.

Hundreds of people attended the 13th annual awards which were hosted by Strictly Come Dancing winner Chris Hollins and BBC journalist Sophie van Brugen on Friday night.

The ceremony, held in the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, celebrated the achievements of women in seven categories - business, community service, sport, courage, innovation, mentoring and public service.

Vanessa Bird, who has managed the Christ Church Centre in Henley for the last seven years, scooped the community award.

It hosts groups including Alcoholics Anonymous, the Henley Symphony Orchestra and the Henley Stroke Club.

Mrs Bird also launched the Memory Café in April for sufferers of dementia, with people visiting from Henley, Sonning Common and Caversham. She also helped re-establish the dementia day care group Bluebells.

Caroline Sweetman won the new mentor of the year award.

She founded SpringBox Gymnastics in Henley almost 30 years ago and has helped hundreds of children get into the sport.

The club now has about 300 members and takes youngsters from recreational classes up to competition, while Mrs Sweetman has also mentored and supported coaches through professional British Gymnastics qualifications.

In the innovation category interior designer Lynne Lambourne triumphed.

Ms Lambourne, who lives in Peppard, focuses on upcycling and encourages others to reuse and repurpose furniture and belongings rather than throwing them away and has campaigned for a ban on single use plastic.

Her upcycled designs helped her win interior designer of the year at Grand Designs Live and her work has appeared on TV shows and in magazines.

She also founded Warriors on Waste, classes to teach children to reuse and recycle and the importance of protecting the planet, which she runs as holiday camps and after-school clubs.

Carli Jordan, director of the award-winning self-build home company Kiss House, took this year’s business award.

Ms Jordan balances running the business with a chronic pain condition and raising her two young children.

The Caversham resident also runs regular charity events and created the “Reading Mums” Facebook group, which now has more than 2,000 members.

Almost 30 women from the Henley area were nominated at this year’s awards.

For the full story, with reaction and pictures, pick up a copy of next week’s Henley Standard.






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