IT was a night of inspiration when 550 people got together to applaud female award-winners from the town, region and across the country and thousands more joined in online from around the world.

The eighth She Inspires Awards held at the Bolton Stadium Hotel produced big winners and a chance for 36 individuals and several local charities and businesses to step into the spotlight.

Around 25 women had flown into Manchester Airport especially for the event from as far away as Germany, Denmark, Spain, Doha, South Africa, America and India.

One woman, Sunita Bhuyan a celebrated violinist who was awarded the global Cultural Champion Award, had flown in from India and played a poignant tribute to the late Queen.

As organiser Gulnaz Brennan put it: “It was an incredible night when the whole town came together to celebrate its own women and those from around the world.”

One major winner was Dr Helen Wall, the Bolton GP who is also Clinical Director of NHS GM (formerly the CCG) and a pivotal figure in the town’s fight against Covid.

She not only scooped the first Women in Health and Medical Services Award but also received the prestigious Woman of the Year Award.

Winning the Women in Health and Medical Services Award, sponsored by the University of Bolton, allowed her to select a charity to receive £10,000. And for Dr Wall – a trustee of Bolton Hospice – the choice was not a difficult one.

Maura Jackson, CEO of Bolton-based young homeless charity BackUp North West, was another double winner. She took the Women in Leadership Award and the charity won the Team of the Year Award.

Commented Maura: “It was the perfect end to 2022 and our 30th anniversary year. It was just amazing to be able to share the night with the staff and for me to win the Leadership Award – but you can only win if you have an amazing team to lead, and I have.”

BBC North-west presenter Mairead Smyth hosted the event and Stanmore Insurance Ltd from Little Lever was the headline sponsor. The event was held in partnership with the University of Bolton and Bolton Council. Bolton Sixth Form College and ICICI Bank UK Plc joined the sponsor list for the first time.

Award-winners were:

Women in Business Award –

Start Up Women in Business – Victoria Melling

Women in Business – Gail Hounslea

Fashion Hair & Beauty – Linda Monk

Team of the Year – Charity – BackUp NW

Team of the Year- Business – Acquiesce

SHEro Award

Local – Faria Arsh

National- Annalice Argyle

Global – Dianne Burckhardt GERMANY

Volunteer of the Year Award – Diana Khasa

Young Achiever Award – Sannah Adam

Women in Leadership Award

Local – Maura Jackson

National -Mysoon Shafiq

Global – Miriam De Andres De Castro SPAIN

Health & Medical Profession – De Helen Wall

HER-Abilities Award – Margaret Mary Carroll

Women in Digital – Lydia German

Rising Star Award

Local – Emma Holt

National – Rupinder Sandhu

Global – Noora Fetais DOHA, QATAR

Women in STEM – Cheryl Stevens

Agent of Change

Local – Dani Wallace

National – Kath Samson

Global – Niven Postma SOUTH AFRICA

Networking& Events Award – Angela Gray

Hospitality Award – Jessica Southworth

Fitness & Wellbeing Award – Stacey Withington

Girl Up Award (in memory of Gay Wharton)

Local – Lisa Forshaw

National – Sharon Hinchliff

Global – Ulyana Kyrychuk UKRAINIA

Culture Champion Award

Local – Lotte Wakeham

National – Bihani Sarkar

Global – Sunita Bhuhan INDIA

Lifetime Achievement Award

Local – Jayne Littler

National – Natasha Britton

Global – Lisbeth Johansen DENMARK


Person with a Mission -Lorraine Worsley- Carter MBE DL

Woman of Courage – Dr Zaheda Atcha

Going Above & Beyond – Angela Kelly

Power HER -Dominique Rose

Stepping Stone Prize £1000 – Casual Closet

Woman of the Year

Local – Dr Helen Wall

National – Mysoon Shafiq

Global – Lisbeth Johansen