Last week, over 300 people from across the North West’s business, education and third sector worlds gathered at the Hilton Hotel to shine a light on the region’s inspirational young women.
The evening celebrated the achievements of those involved with Girls Out Loud, whilst also fundraising for future projects that will empower the younger generation.
Girls Out Loud founder, Jane Kenyon, opened the evening with a speech which described the social enterprise’s journey to raising aspirations of over 7,000 young girls, through their Big Sister Mentoring and Stardom programmes. These initiatives are helping the women of the future to gain self-belief and build confidence and courage which enables them raise their aspirations.
Chelsea Norris, from BBC Radio Manchester’s breakfast show and Darren Proctor, presenter on The Greatest Hits Manchester, hosted the evening and kept the atmosphere alive and the audience entertained. Throughout the evening, guests were also charmed by performances from teenage dance crew, J Star Academy, and singer, Ionica Adriane, as well as a set by DJ Charlotte.
The focal point of the evening however, was the award ceremony which highlighted the hard work and commitment that ten astounding young women have put towards Girls Out Loud.
This year’s winners were:
- Top Female Role Model Award, sponsored by Pladis Global – Jess Southworth, Hotel Football.
- The Rachel Stephenson Award, sponsored by Co-op – Nicola Hall, Head Teacher, Central Lancaster High School and Alison Sadler, Head of Business & Adult Education at Southport College.
- The Little Sister Out Loud Award, sponsored by Intuitive Recruitment – Lexie McBride, Albion Academy, Salford and Jessica Hewlett, Middleton Technology School, both aged 15.
- The Big Sister Out Loud Award, sponsored by Stanmore Insurance – Lynn Nolan, Slater & Gordon.
- The Corporate/Brand Ambassador Award, sponsored by Connectin Events – The Co-op.
- The Seed Bomb Award, sponsored by N Brown – Jackie Hyde, Stanmore Insurance.
- The Too Cool for School Award, sponsored by The Learning Foundry – Middleton Technology School.
- The Rock Star Award, sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Amelia Duffy, ex Middleton Technology School now at Bury College, aged 17.
Reflecting on the evening, Jane Kenyon said:
“The Shining Stars Ball gave us the perfect opportunity to celebrate and recognise everyone who helps to make Girls Out Loud what it is today. It was such an empowering evening of shared stories, from both the girls and the women who have championed them.”
Lexie McBride, the joint winner on The Little Sister Out Loud Award, said: “Girls Out Loud was a real confidence boost for me. I started the programme as a shy 13-year-old girl, and now I’m nearly 16 with lots of confidence. I want to be someone’s role model so that I can help someone in my position to feel like they fit in wherever they go.”
“We are so proud to support Girls Out Loud and it’s a massive honour to win the award.” said Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food and winner of The Corporate/Brand Ambassador Award.
“These girls are our next generation of talent and it’s absolutely vital that we invest in them”