Award winners

Barking and Dagenham Council's ninth Women's Empowerment Awards honour borough's outstanding women

Barking and Dagenham Council’s ninth Women’s Empowerment Awards ceremony took place last night (Monday 25 March), showcasing and celebrating the exceptional achievements of women and girls across the borough.

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges who faced the challenging task of determining the ultimate winners across nine categories.

Salauoddin Asghar, Director of Strategy, expressed his delight: “I am thrilled that we continue to pay tribute to the incredible, inspirational women and girls of Barking and Dagenham.

"I am immensely proud of these awards, which honour and celebrate the remarkable contributions of women and girls in our borough and the significant positive influence they have on the lives of others.

"This is our ninth Women's Empowerment Awards, and I am confident these events will serve as an inspiration for generations to come. My heartfelt congratulations to all our winners and also to those who were shortlisted."

This year’s winners are:

•        Community Project of the Year: Elevate Together

•        Community Impact Award: Roding Rubbish

•        Entrepreneur of the Year: Marina Sanduleac

•        Educator of the Year: Natalie Smith

•        Health and Wellbeing Champion of the Year: Dr Sharmin Ria

•        Woman of Courage: Suzanne Hedges

•        Jodie Chesney Young Community Champion of the Year: Chloe Houngavou

•        Anne Estlea Lifetime Achievement Award: Pip Salvador Jones

•        Barking and Dagenham Woman of the Year 2024: Suzanne Hedges


Throughout March, the council has hosted a packed programme of events for the community as part of it’s annual Women's Empowerment Month.

On International Women’s Day, the council opened doors to the brand-new Women's Museum in Barking. The museum is a new space celebrating the stories and experiences of women and girls in Barking and Dagenham and beyond. It’s a place for people of all identities, abilities and backgrounds, trans and non-binary. Everyone is welcome.

The doors to the Women’s Museum opened with its very first exhibition ‘An Idea of a Life’ curated by Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf. The free museum is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, between 11am – 5pm. Residents can find out more at: