INSPIRING ‘superwomen’ won recognition at an awards night in Ilkley.

Local heroines who devote their time and energy to others were thanked for their hard work in a joint competition organised by Soroptimist International Ilkley and Ilkley Fairtrade Group.

The contest to mark International Women’s Day and celebrate Wharfedale superwomen culminated in an awards ceremony at the Clarke Foley Centre last week.

A spokeswoman said: “The awards night shone a spotlight on the wonderful work being done by the nominees, who make an incredible impact on the local community, and benefit and enrich the lives of thousands of others. The competition to find inspiring women attracted 19 nominations, and the judges were blown away by the variety and scope of the nominees’ activities. “Many have been involved for decades with local charities including Ilkley Talking Newspaper, Ilkley and District Good Neighbours, The Manor House, Girlguiding, Martin House Hospice, Insight and Amnesty International. They have set up and/or run local clubs and organisations, help young and old to keep fit, enjoy art and sing, and volunteer to protect and save the environment.”

“All the nominees were worthy winners and local heroines, but the judges, Suzanne Watson, managing director of Approach PR, Chris Clark, Immediate Past President of Soroptimist International of Yorkshire, and Karen Palframan, chair of Bradford Fairtrade Zone, were unanimous in declaring Karen Goodman the overall superwoman.

“She was nominated for her role in supporting families of children with special needs. She helped found the LS29 Special Needs support group and has been chair for 14 years. She was also one of the original trustees of Outside the Box, which is best known as a local café providing training and employment opportunities for young people with additional needs. She has done all this whilst caring for her own family, which includes three adopted children with Down Syndrome.

The person who nominated Karen, herself a member of the LS29 Group, said: “Karen has had such an impact on our lives and that of our families. She always makes the time for others and despite her own busy life, selflessly dedicates her energy and time to helping others and making a difference to their lives. “

Ilkley Soroptimists Club President Joy Lynch, and Karen Palframan, Chairwoman of Ilkley Fairtrade Group, explained the work of the two groups.

The nominees were Lynda Forbes-Wake, Susan Ross, Hilary Davies, Karen Goodman, Sylvia Mann, Shirley Woods, Elizabeth Hughes, Anne Lowe, Pamela Ravenscroft, Christine Fletcher, Anne Cutherbertson, Ros Brown, Christine Henney, Caroline Kelly, Judy Hutton, Alex Cockshott, Mary Hamilton, Charlotte Hawkins and Heidi Beardsmore