Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Simply Inspirational

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Simply Inspirational

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE ROBSON dave.robson@reachplc.com @Daverobson_gaz

AN INSPIRING mum who lost her young daughter to a rare brain condition has been honoured for her continued fundraising efforts.

Gemma Sands has raised over PS200,000 in memory of Rebecca, who died from Lissencephaly in August 2010, aged just 21 months.

Teacher Gemma, from Ingleby Barwick, set up Remembering Rebecca, which organises fundraising activities so the charity can provide equipment, holidays and support for children with disabilities and their siblings.

She has now been recognised as one of seven inspirational women in a special ceremony at Redcar's Wilton Centre to mark International Women's Day. As well as Gemma, who won the Inspiring Others award, sponsored by Sembcorp, and the Mo Mowlam Award as overall winner, the other winners were: | Carol Dawson won the Individual Achievement award, sponsored by First Choice Labels, for overcoming a number of obstacles to engage in voluntary work for addiction and domestic violence organisations, acting as a mentor to other women experiencing difficulties.

| Eileen Founds won the Volunteer award, sponsored by PD Ports, for volunteering at St Leonard's Church in Loftus for 40 years and is a founder member and secretary of the Mars Estate Residents' Group. | Victoria Smee won the Woman in Business award, sponsored by Beyond Housing, for setting up a fashion boutique, Betty Leigh Boutique, in Redcar's Northern Quarter. Victoria supports other businesses in the area promoting a collective approach to the regeneration of the town.

| Krista Coulson and Liz Edwards won the Community Group Contribution award, sponsored by SABIC, for creating the charity 'Rubies', which works with teenage girls to inspire them, build confidence and inform them of their true self-worth.

| Mahlliah Joel won the Young Woman award, sponsored by Taylor Wimpey, for overcoming obstacles to develop an excellent attitude to learning. As well as helping look after her siblings, she is a valuable member of Redcar Town U14s football team and a young leader at the Kidz Klub Youth Group. …

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