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Women’s Empowerment Month

Women’s Empowerment Month 2021

Women’s Empowerment Month Awards

The Women’s Empowerment Month Awards celebrates and pays tribute to the inspirational women of Barking and Dagenham. Building on the borough’s rich heritage of women who stood for women’s rights and equality the awards mark the diverse achievements across a range of categories.

Nominations are now closed for the 2021 awards.

Gender Equality Charter

Barking and Dagenham became the first council in the country to adopt a Gender Equality Charter in March 2016. It sets out our ongoing commitment to creating a society where a person’s life choices, opportunities and agency are not limited by gender.

We want Barking and Dagenham to be a place where everyone is valued and respected, and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, however they identify in terms of gender. So far, over 160 organisations and residents have pledged their support to the charter.

Sign up and support the Gender Equality Charter

Women’s Empowerment Month 2021 events

This year’s programme will be online and will feature a wide range of activities, workshops and events. 

The official themes being celebrated internationally for International Women’s Day and United Nations Women are: 

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8 March as a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year’s theme is Choose to Challenge: 

‘’A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequity. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.’’ 


United Nations International Women’s Day

The United Nations International Women’s Day theme is ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’. The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

UN Women recognise that ‘’women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organisers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.  

Please note the Women’s Empowerment Awards ceremony will be delayed until autumn 2021 due to Covid restrictions.

Events programme - Women's Empowerment Month 2021 Toggle accordion

Adanna Women’s Support Group  - Women's Talk Part 1:  Health inequalities in Black and Asian women Part 1 Pre-International Women’s Month discussion

Saturday 27 Feb 2021. 10.30am to 12pm.

The COVID pandemic has shone a light on the health experiences of ethnic minorities. More people from ethnic minorities have contracted COVID yet the take up for the vaccine in these communities is low. 

Join us for a Pre International Women’s Empowerment month information discussion about the current health inequalities which Black and Asian women face.

Raising of the Women’s Empowerment Month Flag  

Barking Town Hall  
1 March 2021. 

Women’s Empowerment Month at Barking & Dagenham Libraries

1 to 31 March 2021.

To celebrate Women’s Empowerment Month, there will be a range of books available focusing on the stories of women and girls and their achievements.  Titles include:  Endell Street: The Women who ran Britain’s Trailblazing Military hospital (by Wendy Moore), The Book of Awesome Women; Boundary breakers, Freedom fighters, Shereos and Female Firsts (by Becca Anderson) and Still I Rise; The Persistence of Phenomenal Women.    

Selected libraries are open for collection of books only.   

Company Drinks: Building a local community around herbs

Date: Throughout March

This year, along with local residents, Company Drinks will be building a community herbal network in Barking & Dagenham. This will be supported by knowledge shared by some fantastic Medical Herbalists, as well as the experience, knowledge and interest of local residents. 

For Women’s Empowerment Month Company Drinks will feature and celebrate womXn in the world of herbs throughout March, including those who are more formally trained and those who have interests and experiential knowledge. Join us for an online event later in the month where we will: talk about the year ahead in herbs, show a series of short video interviews platforming herbalists & knowledge from womXn of the borough, and have a Q&A with guest speakers.

Keep an eye on our social media or sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with ways to participate in the local herbal network in March and beyond including how to register for the Women’s Empowerment Month event.

Supported through LBBD Cultural Commissioning.

Hear My Voice Creative Writing Workshop with Farzana Hakim   

Thursday 4, 11, 18 and 25 March 2021. 12.30pm to 2.30pm.  

Farzana Hakim author and daily editor of Write On! Magazine hosts a series of workshops for women to express their voice through writing. Farzana is previous winner of Pen to Print's Book Challenge Competition and published her debut novel Sweethearts of Ilford Lane in 2019.  Farzana is looking forward to meeting women from all backgrounds who are interested in telling their story through writing. For more information, please visit Pen to Print website. 

