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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Nominees line up for top Cumbrian women honours

A strong list of nominees from across West Cumbria will be among those gathering next week for the annual Cumbria Women of the Year event.

The event, which has been running since 1990, recognises the efforts of women who work for the benefit of others.

Among this year’s nominees is Sheila Rayment, who runs The Silver Beaded Needle embroidery shop in Cockermouth.

She has faced a tough year, moving her business to new premises in June while supporting husband Philip as he suffered terminal lymphoedema.

Sheila almost closed the shop but, supported by her three daughters, she has kept it going since his death in August.

She has introduced many people to embroidery and some say it has changed their lives and helped them to meet new friends.

Sheila, 53, of Aspatria, said: “I was quite surprised when I got the nomination. It’s nice to know that people appreciate what you do.”

Linda Hewitt, chief executive of Hospice at Home West Cumbria, is another nominee.

A founder member 25 years ago, she has done nursing and fund-raising for the charity and was clinical services manager before her promotion in May.

Linda, 54, of Cockermouth, has done a professional nursing degree and a masters in hospice leadership alongside her work.

She said: “I feel very humbled and very honoured to have been nominated. I carry this nomination for the whole team.”

Also nominated is Catherine Parker, of The Moor, Cockermouth.

The 47-year-old is operations director of charitable organisation West House, which supports people with disabilities.

She has worked for the organisation for 21 years, starting as a senior carer at its residential care home in Cockermouth.

Catherine is also a member of Cumbria police’s independent advisory group, which advises the force on dealing with people from minority groups, including those with disabilities.

She said: “The nomination came right out of the blue. It highlights some of the work we do at West House.”

Sheila Hope, of Orthwaite, near Bassenthwaite, is a nurse at Keswick hospital and champions patient dignity.

After attending a Cumbria-wide dignity awareness day, she was inspired to promote the cause within her workplace.

An awareness day has since been held and Sheila is working to promote networking between West Cumbrian hospitals so that good practice can be shared.

Sheila, 50, said: “It was an honour to be nominated.”

Marjorie Youdale, 77, of Portinscale, Keswick, is branch leader of Keswick Mothers Union, a past president and past treasurer of Portinscale WI, a sidesman at St Kentigern’s Church in Crosthwaite and a member of the Keswick Cancer Group, which raises money for cancer charities.

In the past she served as treasurer for the Keswick NSPCC group, which folded last year, and has been a Brown Owl with Braithwaite Brownies.

Marjorie said: “I was very surprised to be nominated. I just love to help out.”

Painter Joan Prickett, of Blindcrake, near Cockermouth, thinks her post-retirement project to open a gallery at her home has led to her nomination.

The 63-year-old has always been interested in art, but despite doing an O-level in the subject she did not pick up a paint brush for decades.

She only returned to paints about five years ago. Since retiring in 2009 it has become more of a focus.

She said: “I am honestly stunned. I understand that some of the people nominated have done such fantastic works in the community or been very courageous.

“I’m very flattered that somebody would go to the trouble. It’s a privilege.”

They are among 43 nominees invited to attend the annual Cumbria Women of the Year lunch at Windermere on Thursday, when a winner will be announced.

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