Lecturer Claire Sambrook scoops up Woman of the Year award

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SHE has nurtured the careers of some of Portsmouth’s most creative people and businesses.

And now University of Portsmouth lecturer Claire Sambrook has been recognised for her achievements.

143340_WOMAN_22/11/14''Woman in the Arts, Claire Sambrook. ''The News, Woman of the Year 2014 awards hosted at the Marriott Hotel, North Harbour, Portsmouth.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143340-136) PPP-141123-112311003

143340_WOMAN_22/11/14''Woman in the Arts, Claire Sambrook. ''The News, Woman of the Year 2014 awards hosted at the Marriott Hotel, North Harbour, Portsmouth.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143340-136) PPP-141123-112311003

The 49-year-old, from Southsea, won the Woman in the Arts Award at The News’ Woman of the Year Awards 2014.

Claire has been at the forefront of promoting Portsmouth and Southsea’s wealth of incredible artists – not only around the UK but around the world.

She works to promote the arts, artists and creative industries and has played a pivotal role in the careers of scores of artists, such as helping community artists’ group Strong Island go from strength to strength.

The Anglepoise project, Creating Balance, saw her team 10 artists with 10 photographers and 10 lamps in an exhibition that has received huge praise and is set to travel internationally.

And she was also instrumental in the Creative Cargo project which showcases the work of Portsmouth creatives by revamping old steamer trunks, which are shipped around the world.

She said: ‘It’s wonderful to have won. Ever since I came to Portsmouth I wanted to promote the city.

‘I found there are incredibly talented people living here. I wanted to give them a platform to promote their work.’

Next to be called up to the stage at the event at The Marriott Hotel, Cosham, on Saturday, was Businesswoman of the Year Award winner Amber Leigh Mitchell.

The 23-year-old, from Portsmouth, impressed judges with the way she has built up her performing arts business, Abstract, from just a few classes a week to a thriving arts school, in London Road, Hilsea, with 70 classes a week.

She travels around the country giving workshops and has in three years proved her talent, hard work, commercial acumen and drive. Amber said: ‘I’m completely overwhelmed by this award. I was shaking when they called my name. My business is my life. The only days I take off are my birthday and Christmas Day.

‘So this award means everything to me.

‘It’s recognition for my hard work and the hard work of all the students.

‘I took a risk setting up my own business at 20 but I would say to someone in the same position – always do your research and don’t let anything hold you back.’