Our International Women’s Day award winners


International Women's Day award winner


On 8th March we marked the incredible achievements of women across our organisation as part of International Women’s Day.

Staff, customers, volunteers and partners joined us for a celebratory event at The Circle at Voluntary Action Sheffield, where we recognised their achievements with a series of awards.

The stories shared by our winners and nominees moved us all and you can take a look at the list of winners and their inspiring work below.

If you missed out on the Facebook Live stream of the awards you can catch up by clicking here.


  • Marie Beech – Woman of the Year 2017 – Marie received many nominations across several different award categories for her lifetime of incredible work. Marie was a much loved part of the SYHA family and sadly passed away in January. She was a woman who set an example of how to live courageously and care deeply. We presented this award to her family and celebrated Marie as our Woman of the Year for everything she stood for and all the incredible work she did.
  • Pat Myrie (SYHA Employee) – Woman of Influence (BME) – Since 1995 Pat has been running a charity sending clothes to children and families in Jamaica. She has also spent lots of time raising money for books and hospital equipment for places across Jamaica. She also organised SYHA’s Christmas toy appeal for many years and always cooks her amazing mutton curry for SYHA fundraisers.
  • Kedrh Hadibeh (SYHA customer) – Woman of Influence (Disability) – Kedrh has overcome lots of her own personal challenges and strives to help others in similar positions. She volunteers at The Mental Health Recovery Group and the Sunlight Group, helping people by sharing her own personal experiences and listening to theirs. She also involved in the Moving On Group at Forest Close where she supports people by sharing her positive experience of moving on from hospital.
  • Francine Wright – Woman of Influence (Children & Families) – Francine has done an incredible amount for her local community. She does huge amounts of fundraising to buy Christmas presents for children in need. She helps families feeling from domestic violence to furnish their homes by providing free furniture from her community shop. Francine also cares deeply about people who are experiencing homelessness and regularly goes out to give warm clothing to people sleeping on the streets.
  • Kath Housley (Age Better Volunteer) – Woman of Influence (LGBT) – Kath is chair of LGBT Sheffield charity and has previous been the chair of Sheffield Pride for two years. Kath works hard to eradicate homophobia and has been involved in various campaign groups to raise awareness of the issues of homophobia and transphobia. Kath also goes into schools to talk to children and LGBT rights and to answer questions children and young people might have.
  • Gracie Butler (SYHA Employee) – Woman of Influence (Younger People) – As a teenager, Gracie was diagnosed with cancer and while still undergoing treatment, she started fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Weston Park Hospital. Since then, Gracie has raised around £25,000 for those organisations to ensure other people like her get the best possible care they can.
  • Natasha Wilson – Woman of Influence (Older People) – Natasha has done an incredible amount to improve care for people with dementia. Natasha works incredibly hard at Age UK Sheffield’s Wellbeing Centre where she determinedly challenges perceptions of ageing and of dementia. Natasha is also constantly pushing for better services and support for people with dementia, through her passionate and determined Tweeting or through speaking at events.
  • Kath Chambers (SYHA Board Member and Tenant) – Woman of Achievement (Leadership) – Kath has been a committed SYHA Board member for many years; championing the rights and voices of SYHA customers and driving SYHA to always do our best. Kath received multiple nominations where people described Kath as a role model and an invaluable critical friend. Kath gives all this to SYHA whilst also taking on demanding roles at home and in her community.
  • Vera Mawby – Woman of Achievement (Community) – Vera has been working tirelessly in her community for over 20 years. Vera has been determined to get the best for her local area, working with every organisation she could involve to get the best services and support for the community. She has worked tirelessly on the regeneration of Worsborough; when the local community centre was at risk of closure,81 year old Vera stepped up and took responsibility for the centre. The centre is thriving with parenting classing, yoga, etc.
  • Terry Proudfoot (SYHA Board Member and customer) – Woman of Courage – Terry has shown incredible courage, overcoming many personal challenges to take on important roles including becoming a Governor at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, and a Board member at SYHA. Terry has taken on many different role championing the need for high quality, personalised care for everyone. She has shown great courage in sharing her personal stories and experiences to help in training mental health support staff so that they can provide better care.

Special recognition awards

  • Brooke Leigh (SYHA Employee) – For showing incredible commitment to working with older people in Sheffield and reducing loneliness and social isolation.
  • Sophia Arthurs-Hartnett (SYHA Employee) – For showing incredible commitment to working with older people in Sheffield and reducing loneliness and social isolation.
  • Hannah Thornton (SYHA Employee) – For showing incredible commitment to working with older people in Sheffield and reducing loneliness and social isolation.
  • Gloria Stewart – For showing incredible commitment to working with older people in Sheffield and reducing loneliness and social isolation.
  • Karen Smart (SYHA Employee) – For showing great leadership to children and young people and being committed to improving the lives of others
  • Jenny Goodall – For showing great leadership to children and young people and being committed to improving the lives of others.
  • Claire Barker (SYHA Employee) – For consistently going over and above for the people she works with, seeing disability as no barrier to people having the best possible life.
  • Anokhee Parikh (SYHA Employee) – For incredible voluntary work and showing great determination and commitment to improving the lives of others.
  • Sarah Smith (SYHA Employee) – For outstanding commitment to local community, giving boundless time and effort to local scouts groups and supporting activities for children.
  • Rhi Allison (SYHA Employee) – For commitment to volunteering and fundraising for international charities and being a brilliant role model to others.
  • Jo Henderson (SYHA Volunteer) – For showing great leadership as a commissioner and now as a volunteer in shaping public services across Sheffield, putting people at the heart of services.
  • Morwenna Foden (SYHA Employee) – For brilliant leadership at SYHA, and South Yorkshire Eating Disorder Association; being a great role model and giving time to important causes like Archer Project, a community garden and S & 4C’s.
  • Lisa Softley (SYHA Employee) – For showing kind and generous leadership at SYHA; supporting employees through their personal and professional challenges to allow them to thrive at work.
  • Helen Spooner (SYHA Employee) – For incredible service over 35 years to communities in south Yorkshire; developing new housing, regenerating older areas, taking on difficult community challenges.
  • Pauleen Heaps – For being a community champion in Maltby, coordinating litter picks, community sports days and volunteering her time generously to support others.
  • Pam Daniel – For giving her time and energy to her local community at the Terminus initiative as an employee and volunteer, being a beacon of positive change in Lowedges, Batemore and Jordanthorpe.

Photos from the day



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