I am so thrilled to announce that at Friday night's Dorset Venus Awards I was crowned the WINNER of Influential Woman of the Year 2018! I'm still in shock and beyond delighted to join the elite group of winners that now go on to the Venus Award National Finals.
The evening began with a glittering reception for the Finalists who walked the red carpet at the gorgeous Hilton Bournemouth. Finalists, Sponsors and Venus Founder and complete inspiration Tara Howard were then photographed by the brilliant Christian Lawson. The atmosphere was electric as Dorset celebrated amazing women in business and entrepreneurs as they networked and caught up with friends and colleagues.
After a lovely meal the awards began. It was soon time for Influential Woman of the Year sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Poole. Martin White took to the stage to make the announcement.
And the winner is.............
I could not believe it when my name was announced! I was sat with my fellow Influential Women Finalists and was sure either Erin Thomas Wong or Beverley Hepting would be the winner. As a Venus Finalist in Musical Talent in 2017 and a Venus semi-finalist in Business Mother of the Year and Musical Talent in 2016 it was hard to believe that here I was in 2018, a WINNER!
It was such an honour to receive the award from Martin, following the incredible footsteps of Sarah Ali Choudhury in 2017 and Amanda Jenner in 2016: both such inspirational and influential women. It was a wonderful opportunity to thank Martin and Tara for recognizing the importance of the arts in people's lives and the power of music and singing. Receiving this award was also a fantastic acknowledgement for how positive it is for people's mental health to be part of a community and create something as special as we do at Sing People Sing. It has been my honour and my privilege over the years to see people's lives changed, healed and improved simply by being part of our award-winning choir. As I said in my speech, to know that I have influenced other people's lives through my work is reward in itself, to be awarded for this work is beyond humbling.
I want to yet again thank every single member (past and present) of Sing People Sing. I am so blessed to lead such a wonderful group of people and as we begin our Christmas season of performances we cannot wait to finally put on stage all we have been working on over the last few month (yes, we were singing Christmas songs in September....!)
A final thank you to those that have influenced me: my beautiful Mum who was by my side on the night celebrating with me; my Dad who was our chauffeur for the night (!); to Alfie and Eliza: my life, my joy and the reason I get up in the morning; to Andy; Stacey; Michael Ball; Gareth Malone and Ben Goddard; I am who I am because of you all.