Poetry Showcase with Patsy Middleton 

Thursday 4 March 2021. 6.30pm to 8.30pm. 

Patsy Middleton invites you all for a great night to sit back and enjoy poetry. Patsy will be inviting guests to read poetry in the first half of the evening themed around famous female poets.  In the second half of the evening, our audience can participate by reading poems by their favourite female poets. Whether you are a beginner, a seasoned pro or just want to watch some talented people, come along and join us at our Womens Empowerment themed poetry showcase.  Patsy is previous finalist of Pen to Print's Book Challenge Competition and published her debut novel Colonel Erdington’s Daughter in 2017.  

East African Education Foundation - Women’s health project

Sunday 7 March 2021. 6pm.

East African Education Foundation will be hosting a Women’s health project, focused on the Impact of lockdown on Women's Health. Presentation and open discussion on how COVID-19 has impacted on the psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing of Women in the U.K. Free and open to all.  

Commissioned through LBBD Equalities and Diversity Community Fund.


Sewing Sisters Project, Excel Women’s Centre

Monday 8 March 2021. 

To mark International Women’s Day, Excel Women’s Centre present an online exhibition of the work of Sewing Sisters. 

Sewing Sisters was commissioned by the Culture Service at LBBD in 2019 to support engagement and participation with women. Working in partnership with the Heritage team at Eastbury Manor House, the project focuses on building cohesion between women from different communities across the borough through workshops and activities based on sewing, textiles, design and heritage fabrics. The funding established a sewing group in February 2020 that continues to meet every week online, led by local facilitators to deliver skills, training and establish new relationships within the community.

Ekota Academy - Our Lived Experience

8 March 2021.6pm.

Ekota Acadamy presents ‘Our Lived Experience’ seminar to empower Women and girls to take an active role in their community. Includes a podcast led by the Young Girls Project. Free and open to all.  

Commissioned through LBBD Equalities and Diversity Community Fund.

Barking Enterprise Centre - I Am Remarkable

8 March 2021. 6:30pm BST.

#IamRemarkable is a Google initiative empowering underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. During the workshop, you will learn the importance of self-promotion in your personal and professional life and be equipped with tools to develop this skill. Participants will be invited to challenge the social perception around self-promotion.

Pen to Print: Living the Dream with Isabelle Dupuy  

Tuesday 9 March 2021. 6.30pm to 7.30pm.  

In collaboration with Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation, Pen to Print invite you to join an evening with Isabelle Dupuy, author of Living the Dream. Isabelle will discuss her journey to publication, as well as her personal and life achievements which led her to where she is today. After several life experiences, Isabelle started thinking and writing about the link between immigration, the need for success and the search for meaning

Domestic Abuse Commission Report Launch Event

Wednesday 10 March 2021. 5.45pm to 7.30pm.

The commission, chaired by Polly Neate CBE, has set out to outline how the local area, led by the council, can improve its response to domestic abuse, and importantly the role of addressing culture and the normalisation of abuse within that, as well as offering a blueprint for others to follow. The commission has run engagement with survivors of domestic abuse every 2 weeks and focus groups with over 500 residents and professionals. The commission’s report is structured around 7 survivor outcomes, based on the changes that survivors of domestic abuse told us they would like to see in their lives as a result of the work. Under each outcome are a series of practical recommendations about what the borough should do, and in what order. We think the report and its recommendations will be relevant for local areas across the country.

A Room of One’s Own - Poetry of Place 

Saturday 13 March 2021. 11am to 4pm. 

Exiled Writers Ink invite you to a workshop hosted by poets, Denise Saul and Elena Croitoru for an online poetry workshop about finding one’s own personal space at home. A Room of One’s Own will provide an opportunity for poets to initiate the creative process of experimenting with language, form and identity. We will explore poetry within the home using objects and music. Participants are encouraged to bring one object from their home to the workshop. The session will include poetry-writing exercises to give voice to the personal experience of space and solitude. We will also delve into prose poems, sonnets and haikus. Taking inspiration from contemporary poets include Jacqueline Saphra, Mona Arshi and others.  

