Women of the Community celebrated on International Women’s Day
Kindly contributed by Devon County Council
Almost 150 Devon women attended an event at County Hall on Friday to share stories of the work they do supporting their communities to mark International Women’s Day.
The two events, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, were hosted by Chair of Devon County Council, Councillor Caroline Chugg, and each of the invited women had been nominated by their communities.
It follows Cllr Chugg’s pledge, made in her inauguration speech last May, to recognise ‘women who have achieved’.
The events celebrated those women who have gone beyond the call of duty to help others, who have made a difference in their communities or achieved excellence in their field of expertise.
The guests enjoyed tea and cake and heard from a variety of speakers including Cllr Chugg, Daphne Dowsing, the former regional president of Soroptimists, firefighter Laura Hutchings and Proud to Care Devon Ambassadors, Gill Smith, Sophie Carmody and Sharon Wilkinson.
High Sheriff Grania Phillips and the Vice Lord Lieutenant Lady Arran were also in attendance.
The women invited have helped the community in numerous ways; there were teaching assistants, charity fundraisers, support workers, emergency services personnel, youth workers, sports coaches and members of parish councils.
Councillor Caroline Chugg said: “This event was for every woman in Devon– there are so many who work under the radar, every day, to improve the lives of others.
“Everyone who was invited was chosen by their community. There were firefighters, teachers, health and social care workers, all united by a common desire to help others.
“Originally the event was to be held in the afternoon – but over 280 women were nominated we also held an event in the morning so that more people could attend. That tells me just how much these women are valued in their communities.
“They do what they do not to be recognised or applauded but because they care about their communities.
“Today was about saying thank you to those women and what better time to do it than on International Women’s Day.”