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Susan Balfour, CEO of Katy Sue Designs Ltd, nominated for Outstanding Business Leader Award at 2020

Remarkable women from across the North East will be recognised in an inspirational award ceremony at the annual Glass Slipper Awards.

Held by the Sunshine Fund, the Glass Slipper Awards recognises the outstanding achievements of women in the North East of England in seven different categories such as Woman of the Year, Young Achiever and Outstanding Business Leader.

Previous award winners have included Gemma Lowery who was honoured in the Remarkable Woman category for the work she has done since losing her son Bradley to cancer in 2017, and professor Alison Murdoch who received the lifetime achievement award for her work as head of Newcastle Fertility Centre at the Centre for Life where she's been instrumental in helping couples become families for decades.

The 2020 Glass Slipper Awards shortlisted has been revealed, and the winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Hilton NewcastleGateshead on Friday 28th February.

Among those shortlisted is Sue Balfour, CEO of Katy Sue Designs. Finding out about her nomination Sue said, "I was totally shocked to find myself nominated for the Outstanding Business Leader Award as I take so much inspiration myself from the many successful business women that I know in the North East. I feel very honoured to be included in the nominations."

Here is the full list of nominees for the 2020 ceremony:

Remarkable Woman - Sponsored by Lowes This individual has overcome adversity and needs to be celebrated for their bravery, determination and amazing achievements whilst getting through hardship in their life. This person has achieved something amazing despite challenging circumstances. We want to recognise this person for the fantastic things they have done.

Helen Holmes - Holmes Family Law Christine Stephenson - The Life of Reilly Gemma Evans

Woman in the Community - Sponsored by Reach PLC This award honours an individual who is dedicated to making a real difference to people's lives through their career. They are passionate about working in the local community. They might work for or may have established an organisation that has benefited the lives of people in North East communities. (Winner is voted for in online poll).

Joanne Smith - FACT: Fighting All Cancers Together Natalie Nasor Natasha Paley - Hazlerigg and District War Memorial Community Centre Angeline Lucas - North East Dance Co-operative

Unsung Hero - Sponsored by Ant & Dec This is an award for an unsung hero who makes a substantial yet unrecognised contribution to their local community through volunteering or community work. They take time out of work, family or home life to help others. They put other people before themselves. They see strangers as their family and they want everyone to have a happy, comfortable life.

Juliet Sanders - Feeding Families Emma Thompson - Robson Laidler Alisar Hassanyeh

Outstanding Business Leader - Sponsored by Miss England This award recognises and celebrates the achievements of a great leader that inspires their workforce. They are an ambassador for their company and a great team leader. The individual nominee will have made an exceptional contribution and made a significant impact in their organisation, going above and beyond what would normally be expected of the role.

Sue Balfour - Katy Sue Designs Caroline Gitsham - WISH NE Brenda McLeish - Learning Curve Group

North East Champion - Sponsored by Your Homes Newcastle This award recognises and celebrates the achievements of a talented individual that does genuinely inspiring things in the North East through their career. They should be an ambassador for the region spreading the word about all the incredible things taking place focusing the spotlight on the region. The North East Champion is an individual making a real difference ensuring the North East maintains its position as one of the UK’s leading cities.

Ashley Lowe - Newcastle United Foundation Lynn McManus - Pathways 4 All Marie Jevon - Include 'In' Autism

Young Achiever - Sponsored by Sunderland University Open to those aged 16 – 25 years. This award seeks out the person who has shown exceptional talent in their field. The winner will clearly demonstrate their excellent career progression, leadership and management. They will have excellent potential to succeed in the longer term with a well-defined and innovative vision for the future.

Lauren Scobie Faye Teri Ellington - Ellington Timepiece

Lifetime Achievement Award This award salutes the work of a remarkable woman who, over her lifetime, has made a considerable and lasting contribution to the North East through her actions, deeds, and great accomplishments. The winner of this award will be a passionate person who has dedicated their life to an organisation, a community, a worthy cause, or who has made a real impact in society or in the lives of others.

To be announced at the event

For more information about The Sunshine Fund or the Glass Slipper Awards, please visit


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