Early Years Cocoon CIC (in partnership with Mums on Mission, Young Folkies, Books By MILE, Essex Cricket and Wild Sugar) - Women & Girls Empowerment Month Event

Saturday 13 March 2021. 10am to 10.45am. 

Join our free interactive online session with contributions from different women in our community; singing, exercising, stories, puppets, dancing and more! You will also receive some free digital resources.

Adanna Women’s Support Group - Women’s Talk Part 2:  Health inequalities in Black and Asian women Part 2 as part of International Women’s Month celebrations

Saturday 13 March 2021. 10.30am to 12pm.

The COVID pandemic has shone a light on the health experiences of ethnic minorities. Black women are 5 times more likely to die giving birth than White women. Black and Asian women are less likely to receive good health care support  and Health outcomes.

Join us for an International Women’s Empowerment month information discussion about the current health inequalities which Black and Asian women face

To be a womxn: Art, Invisible Pain and Feminism Talk Show

Tuesday 16 March, 6pm to 8pm.

Multi-Award Winning Laura I. Art Gallery CIC is inviting you to a special talk with sculptor and activist artist, Minerva Amiss and prominent women guests who will be exploring the topic of womanhood and have a transparent conversation about the unspoken hardships associated with womxn, their healthcare and gender inequalities. The intention is to celebrate the discrepancies within medicine by glorifying the all too common everyday objects connected with the lived experience of being a womxn, that rarely has enough of a spotlight in conversation.

Please joins us for the inaugural of our second art exhibition of this year where artist Minerva Amiss will be talking about her new work in the latest exhibition “To Be A Womxn” hosted and organised by our gallery on Artsy.

This is an intimate, invitation only event, intended to foster a conversation about the many hidden challenges a woman is going through and celebrate and inspire women `s strength.

Notes from Dad’s Room - Online Performance  

Thursday 18 March 2021. 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Notes from Dad’s Room is a story in fragments which speaks simply of a father/daughter relationship spanning 5 decades. The piece is a lament, an epitaph and a joyful evocation of times past and present and the power of love. Prior to the first Lockdown in 2020 we were in discussions about a residency with the play but with the arrival of the pandemic, it soon became clear that live performance would not be possible.  

This rehearsed play reading performed online is an experiment for us and offers a valuable opportunity to share and explore the material with a virtual audience and we look forward to an interesting discussion following the reading. 

Radiant Ambitions CIC - Rise into Leadership event 

Friday 19 and Saturday 20 March 2021. 6.30pm on Friday and 2pm on Saturday. 

This is an online event tailored for women to Rise into Leadership positions within their profession, or as a freelancer or emerging leader within the community.

Our key aim is that the women who attend the event will see the speakers who are leading in their current professions are just like them and this will be a motivating factor to empower them to take their first steps into a leadership role within their sphere of influence.

Commissioned through LBBD Equalities and Diversity Community Fund.

Artist Talk: Flax by the Sun, Weeds by the Moon with artist Rachel Pimm

The White House

Saturday 20 March 2021. 1pm to 4.15pm (the March Equinox). TBA

Vernal equinox (equi and nox meaning equal and night in latin) marks the moment when the daylight is equal to the night, and the point from which the days get longer. It is traditionally a time to come together to mark the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere, and the start of the new growing season.

Join Curator Charlie Gregory for an in-conversation with Rachel Pimm, Rachel Jones and Raisa Kabir, who have been growing and harvesting flax at The White House in Dagenham. You can also participate in processing flax grown at the White House by emailing us in advance to receive a postal delivery of flax fibres to hand spin as the talk takes place.

Rachel Pimm has been artist in residence since March 2020, forming a remote gardening residency in which nothing could be actively planted, only observed. This event coincides with the launch of Weeds by the Moon, a publication by the artist in the form of an almanac or wild foraging guide organised by the passing of lunar time.  

