25th Cheshire Woman of the Year Award, The Wolf Room ,Eaton Park, Chester,
PUBLISHED: 15:17 17 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:11 20 February 2013
The Wolf Room at Eaton Park, Chester, was the location for the presentation of the 25th Cheshire Woman of the Year Award<br/>PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON
Inspirational, awesome, outstanding and dedicated: the women who gathered in the elegant and historic surroundings of Eaton Park, Eccleston, for this years 25th Cheshire Woman of the Year Award were an impressive group.
Some were devoted charity workers and community volunteers and others were high-flying business and professional women. But the eclectic group found plenty of common ground as they chatted over drinks and a splendid luncheon.
The diners - nominees for the prestigious title - included Jean Procter MBE, from Marple, who gained wide acclaim for her work in the Womens Land Army. Then there was Zoe Bock, from Chester, whose fundraising for Claire House childrens hospice was being recognised. The talents of fashion designer Emma Embery from Wirral were acknowledged. Leila Potter from Bunbury, a campaigner for Alzheimer Care, was praised for her devotion to the cause. The personal courage of cancer sufferer Olivia Battye, aged 18, from Wirral was recognised. She has raised thousands for CLIC Sargent, the young peoples cancer charity.
Heroism on the sports field was recognised too: Sarah Storey OBE from Disley is a paralympic cyclist and world gold medallist. Teenager Danielle Baker from Alsager is an aspiring Taekwando Olympian 2012. Sue Williamson from Tarporley was nominated in the professional category for her prize-winning kennels.
Every single one of the nominees present was in her own way a winner, and their modesty was touching. Many ladies who have worked tirelessly for charities and good causes were unsure as to why they were being honoured!
As ever, the judges faced a very difficult choice in singling anyone out for special attention, but finally they chose Beryl Moss. Beryl, from Bickerton was nominated in the community and personal courage category. She is a breast cancer survivor and a devoted fundraiser for Cancer Research. Her life has been dedicated to the care of others: she trained as a nurse at the first opportunity working in Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, and for many years as a district nurse/midwife in Bickerton before moving onto become Senior Midwifery Tutor at what is now the Countess of Chester.
But she began having difficulty with her left eye and then a short time later, her sight failed completely. So life offered a new challenge which Beryl grasped. She was accepted for Guide Dog training and assisted by a faithful dog Freda, she made the most of life. Freda was followed later by Quest and then Beryls current companion, Albert.
For nearly 30 years, Beryl was devoted to the task of helping blind and partially sighted people. Then four years ago she was tested again when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following a mastectomy, she has resumed a full and busy life and is now resolved to helping other patients.
Ruth Richards, chairman of the NSPCC Cheshire Woman of the Year committee, praised Beryls courage and declared her to be most deserving of the title.
It is now 25 years since the award was created. In that time, courageous women of Cheshire have been recognised for their amazing achievements. A special celebration cake with candles was displayed to mark the anniversary. We say Hip, hip, hooray for Beryl and all winners from the past. And heres to the next 25 years.