Our second Shining Stars Ball did not disappoint. Over 300 people in the room at the Manchester Hilton, perfect hosts in Chelsea Norris and Darren Proctor, awesome entertainment provided by Ionica and J-Star Academy and the most amazing stories of the women involved in our cause.
Here they are our Shining Stars – get your tissues ready some of these are corkers!
BIG SISTER OUT LOUD AWARD
Sponsored by Stanmore Insurance
WINNER LYNN NOLAN, SLATER GORDON
This award is given to a Big Sister mentor who has had a compelling impact on her Little Sister and continues to go above and beyond to support our cause.
Stepping up to be a Big Sister is a leap of faith. Lynn Nolan from Slater Gordon was faced with a young girl who was so painfully shy she struggled to make eye contact, talk or share anything about her life, not just for the first few meetings but for many months, but Lynn never gave up on her and over time made a huge difference to this young teen girl’s life. This is why she is our Big Sister Out Loud winner this year.
‘My journey with Girls out loud has been life changing, not only have a supported a young girl to find her voice and to step up and take control of her life, it has made me realise I should step out of my own comfort zone too.
I have now been promoted in a short time within work and have won and outstanding award in work and my biggest pride and joy a Big Sister award for my time spent with my Little Sister.
My passion now is to get as many strong women to join us and support our young girls to live a life they control and have the confidence to grab all the opportunities that come their way.’
LITTLE SISTER OUT LOUD AWARD
Sponsored by Intuitive Recruitment
WINNERS LEXIE McBRIDE AND JESSICA HEWLETT
This award is generally given to a teenage girl who has participated and blossomed via our Big Sister mentoring programme. This year we could not separate 2 girls Lexie and Jessica, both of them had an amazing journey and transformation over the 12 month programme so we gave the award to both of them and why not!
Jessica says…. I started Girls Out Loud as a shy 13 year old girl with a love for music and acting yet I had so little confidence. When I first met my big sister Sara, I’d struggled with being bullied and had such little self-esteem. Throughout the 12 month programme, Sara had a main role in helping to boost my confidence. She taught me that not everyone needs to look like Kim Kardashian or be a size 4 to fit in and taught me that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. Most of all Sara has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and be the best version of myself that I can be. Now I am a confident 15 year old chasing my dreams with passion and purpose. I believe every girls deserves to have a Big Sister and I am excited to continue my journey with Girls Out Loud as a teen champion.’
Lexie says… Girls Out Loud has completely changed my life. My Big Sister Lisa is the most amazing role model and the biggest thing she taught me was to know my worth. This has helped me dump toxic people, follow my dreams to be a Forensic Scientist and I currently feel on top of the world. I am the happiest I have ever been at home and at school. I now know I can achieve anything and I know for certain Girls Out Loud has been instrumental in my turnaround from a confused 12 year old to a confident and happy 14 year old. I have even gone back to my Morris dancing.
ROCK STAR AWARD
Sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-Car
WINNER AMELIA DUFFY
This award is given to a to a young women who has overcome great hurdles and traumas to become a shining light for female empowerment and this years’ winner inspired the whole room with her powerful story.
Amelia had to deal with more upset and tragedy growing up than most of us will deal with in a lifetime. From a broken, dysfunctional home, at the mercy of parents at war, homeless at 10, then living with a Mother who had a drug and alcohol addiction resulting in neglect for her and her little sister.
After running away several times she finally moved back in with her Dad and at 13 the next tragedy struck. Her best friend, drowned in a local canal on a very rare day when she was not with him. At this point her anger kicked in. She was constantly letting off steam with teachers and other pupils and got a reputation as a fighter. At around this time she also stopped eating regularly, got depressed, started self-harming and smoking weed and then got involved with one of the town thugs, who was in and out of prison, a very bad influence and so angry at her for not going to see him in prison he threatened to throw acid over her face when he got out!
At this point she was 14 and felt lost, angry, frustrated, scared and alone and due to her volatile behaviour was nominated by her school to attend the Stardom programme – an emotionally intensive intervention programme for troubled girls who are at risk of permanent exclusion.
This programme gave her a safe place to reflect on her life, to consider her choices and consequences and start to unpick her behaviour. She embraced it with open arms and changed her life – it’s that simple!
