A teacher, nurse, volunteer radio presenter, disability advocate and a community hub owner have all been revealed as the winners of Merseyside Women of the Year’s special MWOTY Marvels awards.
The MWOTY Marvels awards were launched in June, after the organisation was forced to cancel its 2020 event due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The online awards initiative was designed to recognise the key workers and volunteers who supported our region through the pandemic.
In an online ceremony on Friday 31st July, hosted by MWOTY organisers, Ellen Kerr and Jean Gadsby revealed the MWOTY Marvel winners as volunteer radio presenter, Cassie James, Associate Nurse, Chloe Sutton, Disability Advocate, Donna Phipps, Design and Technology Teacher, Graham Roscoe and community hub owner, Michelle Bridge.
Cassie James - Sefton
Volunteer Radio Presenter at Mighty Radio 107.9
During lockdown Cassie demonstrated total dedication and commitment to presenting her show, seven days a week, to connect with her local community at a time when it was needed most. Despite her own personal struggles with her health, Cassie has continued to be a force for good in local media and used her position at Mighty Radio to provide a platform to highlight the key issues and concerns experienced by members of the Southport community, including loneliness and isolation.
Chloe Sutton – Liverpool
Associate Nurse at Bridgewater Community Healthcare
Chloe was selected for her passionate commitment to her job, working long hours and weekends during the COVID-19 crisis to support patients being released from hospital. Her bubbly good humour and ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude has endeared her to her patients and she has kept her car stocked with bread, milk and loo roll so that people in her care would not be left without essentials. Despite a draining workload and facing the devastating loss of one of her colleagues to the virus, she has never compromised on patient care.
Donna Phipps - Liverpool
Pan Disability Advocate at Liverpool Parent & Carers (LivPaC)
Since lockdown started Donna has provided a constant, up-to-date information service across the city for families of children with additional needs. She worked with the council to distribute food and supplies to families in need and those shielding. Webinars became the way she gave support and online coffee mornings brought people together, all while supporting her own family and son who has autism. When the world closed Donna stayed open.
Graham Roscoe - Wirral
Design & Technology Teacher at Calday Grammar School
When the pandemic hit, Calday School Design and Technology teacher, Graham, spearheaded a campaign to make much needed PPE for NHS and care home workers across Merseyside. Joining forces with West Kirby Grammar School for Girls, he sourced materials and set to work, using 3D Laser Printers and computer programmes to make more than 3,000 visors. Frontline workers weren't charged for the PPE, but they were asked to donate to Wirral Foodbank instead, to extend support for the wider community.
Michelle Bridge - Wirral
Director at Building Bridges CIC at Cavendish Community Hub
Michelle’s social supermarket has stayed open six days a week since lockdown began and she has provided food packages and deliveries to everyone in the community of Birkenhead North End. Despite being self-funded and ineligible to receive any specific grants and funding during COVID-19, she has still worked tirelessly and endlessly to ensure her shelves are full and her Community Hub stays open.
The five winners were selected from a host of fantastic nominations from across the region, made by members of the public. During the event, MWOTY commère, Pauline Daniels, and Collette McCann from MWOTY Headline Sponsor, Michael W Halsall Solicitors, both provided a special video message for winners and attendees.
Speaking after the event, organisers Ellen Kerr and Jean Gadsby said:
“It has been wonderful, despite the pandemic, to still do what MWOTY always seeks to do – to shine a light on those people in our communities whose incredible work often goes unnoticed and celebrate their incredible achievements.
“We would like to thank and congratulate all five of our winners, all of our nominees and all of the other keyworkers and volunteers who have supported our region during these unprecedented and challenging times. You are all marvels to us!”
The MWOTY Marvels awards were supported by Headline Sponsor, Michael W Halsall Solicitors, and sponsors Leonard Curtis Business Solutions, Community Foundation for Merseyside, Neo Community and ADDvanced Solutions, Courage & Sparkle, Everton FC and Financial Planning Corporation (Ainsdale), all of who had been set to sponsor categories at the 2020 MWOTY Awards.
Collette McCann, Solicitor at Michael W Halsall, said:
“The MWOTY Marvels shine a light on some of the most amazing people, who in the face of worldwide concern and anxiety, rose up to go all out for those in their community.
“We would like to extend a heartfelt and genuine thank you and well done to the MOWTY Marvels. They are all amazing and an inspiration to our region.”
Following its postponement this year, MWOTY’s tenth anniversary event will now take place on Friday 25th June 2021. Nominations for the MWOTY 2021 event are now open.
To find out more about MWOTY, visit: https//merseysidewomenoftheyear.co.uk/