This is what it takes to be a West Woman of the Year

Thursday, February 8, 2018

From founding a world-class gin distillery to championing housing rights, we take a look back the remarkable achievements of our 2017 winners

n celebration of a century of women’s suffrage in Britain, we have launched West Women of the Year 2018 – recognising the women in our region who continue to champion gender equality a hundred years on.

We want to hear about inspiring, dedicated and high achieving women from all walks of life who are making a difference in their workplaces and communities.

The annual event has been inspiring women of all backgrounds for more than ten years, and for 2018 we have re-launched the event to celebrate women across the whole of the West.

The event, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, is being staged as a partnership between the Bristol Post, The Western Daily Press, The Bath Chronicle and the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo newspapers.

Trinity Mirror South West managing director Sarah Pullen said:

“With research showing that UK is missing out on a £10.1 billion economic boost by not doing enough to support women in business, inspiring female role models are more important than ever.

“Until women and men are on an equal footing, every opportunity must be taken to show the women coming after us just what can be achieved with talent and determination.”

One West woman that deserves special mention is Oona Goldsworthy, who beat an impressive set of finalists to be named Woman of the Year at the Bristol and Bath Women of the Year Awards 2017.

Described as ‘an unstoppable driver for change’, Oona – the Chief Executive of housing association United Communities – has worked tirelessly on behalf of Bristol’s most vulnerable residents in a career spanning twenty years.

She has challenged substandard housing conditions and helped to deliver more than 1600 new homes, new parks, and a longstanding legacy for the area.

Oona, whose aim is to provide ‘more than just a roof’ by encouraging community cohesion, continues to champion housing rights, and work to eliminate poverty.

Also honoured at last year’s awards was Bath teenager April Collins – who at just 16 years old founded The Leafy Tea Company, after constantly being disappointed at the lack of flavour in mass-produced teas.

April has achieved local success, and now has her ethically sourced products stocked by several deli’s and cafe’s in the Bath area – all while studying full time, and managing to achieve ten A*’s and A grades in her GCSE exams.


Young Entrepreneur Of The Year. Winner April Collins (L) and Ann Padley (Bristol University).

One of Gloucestershire’s notable winners was Julie Moore, chief executive of Stroud Based business Green Gourmet.

Green Gourmet supplies meat, fish, vegetarian and bakery foods, including gluten free, to more than 100 local education authorities, airlines and other outlets. The businesswoman, who has had a lifelong passion for food, has more than quadrupled the firm’s turnover since she joined it a decade ago.

Julie Moore from Green Gourmet.

Sisters Cicely Elliott- Berry, 22 and Clarice Elliott –Berry, 24 founders of Sibling Distillery, were also recognised for their achievements.

Along with brothers Felix and Digby, they began producing Sibling Gin from a makeshift corner of their dad’s brewery in Keynsham Road, Cheltenham in 2014.

Cicely Elliott-Berry and Clarice Elliott-Berry

The former pupils of Balcarras School in Charlton Kings, turned over £300,000 last year, and their Gin is sold in prestigious outlets such as Harvey Nichols and Fortnum and Mason in London.

Nominations for West Women of the Year 2018 are now open. To submit your entry, visit http://westwomenoftheyear.co.uk/award-categories/

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