The White House is a public space for art and social activity on the Becontree Estate. For more information see The White House website.


The East End Women’s Museum Lunchtime Talk - Women, Activism and Leadership

Thursday 25 March 20121. 1pm to 1.45pm.
Free, online event

Join Councillor Saima Ashraf (Deputy Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council), Jessica Soares (former Barking and Dagenham Young Mayor) and Rachel Crossley (Museum Director, East End Women's Museum) for this free online lunchtime talk on the role of women and leadership in local civic life - past, present and future.

The East End Women’s Museum researches and celebrates local women's stories. It will soon be opening a new building in Barking, and offering a year-round programme of exhibitions and events

Arc Theatre’s World Premiere of Raised Voices 2021 Film

Thursday 25 March 2021. 5pm.

Join us for the world premiere of the brand-new Raised Voices 2021 film (made in lockdown) on Zoom. Raised Voices is a weekly drama and presentation skills group for young women aged 11 and over from schools and colleges across the Borough, who have come together to celebrate female empowerment by producing a series of new films and workshop resources created to inspire, encourage discussion on, and raise awareness of issues challenging young people today.  This all-female project is led by Arc’s Education Director, Natalie Smith. Arc Theatre specialises in creating and performing theatre, film and arts programmes that challenge assumptions and causes real change in the way that people relate to one another at work, at school and in the community. 

Arc Theatre’s World Premiere of Raised Voices on Zoom

After the premiere the film will be available on Arc Theatre’s YouTube Channel.

The History of Women in East End Industries 

Friday 26 March 2021. 1pm to 2.30pm 

Pen to Print invite you to meet authors Kate Thompson, Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi to hear about the stories of the women who worked in factories and warehouses in the East End of London including Tate & Lyle, The Yardley Cosmetics Factory etc. Come along to join in the discussion about women’s working lives, unethical employers and the changes made then that have impacted industrial practices in today’s society. 

LBBD Borough Archives Presents: The Women of Becontree 

Friday 26 March 2021. 3pm to 4pm.

Join Valence House’s Archivist for a talk about the history of some of the women that lived and worked on the Becontree Estate and helped to shape the community we live in today. The talk will focus on Dagenham’s first female mayor, a midwife who delivered hundreds of babies on Becontree, and a pioneer in the charity sector to name but a few. The Women of Becontree is an opportunity to see original material from the archive and hear about some of the individual lives that helped to shape Becontree.

Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance (BDYD) - Women’s Empowerment Themed Community Quiz

Saturday 27 March 2021. 5pm.

A fun and interactive online quiz themed around pioneering females from the past, present and future. The event will also include entertainment from the young people in BDYD.

Commissioned through LBBD Equalities and Diversity Community Fund.

No Ordinary Women - #S3ANOW

Every day during Women’s Empowerment Month Liza Vallance (Artistic Director/CEO of Studio 3 Arts) will be celebrating her ‘No Ordinary Women’.  Liza has chosen some of the many women in art and culture who inspire, challenge, provoke, excite and interest her and her practice.  What women inspire you? 

Follow #S3ANOW on Facebook @Studio3ArtsBarking; Instagram @Studio3Arts; Twitter @Studio3Arts 

Spoken, Not Stirred 
Women’s Empowerment Month Special - Thursday 18 March, 7pm

For Women’s Empowerment Month Studio 3 Arts present a special Spoken, Not Stirred featuring the British/Ghanaian writer and poet Miss Yankey.  Her energy is unmistakable, every word she spills is carefully crafted, performed with passion and loaded with authenticity.

Free and online (via Zoom)

Women in Dance: Conversations for Change - Friday 26 March, 8pm(DJ from 7.30pm)

Join Studio 3 Arts and Artists 4 Artists for a virtual evening of conversation amplifying the voices of and barriers facing creative women in the UK dance sector. Facilitated by Liza Vallance, Artistic Director/CEO of Studio 3 Arts, celebrate, learn and exchange with fellow female-identifying creatives to establish a culture of generosity; share your successes, your learnings and together let’s discuss how we break down our shared obstacles. A safe space to connect with yourself and other multi-generational women, come entirely as you are; however you are.

