Jo’s award adds extra poignancy to special ceremony honouring Yorkshire women

Kim Leadbeater, the sister of mudered MP Jo Cox, accepts the White Rose Award watched by her parents Jean and Gordon.' 'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Kim Leadbeater, the sister of mudered MP Jo Cox, accepts the White Rose Award watched by her parents Jean and Gordon.' 'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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The Yorkshire Women of Achievement awards are held annually to raise money for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds, one of seven hospices run by national charity Sue Ryder.

Renowned for their spirit and determination, Yorkshire women were celebrated at the ‘Women of Achievement Awards 2017’.

Gill  Hodgson on her flower barrow  they sell flowers  from,  grown on Field House Farm at Everingham near Pocklington.

Gill Hodgson on her flower barrow they sell flowers from, grown on Field House Farm at Everingham near Pocklington.

It is the 31st year that the awards, organised by Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, have taken place to celebrate inspirational women from across the region.

Jo Cox, a Yorkshire Woman of Achievement

There was extra poignancy too as this year’s ‘Yorkshire Rose’ award was read out at the Royal Armouries in Leeds yesterday.

This year’s recipient was murdered MP Jo Cox – friend, colleague and campaigner to many of the guests – being recognised for her support of women in politics, but also her championing of diversity, sheer energy and belief in a better world.

Rose McCarthy and Nicola Greenan.

Rose McCarthy and Nicola Greenan.

Sister Kim Leadbeater said: “It is a privilege and honour to receive this but there is only one reason I am doing this. It is a painful truth that we struggle with on a daily basis.

“However, the one thing that has empowered us to keep going is the kindness shown by the people of Yorkshire.”

The other top award was reserved for Bana Gora, CEO of the Muslim Women’s council, named overall ‘Woman of Achievement 2017’ and also winner of the Community Impact award.

She challenges stereotypes Muslim women face while supporting them to have a voice and providing internships and mentoring. She also created initiatives such as the Curry Circle which feeds around a hundred homeless, predominately males, with drug, alcohol and mental issues.

From left, Gill Hodgson, Dr Sarah Heath and Beverley Bryant.

From left, Gill Hodgson, Dr Sarah Heath and Beverley Bryant.

Mrs Gora said: “I am just really honoured. This is the first award I have won so I am really happy to be here to win not just one but two.

“Our religion and our faith teaches us to help neighbours and it is our neighbours that are going hungry in the 21st century. We have got to come together. What inspires me is social injustice and we have got to do our bit.”

Other winners were:

Gill Hodgson (Business), Rose McCarthy (Education), Nicola Greenan (Arts), Izzy Palmer (sport), Leanne Owen (Jane Tomlinson award for courage), Dr Sarah Heath (science and technology) and Lydia Mellen (young achiever).

Host Liz Green, Lydia Mellen and Rachel Elston.

Host Liz Green, Lydia Mellen and Rachel Elston.

Mary Campbell, head of fundraising at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice and organiser of the event, said: “This has been another incredible year. “We have received some outstanding nominations, all inspirational in their own individual ways and we had a fantastic day celebrating their achievements.”

Recognising inspirational Sue

The Yorkshire Women of Achievement awards are held annually to raise money for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds, one of seven hospices run by national charity Sue Ryder.

Held in honour of Leeds-born Lady Sue Ryder, founder of the charity, they also recognise and celebrate Yorkshire’s most inspirational women.

Mary Campbell, head of fundraising, said: “The awards is a unique opportunity to say thank you to all those incredible women who have touched people’s lives and left an everlasting legacy.”

This year it will cost the hospice £4.4m to run services from supporting people in day therapy to directly in their own homes and only 44 per cent is covered by statutory funds.