Night of glamour celebrates women from all walks of life

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INSPIRATIONAL women from across West Sussex have been celebrating in style at the Woman of the Year Awards 2013.

The glamorous occasion took place on Friday at the Hilton Avisford, in Arundel.

Zoe Clarke form Euphoric (Headline Sponsor) with Sally Gunnell.  Avisford Park, Hilton Hotel. Arundel.

Zoe Clarke form Euphoric (Headline Sponsor) with Sally Gunnell. Avisford Park, Hilton Hotel. Arundel.

Eileen Darby won the Readers’ Choice award and Woman in Education for her work as a welfare officer at Chichester College.

“It’s just amazing, I still don’t know who nominated me,” she said.

Amanda Paine, from Littlehampton, won the Inspirational Woman award, before also taking home Overall Woman of the Year for her work with the National Council for Palliative Care and as a Dying Matters champion.

“I’m feeling very emotional,” said Amanda.

“It is fantastic the charities are being recognised. But the award isn’t for me. It’s for everyone we work with and help.”

Hayley Fairclough picked up the award for Woman in Uniform, for her work in the cardiac rehabilitation department of Southlands Hospital, Shoreham.

She was praised for her ‘compassion, knowledge and enthusiasm’.

Woman in Community, Charity or Voluntary Sector was awarded to Lydia Wilson, who founded Worthing Kids seven years ago to support people with Down’s syndrome.

Stylist Gay Richardson, from Worthing, was awarded Woman in Fashion.

“I’m so pleased – but just in shock,” she said.

Katy Jobbins from Hassocks won the hair and beauty category, for founding her own business The Permanent Makeup Training Academy.

“I can’t believe it,” 
she said.

Karen Platt won Woman in Arts for rising to a huge fundraising challenge, raising more than £70,000 in two weeks to save Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra.

“People didn’t want to lose the orchestra. It was so important,” she said

Candi Gilroy, from Chichester, won the accolade of Young Woman for raising awareness of disability and running inclusive clubs and workshops for children of all abilities.

“I’ve left all the girls at rehearsals,” said Candi. “They told me I couldn’t miss this.”

Elkie Holland said she was ‘very pleased and surprised’ to pick up the awards for Success Story after founding successful businesses and helping others to find work with her new recruitment company.

Mum of the Year was awarded to Kerry Okaines and Gemma Griggs, from Crawley, picked up the award for Woman of Courage for her decision to have a double mastectomy after discovering she had the BRAC2 gene and had a 98 per cent chance of developing breast cancer.

Speaking about her award, she said: “It’s brilliant – I’m really proud. My kids are going to be proud, too.”

Julia Tarley won Sportswoman of the Year, impressing with more than 30 years of dedication to karatedo training.

“It’s very physical but it helps people to relax,” she said. “You are a mentor as well as a teacher.”

Steph Savil, founder of Foxy Ladies Driving Club picked up the competitive award of online business.

“I’m really chuffed,” she said. “It is a tremendous achievement.”

Woman to Watch was awarded to Hannah Murphy – a 28-year-old mother of two who runs two businesses – a beauty salon and a fitness company.

She is hoping to get her programme combining culture, dance and language into the national curriculum.

Claire Allaker said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ to win Woman in Business after her hard work establishing a PR and marketing support agency.