Free and online (via Zoom) 


A Week of Trans Visibility

29th March - 2nd April 2021  

Studio 3 Arts are proud to present an online mini-festival of trans visibility, curated by artist Tabby Lamb. Part of our series of events for Women’s Empowerment Month, everyone is invited to get involved in a week of celebration, sharing, listening and learning, celebrating International Day of Transgender Visibility on 31st March.


Mon 29th Mar - Music Monday

Immerse yourself in two new Spotify playlists of music by trans artists, curated especially for us by trans pop star Andrea Di Giovani and trans Musical theatre writer Nemo Martin.   

Available to listen and download from 9am on Mon 29th Mar at www.studio3arts.org.uk/a-week-of-trans-visibility


Tue 30th Mar - Tuesday Teachings: 
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen

An enlightening online watch party of the acclaimed 2020 film Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen.  Directed and produced by Sam Feder, Disclosure is an acclaimed eye-opening documentary in which leading trans creatives and thinkers share heartfelt perspectives and analysis about Hollywood's impact on the trans community.   



Wed 31st Mar - International Transgender Day of Visibility: 
Flag Raising Ceremony

Celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility, the trans flag will be raised over Barking Town Hall, followed by an opportunity to learn more about what the flag, it’s history and this day means to trans people around the world. 


Thu 1st Apr - Transformative Comedy: Trans Jokes that are Actually Funny! 

Queer actor and comedian Dian Cathal curates a YouTube playlist of the funniest trans comedians around today – all to be enjoyed from the comfort of your sofa. Dian’s stand-up show Trans*Atlantic went down a storm at the Soho Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe, proving their hypothesis: Trans jokes can be funny when we tell them! With a wicked sense of humour, you’ll love Dian’s comedy selection.     

Available to watch from 9am on Thu 1st Apr - www.studio3arts.org.uk/a-week-of-trans-visibility


Fri 2nd Apr - Allyship Q&A

Open to everyone, we welcome a panel of trans artists, including Tabby Lamb, Em Williams, Nemo Martin and more, led by cis ally and YouTube superstar Leena Norms.  

Shining a light on trans lives, our panel tell their own stories, share experiences, challenge common misconceptions and discuss overcoming discrimination, with plenty of time for all of your questions.

You might not feel you know much about trans rights or lives – and that’s fine. You’ve probably seen the headlines and possibly heard some of the debate and controversy; or perhaps you’ve read some devastating stories about transphobia? Well this is your opportunity to find out more and discover what transgender visibility means in society today and throughout the world.

6.30pm – 8pm


Friday 2nd April - Trans Dance Party 

There’s no better way to finish the week AND to celebrate Studio 3 Arts’ first ever trans visibility festival than with a party!

Exclusively for the trans and queer community, join us for an online dance party from Gal Pals.  This party is a safe space for all LGBTQIA+ people, so get yourself over to the hottest club in town (Zoom) for Gal Pals’ live DJ sets and more.

9pm - 1am

Award results

Award results 2020 Toggle accordion

Award winners 2020

Parent Carer

Joyce Bowness


Lindsay Rust


Joelle Mae David

Leadership Arts and Culture

Avril McIntyre

Young Woman

Elivire Mavusi Matu

Community Group

The Hive

Overall woman of the year

Joelle Mae David

Ann Eastlea Award

Liza Vallance

Award results 2018 Toggle accordion

The fourth annual Women’s Empowerment Awards which celebrates and pays tribute to the inspirational women of Barking and Dagenham took place on Wednesday 7 November 2018 at the Broadway Theatre.

The ceremony saw 16 women and three community groups nominated, with eight going on to become winners.

