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West Leeds: Inspirational women nominated for prestigious awards

Two inspirational West Leeds stalwarts have been nominated for prestigious awards recognising their achievements.

Andrea Edwards is CEO at New Wortley Community Centre and has been nominated as a Community Champion in the Igniting Inspiration Awards run by the Inspiring Women Changemakers organisation.

And Josie Armitage has been nominated in the Heart of Gold section for her tireless work as a bid writer for community groups.

Coincidentally it was actually Josie who nominated Andrea due to her organisation’s work as a community hub during the COvid-19 pandemic this year. Josie said:

“Andrea and her team have made an outstanding contribution to the New Wortley and Armley by working tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to support the whole community, particularly the vulnerable and socially isolated.

“The centre has been a local community hub, co-ordinating and providing food parcels to the vulnerable and those in need, providing a hot meal delivery service for the elderly and those who can’t go out and packed lunches and activity packs for local schoolchildren.”

Andrea said:

“It’s been a challenging but rewarding experience responding to the needs of local people as a result of Covid-19. 

“The centre is like family to many of our service users and it was vital that we continued to support their health and wellbeing during a time when visiting the centre was no longer an option.”

Read more on Andrea’s nomination here.

Josie Armitage has been nominated by fellow IWC member Minoti Parikh. Minoti says:

“The thing that always stands out for me when I think of Josie is her sincere intent and genuine commitment to be of help to all. She always manages to give herself less credit than she deserves and her answers to this nomination may just be a testament to that!

“Her commitment to IWC is also a great example of her passion to encourage and applaud women who are doing great work. That, to me, is a true example of a great changemaker. She has never strived to be in the limelight or felt the need to be recognised. I feel this award will help her understand her own true worth, the change she is facilitating, and the ripple effect her work has on so many people.”

Josie said:

“This year has been a catalyst for me to move towards running my business full time.  From April to October this year, I was furloughed.  Not being someone who can do nothing, I began to focus more on developing my business and enjoying helping people and having time to think about how I want the business to develop.

“I love helping people and it’s so rewarding when a funding application is successful and I know that I have been part of something that will benefit people.  I like to work with people and organisations whose work and aspirations I value, work with them longer-term so I can build a trusted relationship with them, and take time to fully understand them and their organisations.”

Read more on Josie’s nomination here.

An IWC spokesperson said:

“Women who are making a positive difference at work or in society often don’t get the recognition they deserve. They work tirelessly and they rarely stop to reflect on the impact that they’ve made on the people around them. They’re usually reluctant to put themselves forward for accolades, because they don’t feel they’re doing anything special.

“Too many great stories go unheard! And we’ve witnessed how their achievements inspire even greater positive social action. That’s why we’re dedicated to sharing their inspirational stories, online and offline.”

The awards are supported by Heading Onwards, which is run by Bramley’s Paul Abraham, who is also a regular contributor to WLD.

Both Josie and Andrea last year joined WLD‘s community reporter training courses in Kirkstall and New Wortley respectively.

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