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Celebrating Jersey’s Inspirational Women

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Soroptimist International Jersey hosted its 25th annual Inspirational Woman of the Year Award on 4th July in the picturesque grounds of Government House.

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary milestone, the award was originally known as the ‘Women in the Community Award’. The first recipient was Barbara Marie of the Jersey Society for the Disabled.

Renamed in 2008, the ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year Award’ has since continued to honour women who have significantly contributed to the community, overcome adversity, and supported women’s initiatives.

This year saw 19 nominations, each nominee embodying the spirit of inspiration and community service. Among the nominees in attendance were Fiona Cassels-Brown, Deputy Louise Doublet, Nicola Heath, Fiona Herivel, Carol-Anne Robins-Rondel, and Sharon Shepherd. These women, along with the finalists, demonstrated exceptional dedication to improving lives and fostering positive change.

Choosing the winner was difficult, all were inspirational in their own right. The three finalists – Joy Thomson, Beverley Le Cuirot, and Kate Wright – stood out for their remarkable contributions that have not only changed lives for the better but continue to do so. They also exemplified dedication, compassion, determination, and hard work.

The winner of the 2024 Inspirational Woman of the Year award was Joy Thomson for her lifetime of service. Dr. Karen Kyd, the Club’s Patron, presented the award.

Joy Thomson: A Lifetime of Service

Joy has been involved with many charities in Jersey, including the Jersey Island Federation of Women’s Institutes, where she has been the Chairperson for the last four years and an active member of the Women’s Institute for at least 50 years. She has been an inspiration to many of the 400 members in Jersey and also extended her influence as a National Adviser.

She is also the Chair of the Jersey Association for Spina Bifida, and a member of the Women’s Section of the Jersey Branch of the British Legion and Fair Trade. Joy’s commitment to social justice is evident in her work with Meals on Wheels, delivering food to the elderly and infirm, feeding patients in the Hospice, and shopping for an elderly parishioner. She also serves on the committee of Glanville Residential Home and the residents committee at Tabor Park.

Working with young people has been the main stay of her career as a teacher at Jersey College for Girls, which she now continues through her work with children through the Town Church.

The other 2024 finalists were Beverley Le Cuirot and Kate Wright.

Beverley Le Cuirot: Champion of Wellbeing

Beverley Le Cuirot is the founder of WellBeing World, a membership network for health and wellbeing professionals. She has dedicated much of the last 20 years promoting holistic health and self-care, inspiring countless individuals to prioritise their physical, mental, emotional, and financial wellbeing.

In addition to publishing WellBeing World magazine, she organised numerous conferences, awards ceremonies, and online events, and in 2019, she created World WellBeing Week, an annual global awareness event with a reach of millions.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Beverley became a pivotal figure for the small business community in Jersey. She liaised with politicians and government departments, working tirelessly and voluntarily to help business owners navigate and overcome numerous challenges, thereby ensuring the wellbeing and financial survival of thousands of individuals and their businesses.

She now champions the importance of compassionate leadership and workplace wellbeing.

Kate Wright: Advocate for Equality

Kate Wright co-founded the Diversity Network, striving to achieve greater diversity within businesses and greater equality across the board ranging from her proactive leadership activity in addressing the Gender Pay Gap, through to Social Mobility, and combating Violence Against Women.

As a Cultural Change and Human Resources Specialist, founder of Arbre, and Equality Campaigner, Kate’s professional and charitable endeavours are deeply intertwined with her advocacy for women’s rights.

She led the groundbreaking work leading the Violence Against Women and Girls Task Force. Her persistent advocacy ensured that the task force’s  recommendations were accepted in full by the Government and included in the Government Plan. Her dedication to this cause will make a significant difference to the lives of many women and girls in Jersey.

Kate was also the Guest Speaker for the event. She delivered an entertaining, powerful, and thought-provoking talk on what it means to be a woman in Jersey, and what gives her hope for the future.

Pictured: His Excellency Vice Admiral Jeremy Kyd, Dr Karen Kyd and Jean-Marie Gavey

World Wellbeing Week 2024

June 24 – June 30

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