A SOLIHULL single mum has been handed a top award at the virtual Ladies First Awards in what proved to be a highly successful event for local women.
Shelley Wilson was crowned winner of the Successful Career from Home category at the awards for her work as an author and a book coach.
For the past 12 years the Hillfield resident has been helping women in business to write and publish their own non-fiction books for two years while writing her own titles.
Shelly self-published her first book in 2014 and went on to self-publish a further seven books before signing with an American publisher on a ten book deal.
She said: “I fell off my chair when they announced me as a winner of my category.
“As an author and book coach from Solihull, I never really thought of myself as inspirational, but that changed.
“I joined this network to support and meet other women in business and was thrilled to be nominated for an award.”
A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Leigh Perry of Dorridge Music School.
Leigh has dedicated her life to creating a respected music school over the last 35 years, and in that time she has trained many young musicians and hosted regular shows at Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
The DMS concert brand, a fusion of music and dance, has, over eight years, raised more than £13,000 for charities, including Acorns Trust, Birmingham Dogs Home, RSPCA Birmingham, Marie Curie and Sepsis UK.
Leigh also supported Delete Blood Cancer by starting a campaign to encourage people to register as donors in memory of one of her former students, Riya Dandakar, who died aged just 21.
She said: “When the pandemic hit it was such a struggle. But music proves to be a lifeline both to the students who are stuck at home and to the dedicated teachers who can carry on doing what they love.”
The Business Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Dr Lorraine Hill, owner and founder of Hampton Clinic, a beauty, aesthetic, and wellness clinic in Solihull.
She said: “Many people come to me at a crossroads in life and have low self-esteem. It’s a pleasure to restore their confidence and help them be the best version of themselves. This is where my passion for aesthetic medicine started.”
The finalists of the third LFN Business Awards were chosen from more than 200 nominations and decided by an esteemed panel of 12 judges from across the UK.
The event was thought up by Balsall Common’s Tracey McAtamney who wrote Inspirational Women, Inspirational Lives which celebrates female achievers from across the country, many with tales of overcoming adversity and tragedy.
The event raised £3,733 for The Katie Piper Foundation which supports burns survivors through their recovery and through rehabiliatation.