The 2016 Women of the Year Lunch and Awards was held at the Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane and celebrated over 400 extraordinary women.
The Women of the Year Special Award honoured the Hillsborough Families for working tirelessly for 27 years to establish the truth of what happened at the Hillsborough football stadium disaster on 15 April, 1989. The award was presented to Margaret Aspinall, on behalf of all the families, by Prime Minister Theresa May, who said:
“Thanks to their resolve we now know the truth about what happened that day. This award is for all those who lost their lives at Hillsborough and their families who have shown immense courage and determination.”
Five women were recognised with Women of the Year Awards for their courage, resourcefulness, flair and for their selfless actions:
Seema Aziz, Barclays Women of the Year Award winner
The award recognises Seema’s extraordinary contribution to education in Pakistan, based on her belief that every child has a right to an education. She set up the CARE foundation after discovering many children in the countryside had no school to go. The charity has given hundreds of thousands of children a brighter future.
Liz Clegg, Good Housekeeping Women of the Year Award winner for Outstanding Courage
Liz is a volunteer who has fought to reduce the plight of women and children living in the notorious Calais Jungle. She set up the unofficial women and children’s centre at the camp and this award recognises her tireless work, her courage, resourcefulness and emotional resilience.
Marjorie Wallace CBE, Prudential Women of the Year Award winner for Outstanding Campaigner
Marjorie is a British writer, broadcaster, investigative journalist, and Chief Executive of SANE. She campaigned for over 30 years for better availability of mental health services in the UK, particularly for people with Schizophrenia.
Dame Fanny Waterman, DFS Women of the Year Award winner for Lifetime Achievement
Dame Fanny won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and played at the Proms in her teens. After a notable performing career, teaching became the centre of her life. She has dedicated her energy to create the renowned Leeds International Piano Competition and inspire young musicians to excel.
Lizzie Jones, ITV’s Lorraine Inspirational Woman of the Year Award winner
Lizzie was recognised for her incredible, life-saving work following the death of her husband, Danny Jones, from an undiagnosed heart condition. She set up a charity in Danny’s name, the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund and campaigns for all rugby league division players to be able to have heart screening in an inspirational and determined bid to save lives.
The Women of the Year Award winners were chosen by a judging panel of accomplished women: Sandi Toksvig CBE, Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE, Ronke Philips, Sue Walton, Maureen Lipman CBE, Andrea Coleman, Anne Aslett and Rt. Hon the Baroness Tina Stowell of Beeston MBE. ITV Lorraine viewers voted for their Inspirational Woman of the Year by a telephone vote.
Sandi Toksvig, President of Women of the Year, said: ‘For over 60 years, Women of the Year has proudly recognised and celebrated the achievements of some of the world’s most incredible women. These women range from the super famous to unsung heroines who are the backbones of charities, industries and indeed every profession possible. The remarkable women who make up the attendees and winners at this year’s Lunch are being recognised for their work making the world a better place.’
Every woman who is invited to the event has achieved something extraordinary in whatever walk of life she comes from. The lunch is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate their bravery, determination, compassion and success.