2018 winners

Female parent or carer of the year award

Winner - Dorothy Bell

Female volunteer of the year award

Winner - Victoria Berry

Leadership award in arts and culture

Winner - Laura Ana Maria Losifescu

Women’s community group of the year award

Winner - Triangoals

Young woman of the year award

Winner - Amber Hood

Business woman of the year award

Winner - Sarah Landragin

Anne Estlea lifetime achievement award

Winner - Anne Bristow

Overall woman of the year

Winner - Sarah Landragin

Award results 2017 Toggle accordion

Our third annual Women’s Empowerment Month Awards took place on Thursday 30 March, at an impressive ceremony held in The Broadway.

The evening marked the end of another successful Women’s Empowerment Month.

Thanks to everyone who made a nomination for these awards, and thanks also to all our sponsors Bouygues UK and The Broadway for helping make the evening so special.

Congratulations to all those nominated and of course to all the category winners.

Business woman of the year

Winner: Kemi Oloyede

Last year Kemi took a huge leap of faith to part ways with her secondary school teaching job to follow her dream to make and create wearable garments and set up the ‘Sew London Project’ in the heart of East London.

She is passionate about ethical fashion and her label Recyclothes offers courses on recycling items into gifts and objects of use.

Kemi’s designs were featured in the fashion show held at the Barking Learning Centre as part of the council’s Black History Month in October 2016.


Sarah Allman.

Abisola Christos-Wahab.

Kemi Oloyede.

Female parent or carer of the year

Winner: Toni Sheriff–Geary

Toni is a remarkable single parent who cares for her three sons of which two have additional needs.

Despite overcoming her own personal issues Toni continues to give to the community.

She tirelessly gives her time to Five Elms Primary school organising and participating in parent events, fund raising and trips.

Toni also counsels many parents and carers of children with additional needs at the Heathway centre and supports homeless individuals working closely with charitable organisations.

Even doing all this she organises her time well so she can spend quality time with her own family.


Rahat Ismail.

Donna Lumsden.

Toni Sheriff-Geary.

Female volunteer of the year

Winner: Val Shaw

Val is a super volunteer who has been working with the integration and commissioning team, events team, Barking library, neighbourhood watch, resident’s association and Barking hospital.

She is hardworking, caring and a selfless personality.

Val spends almost all her waking time as a volunteer and is not afraid of standing up for what she believes in and through her work is helping to create a better future for Barking and Dagenham.


Violet Charlton.

Val Shaw.

Heni Vyas.

Intergenerational award

Winner: Rosie Ross

Rosie produced the ‘Open Estate’, a Heritage Lottery Funded project that celebrated the domestic and social history of the Gascoigne estate during a time of much change and turbulence for the communities.

She designed and delivered an 18-month programme of intergenerational arts and heritage activities.

Rosie trained local people to become historians, hosted discussions, parties and workshops, bringing older residents in their 80s and 90s to collaborate with children as young as nine or 10 and ages in between.


Samantha Ashton.

Rosie Ross.

Women’s community group of the year

Winner: Treasured Memories (Positive Change)

Treasured Memories held a celebration tea party to unveil a wall hanging they had created from squares of material that families from William Bellamy Children’s Centre had decorated with drawings, and quotes.

Parents, children, staff, and volunteers had a chance to meet the ladies who had spent many hours creating their work into the masterpiece which is on display in the centre.

On the wall hanging the group embroidered the words: ‘When women work together, incredible things happen’.


East London Nepalese Women’s Association.

Treasured Memories (Positive Change).


Young woman of the year

Winner: Kelly-Louise Lamb

After her family were made homeless through no fault of their own Kelly-Louise went on to raise awareness about child poverty.

She appeared in a BBC documentary, and went to parliament as a guest speaker for the ‘Child in Poverty’ event and gave an honest and frank speech which included thought provoking questions, in front of a room full of politicians, business people and members of the public in which she openly challenged government policy.


Kelly-Louise Lamb.

Pelumi Oyewo.

