Woman of the Year

This year, All Women’s Day was held in Port Glasgow Town Hall. Previous events have been held in Greenock Town Hall but, with the event being aimed at women from all around Inverclyde and with Port Glasgow undergoing a major regeneration, the organisers decided to try a change of venue.

During this event the Woman of the Year award is given. Each year, in conjunction with the Greenock Telegraph, unsung hero’s are nominated in recognition of the fact they always put others first, give unselfishly of their time for others, and/or campaign tirelessly on behalf of others, or may have achieved something remarkable against the odds. Previous nominees have been from all walks of life ie businesswomen, volunteers, carers etc

Manager of the voluntary centre Dianne Noctor with other organisers Lesley Thompson, June McFarlane and Karina MacDonald.

Diane and her team are given the task of organising the programme for the Woman’s day event. It included drama, workshops on various topics and a fashion show. The event attracted hundreds of women.

Here is the lowdown on the present and previous winners…

This year’s winner, Moira Bradle
y (2008).

Greenock gal Moira has raised £50,000 for charity. She said: “I want to thank everyone who voted for me and I would like to thank all the finalists. You are all so nice and deserve this, not just me.”

Moira vows to continue fundraising. She said: “I am not going to give up fundraising. Not ever. This will raise my profile. I have this for a year and I can work with this title. I can’t believe it.”

All of the finalists were taken to Port Glasgow Town Hall courtesy of ABC Limo Hire and received flowers and chocolates.

Moira was nominated for the award by her young son, Lee, eight, who wrote in with the help of big sister Amanda, 18. The young Highlanders’ Academy pupil said: “My mum has raised thousands of pounds for charity and I am very proud of her.” Moira’s first task when she left All Women’s Day yesterday afternoon was to pick her son up from school. She said: “He was very excited this morning.”

Amanda, who attended All Women’s Day, to support Moira said: “I knew my mum would win, although she kept saying she wouldn’t. She doesn’t look for any recognition.”

Moira’s fundraising crusades are made all the more impressive by the fact she has a heart condition and a rare genetic disorder that increases the risk of her suffering potentially fatal blood clots.

Her first fundraising event was a fashion show featuring colleagues from T-Mobile. It raised £2,000 and Moira was hooked on the buzz of raising cash for good causes.

Moira was embarrassed at being short-listed for woman of the year, as she does not do her charity work for recognition, but simply because she enjoys it. She is now planning to raise cash for Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Sneaky Lee managed to get his entry to us without his mum knowing and she only found out when she got a phone call to say she had been short-listed for the finals.

Lee said he was very proud of his mum for raising £40,000 for Cash for Kids and a further £10,000 for Ardgowan Hospice — and our readers agreed.

Annette McIntyre, last year’s winner, presented the Woman of the Year Trophy, sponsored by James Watt College (Now West College Scotland), to Moira, who also received chocolates, wine, flowers, Top Deck membership from Inverclyde Leisure, a meal for two at the Chartroom, Inverkip, and hair vouchers from One Union Spa. Ruth Cooper, of James Watt College, assisted Annette with the presentation. Annette donated a kidney to her best friend, Helen Giff.

Annette, 54, received her award in March 2007 at the event in Greenock Town Hall. Thanks to Annette, Helen now lives a normal life

2007 Winner: Annette (Left), Helen (Right)

Last year, Annette received her trophy from Ina Miller, who was crowned Woman of the year in 2006. Ina, who is in her 60s, was nominated for the award for her sterling efforts to raise money for people with asthma.

2006 winner, Ina Millar

Way back on 12 September, 1983, she set up a support group for people with asthma — and, today, more than 25 years on, it is still going strong.

Gran Ina, has lost count of the number of people she has helped over the years. She has raised more than £200,000, which has enabled her to buy 3,000 nebulisers to help adults and children with respiratory ailments.
Despite her stalwart efforts, Ina never looks for recognition, running her charity without fuss. And she takes great pride in the fact she has never turned down a request for a nebuliser.

Ina received her award from Margaret Barry, who was Woman of the Year in 2005. Margaret, who is in her 50s, secured hundreds of votes from Tele readers who were inspired by her ability to look after her two teenage daughters, who have special needs, while still finding the time to work tirelessly in the community. At the time, Margaret was a member of the PTA at Lilybank School. She was also helping set up a centre for young adults with autistic spectrum disorders.

Over these past few years, having been asked to sing by Morag Wilson, I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Woman’s Day. I’ve even got my daughters involved. All women are made very welcome. There’s the opportunity to get pampered from James Watt College staff and students, get info on various topics and events in and around Inverclyde and be entertained with dancing, drama etc. It’s a great day!!

Singing at the All Women’s Day 2008
Photos by Arlene Rodgers

All Women’s Day 2007 in the Greenock Town Hall

Singing (and dancing) with my girls