Meet the inspiring women changing children's lives in the UK

Meet the Amazing Women Awards winners who dedicate their lives to working with children and young people

Amazing Women Awards 2022 winners
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The Amazing Women Awards, in partnership with No7, take the time to celebrate women over 50 who are making a difference to the people around them.

For this hardworking bunch, it's all about knowing that the kids are alright—via their dedication to making the world a better, safer place for children and young people.

Working with children to carve out a better future for generations to come, here's three inspirational women whose passion for helping others is helping make the world a better place.

Jilly Halliday, 56, bee conservationist

Jilly Halliday, 56, bee conservationist

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Winner of the Animal Welfare Supporter award 2022, Jilly has been passionate about bees since becoming a fully-fledged beekeeper in 2014. 

Having started out by taking a ten-week beekeeping course, she has become a respected advocate for these amazing creatures, undertaking and supporting vital research into their survival and propagation, and educating young people about their importance. 

Former florist Jilly founded The Broomley Bee Project (opens in new tab)—a charity aiming to weave the art of beekeeping and the science of bees into the school curriculum. She's also the Educational Project Lead at Arnia, a Remote Hive Monitoring organization.

Dedicated to the welfare of bees, her great pleasure has been sharing this knowledge with young minds. So much in fact that she says one of her career highlights to date was, "taking a group of excited children and beekeepers to Kew Gardens to accept the coveted Bees Needs Award we’d won."

Jilly is also part of the Scillonian Bee Project (opens in new tab), an initiative working to keep bees on the Scilly Isles from dying out by introducing the hardy Cornish Black into colonies. This project aims to keep these beautiful islands' biodiversity for generations to come.

In this project, she's working with beekeepers, university authorities, and the local community to help the stunning Isles of Scilly produce its own sustainable honey bee. "I’m proud of the momentum we’re creating and the results we’re beginning to see," she says.

Dr Rachel O’Connell, 52, Founder and CEO of age verification platform, TrustElevate

Dr Rachel O’Connell, 52, Founder and CEO of age verification platform, TrustElevate

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Rachel’s lifelong commitment to keeping children safe online is why she's well-deserving of the Children's Champion award 2022. This amazing woman's journey began with her Ph.D. research into pedophile activity online, which informed the drafting of the UK 2003 Sexual Offences Act.  

If that's not impressive enough, Rachel reveals that she managed to simultaneously juggle several roles that each count as a full-time job. Being a university lecturer and completing her Ph.D. while also setting up and running a research center and raising her child on her own. "While there were many challenges," she says, "I was aware of setting an example, of showing that you can have a career and still put family first."

Her projects include coordinating Internet Safety Centres across Europe and developing internet safety education programs for children and caregivers. Her expertise in pedophile forensics, tech, and governmental advisory led to the founding of TrustElevate (opens in new tab); a secure, accurate, and privacy-preserving provider of child age verification and parental consent. "My business is developing a Child Rights Impact Assessment tool for product developers, which will positively change efforts to ensure child safety online," she explains.

Although much has been done throughout her career thus far, Rachel says there's so much more she wants to achieve through her work. She aims for, "the roll-out of age verification and parental consent online to help create a safer internet." Adding that she hopes to see, "lawmakers and regulators ensure that companies behave responsibly toward children." 

Sally Lindsay, 48, actor and ambassador for Demelza Hospice for Children

Sally Lindsay, 48, actor and ambassador for Demelza Hospice for Children

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Winner of the Celebrity Ambassador award 2022 is an amazing woman of many talents. Actor, writer, and presenter, Sally is a regular on our screens having starred in everything from Coronation Street, to Scott and Bailey and most recently The Madame Blanc Mysteries. 

Sally has been a passionate supporter of Demelza (opens in new tab) for over 15 years, championing hospices in Kent and in South East London, raising awareness of their work, and taking part in numerous fundraising events in person and online.

"Every year its work is a lifeline to over 600 children with serious or terminal conditions and their loved ones," she says. "Ensuring they receive the care and attention they need to live the most fulfilling life they can, with the opportunity to build memories, for however long they have together."

Long before her journey to where she stands today, Sally says she was inspired by the women closest to her. "My mum and my gran; amazing, strong, northern women." As well as those who raised her, there's another woman who Sally sees as an inspiration. "Emmeline Pankhurst," she says. "I find her determination to change the world for women inspirational."

The woman&home Amazing Women Awards are brought to you in partnership with No7.

Aoife Hanna
Aoife Hanna

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.

With contributions from