Back in March we asked you to nominate your Community Heroes – the incredible, inspirational women making a massive difference where you live in the South East and South West
Here we present the shortlist of 3 finalists for the South East and South West – selected in recognition of their enthusiasm, determination and dedication. (The other four regions are: Scotland and Northern Ireland, North West, North East and in Yorkshire, Wales and West Midlands, East Midlands and East Anglia).
You can see the details of all the other finalists here. And you can vote for women in each region. Votes close on the 31st of July 2020.
Now all you have to do is scroll down and choose which of these fabulous women you’d like to see in the final line-up of the Amazing Women Awards 2020 AND VOTE!
Look out for the winners in our November issue (on sale October) and online.
The 3 finalists from the South East and South West
- Adele Sewell, 55, from Croydon
- Louise Davies, 60, from Cheltenham
- Gail O’Shea, 54, from Brentwood
1. Adele Sewell, nominated for raising awareness of a ‘silent killer’
Adele Sewell, 55, from Croydon, has turned her ongoing personal battle against ovarian cancer into a successful charity. Her annual event, The Touch of Teal Tea, at The May Fair Hotel, London, has raised over £160,000 to date for Ovacome (ovacome.org.uk).
Adele says: I was told a decade ago my cancer is treatable but incurable, but I continue to make the most of every day. In 2010 I became a volunteer for Ovacome. They had a ‘make time for tea’ campaign and I thought, ‘I’m bad at baking, but I like cake.’ So I decided to hold my own afternoon tea event. That first year we hosted for 50 people and raised £1,000. Now the event incorporates a fashion show, auction, survivor speeches and covetable goodie bags. My main focus – besides raising awareness – is to ensure those living with ovarian cancer have a fantastic and memorable day.
Carolyn Mackrell, who nominated Adele, says: Adele’s passion is unwavering, she has promoted information about ovarian cancer and raised an incredible amount of funds to finance research. Throughout, her enthusiasm inspires everyone fortunate enough to meet her.
2. Louise Davies, nominated for reuniting pets and owners
Louise Davies, 60, from Cheltenham, runs animal welfare organisation, Animals Lost and Found in Gloucestershire, working to support devastated owners and reunite them with their lost pets.
Louise says: In 2015, I lost my cat, Daisy, and that sparked the idea to help others through the traumatic experience. I established a social media presence and now use the network to post about missing pets – lost or spotted, roaming. Along with 10 volunteers, we scan chips and check them against a database. We’ve had some lovely reunions – one was a young woman whose cat, Tiger, went missing for four years.
Janey Hanson, who nominated Louise, says: Louise really deserves to win – nothing is ever too much trouble for her, she never gives up hope and has made a real difference to so many lives, both the two-legged and four-legged variety.
3. Gail O’Shea, nominated for granting wishes to sick children
Gail O’Shea, 54, from Brentwood, set up Wipe Away Those Tears (wipeawaythosetears.org) with her husband in 2007. The charity raises money to grant special wishes to children in Essex with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses. They have raised over £2 million through an annual summer ball, helping over 1,500 children.
Gail says: Families with very sick children often have to fight for every little thing, so our aim is to help with anything that can bring joy or alleviate suffering. Often those who need most ask for the least – recently, we were contacted by a lady whose child has spina bifida. A special mattress topper to help him sleep cost just £140, so I asked if there was anything else we could help with. That little boy now also has a tablet to distract himself while going through his therapies.
Gail’s daughter Chloe, who nominated her, says: I’m so proud that Mum took it upon herself to bring a sparkle to the lives of those less fortunate.
You can vote for women in the four other regions too by clicking on these links:
- Scotland and Northern Ireland
- North East, North West and Yorkshire
- Wales and West Midlands
- East Midlands and East Anglia
Votes close on the 31st of July 2020.