Another successful event was held at the Winter Gardens Blackpool on Saturday 11th March 2017, to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event was sponsored by Blackpool and The Fylde College and saw over 700 women attending with a few celebrities popping in to give their support.
Cheryl Dunn, Vice Principal HE and Student Enhancement said “B&FC is proud to have sponsored this important event that celebrates International Women’s Day. As a College, we have 125 years of helping students develop the skills they need to be competitive and successful in a range of technical and professional careers. In line with this year’s theme, we will continue to be a catalyst for change, enabling increased access to further and higher education opportunities for all.”
The event showcased over 60 stalls, from local independent businesses such as Katie’s candles and Mask Mayhem to larger organisations Homestart and The Body Shop. Helen Kershaw Russell compared the event with entertainment from Skool of Street, Alimandazumba, Chloe Rose Moyle, Nicky Figgins & The Dream Team Singers. URPotential co-ordinated the event, with full support from the Fylde Coast International Women’s Day committee, Fylde Ladies circle, Soroptmists and the Rotary Ladies. Anne Nolan opened the event with an inspiring speech addressing the theme for this year #PledgeForParity campaign and committing to help women and girls achieve their ambitions by; challenging conscious and unconscious bias; calling for gender-balanced leadership; valuing women and men’s contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures.
The Bags and Bras for Hope project donated over 60 bags to Fylde Coast Women’s Aid and Streetlife, supporting women with a bag of toiletries and essentials which are vital for homeless women. Judith Davitt who coordinated the Bags for Hope explained “This year we have yet again supported women with the essentials that many of us take for granted. Next year we hope to work with women’s groups to ensure all women who are either homeless or in circumstances where they require support, will have access to essential toiletries and sanitary provisions ‘
This year Fylde Coast Women were recognised for their contribution to their communities with winners in 2 categories, sponsored by Longfellows & Morrisons and presented by Danielle Barnett:
Young Woman of the Year
Winner – Nicola Dawber – Blackpool Youth Voice and Blackpool Carers
Highly Commended – Emma Jeffrey, Fylde Sharks
Rosie Carter-Rothwell , St Annes Town Council
Woman of the Year –
Winner- Linda Mc Evilly –Care&Share and St Monica’s Church
Highly Commended – Kirsten Burnett, Lytham Park Run Coordinator
A very special High Sheriff of Lancashire Award, was presented by John Barnett, High Sheriff of Lancashire, to Wendy Pearce, who has supported young people and communities in Blackpool for over 30 years. A truly inspirational woman!
Deborah Terras, Director URPotential ‘ Each year we think we can never build on the success of the previous year and year on year, the support our event receives increases. We are overwhelmed by the support of communities across all genders and are thrilled that this year we celebrated gender equality together. Huge thanks to the our committee especially Sue Thompson, who each year arranges all the stall holders and supports local female businesses’ The International Women’s day event raised money for Fylde Coast Women’s Aid.