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Awards ceremony tonight for high achieving women
THEY have aimed to inspire others in the world of art or helped others in the local community.
Now their efforts are being recognised after they were shortlisted in Sue Ryder’s Women of Achievement Awards.
The winners are due to be announced tonight at a glitzy award ceremony co-hosted by 2012 Olympic gold medallist and rower Dr Katherine Grainger CBE.
There are six shortlisted women from Oxfordshire.
Founder and director of Oxford-based professional dance company Body Politic Emma-Jane Grieg, 26, has been shortlisted in the Young Achiever of the Year category.
She launched the company in the city last year after deciding she wanted to use her passion for dance to inspire others and have a positive effect on young people.
Ms Grieg, of East Oxford, said: “I am overwhelmed. I don’t know who nominated me.
“I feel really lucky and honoured to have the recognition for all the hard work that I have put into the company.
“I feel very humbled by the gesture.”
Michelle Walker, of Iffley, is shortlisted for Creative Woman of the Year for her work as producer at the Oxford Playhouse.
She has led 12 shows around Oxfordshire in the last two years and she has produced the annual Playhouse pantomime, which is enjoyed by more than 35,000 people, and the Playhouse Pop-up Tent, which takes free theatre to communities, schools and festivals in the county.
She said: “The Sue Ryder awards are a great way of celebrating women’s achievements in all areas of industry.
“One of the best bits of my job at Oxford Playhouse is collaborating with so many creative and inspiring women each and every day.
“For me this nomination champions all of their work.”
Director of Sunningwell School of Art Anna Lever, of Wantage, has also been shortlisted in the Creative Woman of the Year category for her work at the school, which caters for nearly 450 students each year.
The 71-year-old artist, who has been director of the school since 1994, said: “It is very nice. I don’t know why I have been nominated.”
Also nominated from Oxfordshire is Cheney School teacher Tina Conway for Teacher of the Year, Cholsey parish councillor Val Bolt for Community Champion of the Year and chief coach at Oxford University Women’s Boat Club Christine Wilson for Coach of the Year.
They are among the 43 shortlisted nominees from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire who will be whittled down to 11 winners tonight at the ceremony in Reading.
Sue Ryder has 13 care centres in the UK including one at Nettlebed, near Henley.