Amelia says ‘Attending the Shining Stars Ball was like a fairy-tale come true for me. Words cannot describe the exhilaration I felt just on that one night. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a princess. How many girls get that? As I sat with my fellow school friends and looked around the room I marvelled at how far I had come, how I had survived 5 years at school and the rest! When I was told about the Stardom programme I had been put forward to attend I was not pleased and told the teacher I did not want to do it but boy am I glad I did. It was a lot of tears and confusion and upset but I got through it and finally found the real me, the best version of me. Jane returned to school to mentor me after the programme had finished to support me during the final school year and boy did I need her. To be honest I do not know where I would be today without Girls Out Loud and when I heard Jane read out my story in that room I knew I had won in so many other ways –I had defeated the labels that school and teachers had given me. I was speechless and the tears flowed – tears of happiness, tears that screamed you’ve done it girl, you’ve done it! You’ve become YOU! I am proud to be the Rock star but I could not have done it without my rock, Jane, she is like the Mum I never had and I will do whatever is asked of me to pay it forward.’
CORPORATE AMBASSADOR AWARD
Sponsored by Connect In
The team at Coop stepped up to collect this much deserved award for their unwavering support both financially and physically over the past year. They answer our call every time to host workshops, provide resources, loan function rooms, nominate Big Sisters, support schools, support the Ball and so on. We are huge fans of their work and their values.
‘I am beyond proud to be an ambassador for such an incredible organisation and that the Co-op can support such an amazing event. I was totally surprised and thrilled that Co-op won ‘The Corporate/Brand Ambassador Award’ at this year’s Girls Out Loud- Shining Stars Ball.
Girls Out Loud is particularly close to my heart as I am passionate about helping to develop and empower young females for the future. The work that Girl Out Loud does makes a huge difference to the lives of so many young girls across the UK. The relationship between Girls Out Loud and Co-op feels very natural as our business is built on principles of education, pioneering spirit and equality, so supporting this amazing event is vital in order to celebrate these achievements.
Jo Whitfield, CEO Coop Food
Watch Amelia, Lexie, Jessica, Lynn and Jo talk about their night.
TOP FEMALE ROLE MODEL AWARD
Sponsored by Pladis Global (McVities)
WINNER JESS SOUTHWORTH, HOTEL FOOTBALL
This was a new category for 2019 celebrating the regions finest female role models whose dedication and work ethic is an example to us all and an inspiration to the next generation.
Jess was a popular winner. A young woman passionate about the hospitality sector and a clear role model in her niche.
Alongside her day job as Head of Sales at Hotel Football she is also the Co-chair of the Manchester Hoteliers Association, on a mission to unite the hotels of Manchester to ensure the city is positioned as a key destination.
Over the past 10 years she has worked hard to progress her career and to observe her in action as she manages a full on role alongside raising two young children it is obvious to everyone she is an awesome role model for the next generation. She is living proof that with hard work, fortitude and a positive mind-set you can create the life you desire.
‘For years I have pushed myself to work through varying obstacles and to be recognised amongst such a high calibre short list has left me speechless.
The work Girls out Loud do to ensure young females get a fair start in life is inspiring, and to see this summarised during the awards is an absolute joy.
This organisation has clearly touched the lives of many young women, who potentially may have slipped through the net and not have had the opportunity to shine
For this reason, as Charity Director for the Female Hospitality Network; I have chosen Girls out Loud as the 2020 main beneficiary and I can’t wait to support them in 2020, their 10th anniversary year.’
RACHEL STEVENSON SCHOOL ADVOCATE AWARD
WINNERS – NICOLA HALL AND ALISON SADLER
Nicola and Alison were joint winners of the Rachel Stevenson Award this year. These 2 education sector fire starters were instrumental in supporting Jane, our Founder develop the pilot that led to the launch of the Girls Out Loud brand back in 2010.
Their belief and ‘I can’ attitude found the funding, the school and the first group of girls to experience our intense intervention programme we now call Stardom. Their belief and support throughout those first scary 6 months was unwavering and we can think of no two people who deserve recognition more at this point in our journey.
‘Almost 10 years ago we met Jane and supported her with her passion to develop a programme for teen girls in Blackpool. We picked a cohort of girls who were vulnerable, lacked self-esteem, confidence and clarity and were under achieving. From this first cohort Girls Out Loud was born. It was a delight to watch this group of girls find their own journeys and even more satisfying, a decade later to still know some of them who are successful, well qualified and aspirational. It was a real honour to be part of the Ball this year and a genuine surprise to receive an award. Today GOL is as important as ever and it is imperative that we all play a part ensuring the next generation of women recognise their potential and discover their authentic selves.’
