Helper of the homeless wins women’s award in Bury

By Katie Ollier

A hard-working volunteer won Bury Hospice’s Woman of the Year 2010 on Thursday.

Shaheena Haroon received the award during a ceremony at the Bolholt Country Park Hotel.

Mrs Haroon takes in homeless families to support them until they find a home and helps domestic violence victims. She also acts as an interpreter.

Mrs Haroon was the overall winner as well as being selected as winner of the volunteering category.

She said: “It is a great honour for me and my family that I was chosen as Bury’s Woman of the Year.

“I had a wonderful day but I was very surprised when the result was announced. I believe Bury is a great place to live and I’m very proud to be the first Asian woman to be chosen as Bury’s Woman of the Year.”

Nominations were divided into three categories: carer, volunteer and businesswoman.

Councillor for East Ward, Bury, and friend Trevor Hult nominated Mrs Haroon for the award.

He said: “I am delighted that Mrs Haroon has become Bury Hospice’s Woman of the Year.

“She has worked tirelessly for the community since moving to Bury 15 years ago. She’s just wonderful and is invaluable in helping the Asian population with interpreting.”

Guest speaker at the ceremony was Calendar Girl Tricia Stewart, whose experiences were portrayed by Helen Mirren in the 2003 film.

Fundraiser at Bury Hospice, Ruth Lane, said: “The event is all about getting together like minded people, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or how old you are.

She added: “I absolutely loved it. I didn’t know what to expect and thought I might be out of the loop as it was my first time so I went with an open mind.

“It was very interesting to see and really inspiring, especially some of the speeches. It was a relaxed event with a business element which complemented the different categories of women.”

Karen Prue was the winner of the carer category while Paula Lau walked away as the businesswoman winner.

The event was attended by 200 ladies, including the 12 nominees. The guests browsed gift trade stalls, which featured homemade fascinators, handbags and jewellery, before sitting down for a three-course lunch.

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