The Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards has presented a special accolade to the Women of the NHS at this year’s ceremony, which took place on Friday 1 April 2022 in Birmingham.
The prestigious Women of Achievement award celebrates women who have shown extraordinary courage in extraordinary circumstances, as well as making a contribution to society.
This year, the award has been presented to the Women of the NHS in recognition of their unwavering dedication, commitment and compassion.
An inspiring team of NHS workers collected the award at today’s ceremony – including nurses, midwives, consultants and surgeons from the Neonatal Ward at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, as well as twelve other NHS workers chosen by Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May and her team from specialist areas including specialists in cancer treatment, physiotherapy, mental health support services, children’s services and many more.
The annual awards ceremony marked its 40th anniversary this year, as it returned to the Hilton Metropole Birmingham after two years of absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zalena Vandrewala, Chair of the Awards, said: “We are delighted to welcome such an inspiring group of women to accept this award on behalf of the Women of the NHS. 2020 marked the Year of the Nurse and the Year of the Midwife, which we were unable to celebrate at the time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore incredibly fitting to welcome NHS nurses and midwives to today’s ceremony and give them the recognition and thanks they deserve.
“The Covid-19 pandemic placed unfathomable pressure on the NHS and we are in awe of the unfaltering commitment and dedication of the women here with us today. They represent thousands more female workers across every sector of the NHS, who work relentlessly, day in and day out, to provide life-saving care, treatment and support to those in need. It is a real honour to welcome them to today’s ceremony and this award represents our immense gratitude and respect for all that they do.”
Jen Deeney, head of neonates at the Liverpool Women’s/ Liverpool Neonatal Partnership, said: “The past two years have been incredibly difficult for so many people and I am extremely humbled and excited to be part of these amazing awards and it’s an absolutely privilege for our team to be asked to represent the Women of the NHS.”
Katrina Rigby, research matron at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s a privilege to attend these prestigious awards. Research has been at the forefront of the pandemic and I would like to pay tribute to all those who taken part in studies to help us discover new treatments and new evidence base to improve health outcomes.”
Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards was established in 1982 as a ladies’ luncheon to raise vital funds for charitable causes and to highlight and celebrate the many and varied achievements of women.
Since then, the annual awards have gone from strength to strength both as an event and as a movement to promote women’s achievements. Over the last four decades, winners have included Baroness Karren Brady CBE, Katie Piper, Dame Asha Khemka DBE (Principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College) and British Paralympian, Martine Wright MBE.
This year’s ceremony welcomed keynote speaker Team GB Paralympian, Lucy Shuker as well as nearly 600 professionals from the private and public sectors.
Zalena Vandrewala added: “As we mark our 40th anniversary, this year’s awards ceremony was a real celebration. It was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the incredible achievements of women, give thanks for their ongoing contribution and to hopefully inspire others to achieve great things.”
All proceeds from this year’s Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards will go directly to charity, with just under £600,000 raised to date. For 2022, the event will support The Prince’s Trust: Women Supporting Women Initiative, a passionate group of supporters who are committed to changing the lives of young women, and NHS Charities Together which continues to support our NHS in the life saving work that they do.
For more information, please visit www.womenoftheyear.org.uk.