Outstanding woman of the year

Winner: Toni Sheriff-Geary

Toni is an outstanding woman and who encapsulates this award.

Her unconditional work in the community supporting others is selfless, always putting the needs of others above her own.

She has faced challenges and adversity but still remains focused on serving others.

Toni is an advocate for all vulnerable groups and shows the most extraordinary courage and commitment to raising the aspirations of others.

Her voluntary work makes a real difference every day, touching the lives of students at Five Elms Primary school, parents and carers of children at Heathway centre and those who have no home to go to.

Toni offers a lifeline to those she helps, her voluntary work never stops and she always goes above and beyond the call of duty.

She is a shining example of a mother, counsellor, volunteer and a great ambassador of the voluntary sector in Barking and Dagenham.

Lifetime achievement award

Winner: Anne Estlea

Anne Estlea had a great passion for everything she did and never did anything by halves.

Her life was dedicated to her family.

Family for Anne extended to her friends of which she had many, her mothering instincts also saw her take many a volunteer or even a stranger under her caring wing.

She won Volunteer of Year in 2011 and again in 2012 during which time she worked as a Volunteer Coordinator on the Gateway to the Games Volunteer Programme and recruited a 200-strong army of volunteers for the Olympic Torch Relay.

Her volunteering work was impressive and also included the Youth Offending Panel and setting up the Chadwell Heath Community Centre, which would not have happened if it wasn’t for her drive, determination, vision and strong leadership.

Unfortunately, Anne’s lifetime was cut short but her remarkable legacy in Barking and Dagenham lives on.

Award results 2016 Toggle accordion

Our second annual Women’s Empowerment Month Awards took place at a glittering ceremony at Castle Green’s Boothroyd Hall on 30 March.

Building on the borough’s rich heritage of strong and determined women who stood for women’s rights, the awards celebrate the borough’s inspirational women and marks their diverse achievements across nine different categories.

The evening marked the end of another successful Women’s Empowerment Month.

Throughout the month, along with our partners, we helped deliver a packed programme of events across the borough as well as the launch of our pioneering Gender Equality Charter.

Congratulations go to the winners on the evening.

Award winners

Unsung Heroine

Samantha Ashton.

Adult Learner

Reena Brown-Prempeh.

Young Achiever

Kayleigh Summers.

Female Volunteer

Gill Turner.


Donna Pike.

Community Group

Future M.O.L.D.S. Communities.

Woman of Courage

Nusrat Zamir.


Karen Brown.

Young Woman

Abigail Hall.

Overall winner of Woman of the Year

Nusrat Zamir.

Event sponsored by Bouygues UK

Award results 2015 Toggle accordion

These public awards recognised the diverse achievements of Barking and Dagenham’s women across nine different categories, with an overall ‘Woman of the Year’ selected from the category winners.

Well done to all finalists and congratulations to the winners in each category.

Award winners and presenters

Female Volunteer

Meenakshi Krishnaprasad.

Presented by Janet Curtis-Broni from Barking and Dagenham College.

Young Achiever

Vaisaly Gnanapandithan.

Presented by Angelica Olawepo (Young Mayor).

Businesswoman of the Year

Elena Cristina Bumbac.

Presented by Mary Clements from Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce.

Women’s Community Group

Raised Voices singing group.

Presented by Erika Jenkins from Barking and Dagenham BDCVS.

Young Woman of the Year

Chloe Kent.

Presented by Robyn Keeble, MBE.

Adult Learner

Karen Perry.

Presented by Helen Jenner, Director of Children’s Services.

Woman of Courage

Karla Felicianne.

Presented by Cllr Ashraf, Deputy Leader of the council.

Mum of the Year

Marcia Young.

Presented by Cllr Bright.

Unsung Heroine

Audrey Deal.

Presented by Cllr Carpenter.

Woman of the Year

Karla Felicianne.

Presented by Margaret Hodge, MP, accompanied by Barking Rotary Club, sponsor of the crystal award.