SCORES of Bolton’s most inspiring women were honoured when the 2018 Inspire Awards were held at the Macron Stadium.

Around 500 people were present to see 26 awards distributed to women from every area of local life – the charity field, social care, business, sports, industry and also highlighting individual achievement.

The culmination was the 2018 Inspire Woman of the Year Award which was presented to Debbie Dowie who established the Boot Out Breast Cancer charity.

She founded the organisation after having breast cancer in 2009 and wanted other women to be able to have the same life-saving treatment she had. Since then, she and her hard-working committee have raised more than £780,000 to buy equipment for breast units around the North-west, including the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Awards’ organiser Gulnaz Brennan said she was “very proud” to be able to honour the area’s remarkable women. “We had so many nominations and there were just so many individuals who could easily have been winners,” she explained.

These were the fourth Inspire Awards “and by far the biggest,” she added. “It’s been amazing to see how the awards have grown.”

Bolton Council Leader Cllr Linda Thomas paid tribute to the calibre of women honoured at the awards. She felt the awards were completely in keeping with current events to honour members of the Suffragette movement which is 100 years old this year.



Charity Leader of the Year – Carole Marsden

Charity Volunteer of the Year – Debbie Dowie

Charity Volunteer of the Year – Mehjbeen Mogra

Young Fundraiser of the Year – Meganne Openshaw


Carer of the Year – Pat Stazicker

Mentor of the Year – Sajida Hanslot

Teacher of the Year – Lynn Williams


Businesswoman of the Year – Jackie Hyde

Entrepreneur & Start Up of the Year – Katie McNulty

Apprentice of the Year – Jamie D’Ath


Coach of the Year – Lisa Davies

Sports Team of the Year – Bolton Wanderers Ladies FC

Sporting Achievement of the Year – Keira Byland


Women in Food and Farming – Sushma Solanki

Women in Holistic Therapy – Prabha Halai

Women in Housing – Janet Holt

Women in Law – Angeli Vadera

Women in Hair & Beauty – Katherine Hindle

Women in Hospitality – Liz Blackmore

Women in IT – Lindsay Dawes


Transformational Woman of the Year – Elizabeth Morley

Anna Kinley Interfaith Award – Shaheen Sameja

Lifetime Achievement Award – Nila Raja

Senior Woman Award – Olwyn Holgate

Women’s Rights Award – Donna Ball

WOMAN OF THE YEAR – Debbie Dowie