I was to get changed and meet all the finalists and before I knew it, we were all being whisked away in a taxi to No:10 Downing Street!!!!! It was a rainy day and a short walk to get into No:10. I couldn't believe still this was happening! After many security checks - the big black door opened and we were led up some flights of stairs and posing for a photographer with Samantha Cameron herself. A lot of photos were taken inside and none allowed to be used or published. But, I am just using the photo that was used in the Daily Mail article and taken by Murray Sanders.
Day spent at No:10
As part of being a finalist, George at Asda sponsored all our clothes - and I got a day and evening outfit all free, not bad - eh!
It was all a busy day and after returning back to the hotel, dress rehearsals were needed before the evening. Next, having our hair and make-up done, it's a hard life ;)
Make over time and I was asked what 'look' I would like, I replied dramatic and big eyes and that I am not afraid of colour and lots of glitter..such a girly girl.
Transformation in progress......
Whoop...starting to become smiley and dramatic.....
And above captures the final image :)
With all the finalists again....
The empty room being transformed ready for the night. It was amazing how many staff were running around moving tables, chairs and decorating the room for the 300 guests that would be arriving in a couple of hours!
Emma Forbes running through her presenting schedule before the evening.
Rehearsing with Emma Forbes and James Cameron
Seeing how to be when get presented with award - dress rehearsals. It was amusing as Emma Forbes did want to say the full illness' name instead of LAM and I had to help her a lot. It wasn't pitch perfect but definitely better than most people can attempt ;)
The paparazzi set up ready for all the celebrities to arrive, and I wasn't sure where everyone was so just pretended to be a photographer and hung out waiting for all the stars to arrive, lol, naughty me!
Some information of each of the finalists left to right, firstly Shelley and her charity called Grief Encounter. Shelley became a councillor working with troubled children , helping them deal with the complex process of bereavement. In 2003, Shelley started her charity to help children deal with the loss of a parent or sibling. It now provides counselling for hundreds of children a week, supports 3,000 young people a year and offers workshops, fun days, residential camps and more. Shelley, a mother of four, has become a leading expert and author on childhood grief and works tirelessly to raise public awareness and understanding of the subject.
We were told that were all winners, but that an overall winner was needed to be named as overall, and that was Shelley as above. I was very humbled by each woman's inspirational story and well done to Shelley!
Claire was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 38 in 1993. After going a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy the cancer went into remission. Clare then joined The Women's Environmental Network and began campaigning for the removal of harmful carcinogens from the environment to reduce cancer rates. In 2004, after her cancer returned and she needed more chemo, Clare started her own charity, Breast Cancer UK. To date, Clare has helped ban the harmful chemical BPA from babies' bottles in the EU and the pesticide Lindane, among others.
Pam helps with her care and commitment in providing holiday homes for children suffering from life threatening illnesses and their families. Pam's 10 year old daughter Hannah lost her battle with cancer and died from Hodgkin's disease. As a tribute to her brave daughter, Pam decided to continue to raise money in Hannah's name. Since then she has spent her years fundraising to open 2 holiday homes on the South Coast, called Hannah's Holiday Homes, to provide a comfortable place for families with seriously ill children to relax and break the monotony of endless hospital appointments.
Andrea set up a centre called The Drop Inn a centre to help and educate local young people. In 1999 complaints about teenage behaviour causing damage to property and upsetting the local community in Belper, Derbyshire. Andrea took matters into her own hands and asked the local gangs what would keep out of trouble. The answer came back clear: something to do and somewhere to go. Within a year, Andrea had opened The Drop Inn, a youth centre providing education, training, work experience and activities for teenagers. On the first night, 80 turned up and since then 5,000 have passed through Andrea's hands, many of whom would not have secured a first job or passed exams without her help and dedication to the project.
Each woman I met and talked with was definitely inspirational in their own way, and it was an overwhelming array of emotions listening to each story and watching their video on the night.
My video being showed on 2 large screens to an audience of over 300
Then I heard my name and it was time to collect my award and to have it presented by Sarah Storey - Team GB athlete!!
Phew...food all consumed, awards presented, and Shelley winning overall inspirational women of the year, it was time to see if I could get some more photos of the stars (thanks to my Dad for snapping them). There were so many celebrities and just not enough time to picture everyone, but I certainly tried my best x