IT WAS a night of tears, laughter and joy as the spotlight was shone on some of the most fabulous women from across our community.
The News’ first Woman of the Year Awards was a huge success with outstanding winners in 13 diverse categories.
Pam Marshall won the award for the woman in a community, charity, or voluntary role for her fundraising for Hannah’s Holiday Home.
She set up the charity in memory of her daughter Hannah who died aged 10 of Hodgkins lymphoma in 2004.
She said: ‘I’m completely and utterly overwhelmed.
‘I actually can’t stop shaking. I’d just taken a sip of wine when I heard them call my name out as winner and I almost spat it out!
‘Tonight has been about inspirational women and girls and my girl Hannah is the one who inspired me.
‘This award is for everyone who has helped me along the way.
‘I’m just the name at the charity, there are so many people who make it happen.’
Women from the worlds of business, education, fashion, the arts and even the health service rubbed shoulders at the event which was held at The Marriott Hotel, in Cosham.
It was sponsored by She Who Dares, the luxury accessories brand owned by entrepreneur Rachel Lowe MBE.
Rachel said: ‘This evening has been amazing. It is a celebration of everything She Who Dares stands for, which was inspired by the feeling I got when I went to Buckingham Palace to collect my MBE.
‘It’s been such an emotional evening and I feel very humbled by it actually.
‘These women inspire me – they’re wonderful.’
As well as the winners there were lots of highly commended places too and everyone danced the night away, celebrating in style.
Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: ‘For what was the first ever News Woman of the Year Awards, it was a terrific night.
‘It was an amazing celebration of some really inspiring women.
‘There were tears, there was laughter, but the one thing that united all the winners is it really showcased the fantastic things that women do day in, day out, in our communities.’