Celebrating the inspirational women of West Northants

Northants IWA Winners 2022 - Left to right: Jo Burns-Russell, Maisie Summers-Newton, Angie Kennedy

Women from across West Northants were celebrated at the 10th Inspirational Women’s Awards which took place on Saturday (5 March).

Organised by the Women’s Forum at West Northants Council, the awards aim to publicly recognise and promote those women who inspire and have a real impact on the lives of others in the community or the workplace.

The judges had a difficult task again this year, with so many deserving nominations.

We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's awards are:

Special Recognition Award – Maisie Summers-Newton
Business Award – Jo Burns-Russell
Community Award – Angie Kennedy

There can’t be many people in the county who have not heard of Maisie following her success in the Paralympics last year winning Gold in the S6 200m Individual Medley and the 100m Breaststroke.

She was awarded an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to swimming. Maisie is also investing in the next generation, currently studying to be a teacher at Northampton University and has made time to visit local schools with her medals to inspire the next generation to dream big.

Maisie said: “I am honoured to be awarded the Special Recognition Award at the Inspirational Women Awards. It is so inspiring to see so many other women achieving amazing things too across West Northants."

Jo founded her own business, Amplitude in 2011, and grew it from a one-woman-business to now employing 12 people. Five per cent of the company’s profit is pledged to environmental causes and last year donated of over £1,500 to the Your Plant Choice campaign for clearing the ocean of plastic.

Jo also created the Catapult Sessions in 2020 inviting local businesses affected by Covid to apply for month-long marketing boosters and has delivered over £14,000 of free marketing support to date.

Commenting on the award Jo said: “I'm overwhelmed to have received this award. It makes me incredibly proud of the success of my business and our values of supporting people and the planet, which are at the heart of everything we do.

"I have an incredible team working alongside me. Their faith in me and commitment to what we do inspires me every single day. I firmly believe every business has the opportunity and responsibility to drive equality and fairness, and not put profit before people.

"I hope these awards help to inspire the next generation of female leaders to go out and shake things up too!”

Angie founded Baby Basics in Northampton which she ran for seven years. She is now the Chief Executive of C2C Social Action which helps women offenders to build a life away from crime as well as women who are homeless or suffering mental health challenges.

Angie said: “This award is really for all the women I work with and for the many inspirational women who have supported, mentored and walked with me in my life.

“Every woman deserves the chance to reach their full potential, whatever that looks like, and we need to be in the position of encouragement wherever we find ourselves."

Cllr David Smith, WNC's Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement, and regulatory services, said: " We are extremely proud to host these awards. Congratulations to the winners and to all the inspiring women who were nominated.

"It really is a tough task for our judges as there are so many worthy winners who are doing remarkable work and really making a difference to others all across West Northants.

"These awards allow us to shine a light on some of the many women who are doing exceptional things and also paving the way for the women of tomorrow.”

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