Meet the 50+ women who are working with children and young people for a better world for us all...
There are ten categories in all, with five finalists selected for each. We’ll be revealing these in the magazine and online over the coming months – with the overall winners announced in the autumn.
Below you can read all about the five shortlisted finalists in the Shaping Our Future category, which celebrates midlife women who are working tirelessly with young people to create a better world for us all.
From the woman helping teenage girls to overcome their anxiety to the activist who’s fighting gun violence, discover more about our shortlist below…
The intensive carer for bullied children
Carrie is a leading authority on bullied children and the founder of Red Balloon Learner Centre charity, “intensive care schools” for bullied children, offering full-time education in a therapeutic setting.
Since 1996 the charity has helped more than 700 children – many of whom were suicidal. The charity has a 95% success rate of getting bullied children back into mainstream education.
Carrie says: "There are nearly 100,000 children aged 11-15 not in school, partly or wholly because of bullying.
"I entered the workplace as a young, naive teacher. In middle age, I’ve found enormous satisfaction from providing young people with an education and wellbeing programme that goes
a long way to helping them move on.”
The champion for girls in STEM careers
Helen campaigns for girls and women in science, tech, engineering and maths (STEM) as Chief Executive of WISE, the campaign for gender balance in STEM careers.
She created role models in the form of the WISE Young Women’s board – 12 women who are successful in their STEM industries.
Just 14% of ICT, 7% of engineering and 2% of construction apprentices finishing their course last year were women.
Helen says: “As a small organisation we focus our eFForts on girls aged 11-14, the time when they choose options at school. My proudest achievement is that there are 230,200 more women working in core STEM occupations than in 2012.”
The gangs and gun violence fighter
Erinma founded a charity that, with police, has reduced gun violence by 92% in Manchester's Moss Side.
Carisma (Community Alliance for Renewal, Inner South Manchester Area) was set up by the award-winning peace activist in 2003 to give young people positive alternatives to street and gun crime.
Erinma says: "There’s still a lot of work to
be done around gun and now knife crime –
I want to focus positively on our young people and not perpetuate the stereotypes.
"My proudest achievement is having a statue of myself made out of 50 recycled guns, which sits in Manchester Town Hall."
The sporting campaigner
Jane is co-founder of StreetGames UK, a charity that takes sports to children in disadvantaged areas, helping them to build skills, confidence and self-belief.
The charity has reached over 500,000 children and young people since 2007. Fit and Fed, their summer holiday activity programme with food, tackles holiday hunger, inactivity and isolation.
Jane says: “Our projects help young people to be healthier, safer and more successful. There is nothing better than playing a part in helping children realise their full potential.”
The helper for anxious teens
Lisa is an anxiety consultant for teenage girls, using her own difficult background of abuse and food issues to support others. She has helped over 1,500 girls and families, and believes that if caught early and helped, teenage girls with anxiety, stress, low self-esteem and confidence issues do not grow into women in crisis.
Lisa says: “As a troubled teen due to years of domestic abuse, I found within myself the resources to learn to believe in myself, get away, heal and move on with my life.
"I strive to offer the support to teenage girls that I needed then, which was not available to me at that time.”