HUNDREDS of guests in person and thousands online around the world watched the SheInspires Awards at the Bolton Whites Hotel highlighting the work of amazing women and men.

The seventh SheInspires Awards, founded and organised by Gulnaz Brennan, showcased many local individuals along with regional, national and international women from India to Australia and from America to Malaysia.

Founding Awards’ Patron Baroness Trish Morris of Bolton said the awards recognised “exceptional women and men who have made a difference through their leadership, their achievements and their contribution to society.”

And Jackie Hyde, from long-term main sponsors Stanmore Insurance Brokers, told the 120 finalists: “You are all winners, regardless who picks up the trophy, and it is without doubt a night to celebrate.”

Students from Bolton College, Sue James and international dance star Sohini Roychowdhury Dasgupta provided the entertainment.

The event was also sponsored by the University of Bolton and Bolton Council. The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Linda Thomas presented the Girl Up Award to Rona Barbour in memory of charity champion Gay Wharton, killed a year ago in tragic circumstances.

It was the award winners who were the stars of the night – all introduced by BBC North West Tonight presenter Annabel Tiffin.

These included local winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award Carole Swarbrick who also picked up the North-west Woman of the Year title.

Carole, a former councillor, has been teaching in special schools for more than 40 years and is part of Bolton Soroptimists whose members transform the lives of women and girls through education and empowerment.

She has “never stopped believing that developing positive relationships with troubled families makes a real difference and provides them with both hope and ambition.”

Carole Swarbrick has won two SheInspires Awards2021 which celebrate the achievements of women and which this year was open to international entries.

The first award was Lifetime Achievement Award and was in recognition of being involved in education for over 40 years, her work in the community as a councillor and former Mayor of Bolton and as a member of Soroptimist International Bolton working to educate and empower women and girls locally, nationally and globally.

In addition Carole was awarded North West Woman of the year presented by the Vice Chancellor of Bolton University Prof George Holmes and the BBC North West presenter Annabel Tiffin.

Awards’ organiser Gulnaz Brennan said: ‘The quality of the nominations has been really outstanding. We have had 145 finalists in 18 categories and the job of the judges was particularly difficult. Opening up the awards internationally has proved very successful this year and we plan on repeating this next year. They are a special way of recognising truly amazing women from around the world today and I’m very proud of their success.’

Carole said: “It was a surprise but enormous honour to have been presented with these awards. However the work continues both at Bolton Sixth Form where I am a governor and with Soroptimist International. I have the privilege of working alongside some very special women and students and dedicate the awards to those inspirational people.”

Carole is also the Vice-Chair of Governors at Bolton Sixth Form College, with students attending the inspirational ceremony.

Maura Jackson of the young people’s homeless charity was also honoured at the award ceremony, winning couple of the year with her husband, Ian.

Awards and winners:

Business Woman of the Year – Jennifer Smith

Winner in Social Enterprise – Karen Haworth

Local SHEro winner – Denise Wilcock

National SHEro winner – Alice Hendy

Global SHEro winner – Lydia Hlongwane

Volunteer of the Year – Yvonne Richards

Young Achiever of the Year – Karima Taleb

Local Women in Leadership – Danielle Broadbent

National winner Women in Leadership – Carmel McKinney

Global winner Women in Leadership – Alessia Falsarone

Winner of Her Abilities – Emma Rimmer

Key Worker winner – Meena Patel

Local winner Agent of Change – Steph Sherratt

National winner Agent of Change – Lisa Edge

Global winner Agent of Change – Lauren Jacobs

Local winner Rising Star – Kate Roe

National winner Rising Star – Charul Gupta

Global winner Rising Star – Sidratul Moontha

HeForShe award winner – Billa Ahmed

Women in Health and Wellbeing winner – Mandy Worsley

Girl Up Award winner (in memory of Gay Wharton) – Rona Barbour

Team of the Year winner – Endeavour

Women in Networking, Hospitality & Events winner – Suzy Orr

Women in STEM two winners – Sophie Carr and Razia Desai

Local Culture Champion winner – Qaisra Shahraz

National Culture Champion winner - Parable Dance

Global Culture Champion winner – Sohini Roychowdhury Dasgupta

Couple of the Year winner – Ian Stockley and Maura Jackson

Local winner Lifetime Achievement Award – Carole Swarbrick

National winner Lifetime Achievement Award – Emily Jane Hollis

Global winner Lifetime Achievement Award – Nurten Akkus

Stepping Stone £1,000 cash prize winner – Jane Dixon

North-west Woman of the Year winner – Carole Swarbrick

Global Woman of the Year winner – Sohini Roychowdhury Dasgupta