THE SEED BOMB
Sponsored by NBrown
WINNER JACKIE HYDE, STANMORE INSURANCE
Jackie Hyde, MD of Stanmore Insurance was this years’ Seed Bomb winner for being our number one fan in the insurance sector and opening many doors. Jackie is passionate about encouraging more women into her sector and hopes that one day she will not be the only woman around the top table, she is a massive champion for women and one of our most pro-active Ambassadors.
‘I was overwhelmed to have received the Seed Bomb Awards at the Girls Outloud Shining Star Ball. Having worked with the founder Jane Kenyon for many years, it has been a delight to promote such a worthy cause that supports young girls and helps them make a better future for themselves. The Big Sister initiative is a tremendous program for professional women to develop their mentoring and business skills. To be recognised by Jane for doing a job I love, was the icing on the cake’
L to R: Chelsea, Debbie O’Neill, Jackie Westbury, Beth (pupil), Darren Proctor (Greatest Hits Radio).
THE TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL AWARD
Sponsored by The Learning Foundry
WINNER MIDDLETON TECHNOLOGY SCHOOL
This was our second new award category recognising a senior school team who are dedicated to not only delivering the traditional educational path but go above and beyond to nurture and inspire the young people in their care. This year the team at Middleton Technology School took home the Award.
‘It was fantastic! Everyone looked shamazing…the girls looked so grown up and beautiful. Collecting the award was nerve wracking though! Food was delish and the entertainment hilarious…thanks to Deb O’Neill and her Jaffa cake win!….I still didn’t get a nibble of one. Huge thanks to all involved on the night…especially Jane and Sarra, two fabulous dahhhlings for everything you do to make a difference.’
Watch Jess, Nicola and Alison, Jackie and the staff from Middleton Technology School talk about their night.
Massive thankyou to all our sponsors The Coop. Enterprise, NBrown, Stanmore, Intuitive, The Learning Foundry, Pladis Global and to everyone who donated prizes and of course we could not have done this without the support and expertise of Connect In and Sterling Events.
THE FEEDBACK IS HEART WARMING…
“I was honoured and humbled to be at such an awe inspiring event. Surrounded by truly inspiring women from every industry, it was amazing to feel and hear the support in the room. The awards were emotional, yet so important to be celebrating with the next generation of female leaders of our workplaces and beyond. If you weren’t there, you missed out. My support and love for the work that Girls Out Loud achieve across the North West grows each year. We are really helping the next generation of females to find their voice and believe in themselves’
Loretta Smith, Bristol-Myers Squibb
I don’t usually have the time to attend many ball’s however through recommendation of a good friend and after meeting Founder of Girls Out Loud, Jane Kenyon, I decided to give this one a go. Needless to say, I’ll making time for the Shining Stars Ball every time from now on. The evening opened up my eyes beyond belief to a very real issue that the UK faces, yet one which doesn’t get the press it needs. Young girls who need love, acceptance, understanding and guidance. The work Girls Out Loud do and the results it has achieved were displayed countlessly throughout the night. Every single penny accounted for, seeing first-hand how this amazing Foundation generates a positive impact on young girls lives. Definitely recommended.’
Robin Gandy, Director AgenC
This was my first Girls out Loud event…and what a lasting mark it made on me. The women were inspirational and it was a joy to meet the girls and hear their stories. I am sure we will see them leading the way in the future as they really start to bloom. You could almost taste the energy in the room. If we could bottle that love, empathy and determination we would all be millionaires. I’m looking forward to supporting Jane and the team on their mission next year.
Well done team Girls out loud!
Jane Reik, Womenswear Buying Director, NBrown
‘I’ve attended many black-tie events and balls in my time – and the Girls Out Loud Ball is up there with the best of the best. An awesome event – the organisation, venue, entertainment, speakers, food and drink – but of course, the cause. To be in a room full of the region’s top business women (and men) from all walks of life and careers is one thing. But then to see, hear and share the inspiring stories of some of the teen girls who’ve been helped by Girls Out Loud, especially through the Big Sister programme (which I’m honoured to be part of this year) was, well, simply put, moving. If you’re a woman who shines – and you want to help teen girls to also become a woman who shines – then this ball is an absolute must-attend.’
Nina Webb,CEO BrazenPR
Last night’s awards was amazing. I just wanted to drop you a personal note, Jane, to say well done, in fact well done does not seem like enough at all. The impact that you have on those girls is palpable and I have to say that following last night’s event I will try to do even more as an Ambassador this year to drive some positive attention to GOL. I’m sure everyone has said well-done but I also wanted to say thank you, you fricking rock lady!’