Another successful event was held at the Winter Gardens Blackpool on Saturday 10th March 2018 to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event, sponsored by Blackpool and The Fylde College attracted over 500 people.

Cheryl Dunn, B&FC Vice Principal HE and Student Enhancement, said: “B&FC is proud to have sponsored this important event which celebrates International Women’s Day. 

“As a College, we have a long history of helping students develop the skills they need to be competitive and successful in a range of technical and professional careers. 

“In support of this year’s theme, Press for Progress, B&FC continues to act as a catalyst for change, enabling increased access to further and higher education opportunities for all.”

The event showcased over 57 stalls, from local independent businesses such as: Kids Be Happy and Bijoux crochet crafts, to larger organisations such as The Imperial Hotel and Lancashire Constabulary Police Cadets. Helen Kershaw Russell compered the event with entertainment from Skool of Street, Blackpool Community Football Trust and local band Tongue of Fire.

URPotential has organised this event for the last 6 years with full support from the Fylde Coast International Women’s Day committee, The Soroptimists and Blackpool Ladies Rotary.

Anne Nolan, Fylde Coast IWD Ambassador, opened the event with an inspiring speech addressing the theme for this year #PledgeForParity campaign, asking that all genders come together to support an equal environment for everyone. Anne has continuously supported this event each year.

The bags and Bras for Hope project donated 30 bags to Fylde Coast Women’s Aid.  The bags, filled with toiletries and essentials, provide vital support for homeless women. In partnership with the Lingerie Lounge the event also asked women to donate their old bras for Cancer Research and to recycle for women in developing countries. Over 100 bras were donated.

Fylde Coast Women were recognised for their contribution to their communities with Awards, sponsored by Santander and presented by Anne Nolan.  There were winners in 2 categories::

Young Woman of the Year

Winner – Faye Ellie Rose – LGB&T Ambassador

Highly Commended  –  Jessica Basquill – Wyre Youth Mayor

Woman of the Year

Winner- Linda Stakehouse – Fleetwood PCSO

Highly Commended – Tina Hibbard – Fylde Coast Women’s Aid Manager

Deborah Terras, Director URPotential & Coordinator of the IWD event said:  ‘ This years’ event was spectacular.  It brought together people from all genders and communities on the Fylde Coast. The nominations for this year’s Fylde Coast Woman of the Year awards were outstanding, and it was an honour to have all the nominees at the event to receive their recognition. It makes you very proud to part of the Fylde Coast Community. Each year we think we can never build on the success of the previous year, and each year the support our event receives seems to increase. Huge thanks to our committee, especially Sue Thompson & Erin Croft, who gave their time to help organise the event and arrange all the stall holders and local female businesses’.  The International Women’s day event raises money for Fylde Coast Women’s Aid and ALL monies raised on the day go directly to the charity.”