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November 12, 2021 | Laura Murphy

A Royal Occasion

What a night! On 10 November HM Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Andrew Blackman along with Deputy Lieutenant Juliet Smith, presented WayfinderWoman with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service at a packed Assembly Hall in Eastbourne's Town Hall.

Well, what a NIGHT!

Last Wednesday evening, 10 November 2021, WayfinderWoman was officially presented with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at Eastbourne’s Town Hall, which is one of the most prestigious awards that can be given to a charity!

Around 130 people attended, and we are hugely grateful to each and every one of you for helping us to mark the occasion. We’re confident that WayfinderWoman is now firmly on the roadmap and positioned to provide support to more and more women. We enjoyed seeing  Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex, Mr Andrew Blackman, Caroline Ansell, MP Eastbourne, Eastbourne’s Mayor, Cllr Pat Rodohan, Sally-Ann Hart, MP Hastings, to name but a few!

All of this could not have been possible without our energetic team of Trustees and Volunteers who worked tirelessly with local companies for refreshments, sent out the invitations, laid out the room on the day, and ensured the night went off smoothly.  Particular thanks go to Higgidy Pies who generously provided all of the quiches as part of their charity commitment, Laura Lee who supplied the celebration cake,  Sadie Taylor who put together the wonderful floral arrangements.

The event was livestreamed on Facebook but unfortunately the sound was poor so for those who wanted to know what we said, here are the speeches from the night.

Laura Murphy, Founder of Wayfinder Woman

Thank you my Lord-Lieutenant for the honour bestowed on the charity this evening.  I gladly accept this on behalf of everyone who has worked with WayfinderWoman.  The fact that we’ve supported nearly 1,000 women aged 18 to 70 since I first conceived the idea of Wayfinder 10 years ago, is testament to the dedication and hard work of all our volunteers and those who have supported us along the way.  Many of whom are in the room today.

Covid has hit everyone hard, not least the women we support and sadly we foresee an even greater demand on our services.  Now is the time when we need to move on from being a purely volunteer run organisation and we look forward to the time when we can have paid staff to respond to that demand.  With the help of everyone here, I’m sure we’ll be able to achieve that.  I would now like to hand over to our patron, Helen Warren.

Helen Warren, Patron of Wayfinder Woman

“My Lord-Lieutenant, Laura and guests. On behalf of the trustees thank you for the honour bestowed.  It was nearly five years ago that I walked into the WayfinderWoman office, volunteering as a speaker to talk about the Women of Eastbourne project. Little did I know what I was letting myself in for!

Quite honestly it changed my life! Not only have I spoken to local women’s groups about the Women of Eastbourne, women from the past whose stories were never known, but I have felt useful helping with fund raising, social events and our wonderful ‘Women in Lockdown’ book which I know many of you here this evening have contributed to.

Most importantly, I have enjoyed the company of a group of inspiring women who are always there with a positive outlook, and on hand to offer help with a friendly chat and a smile. New volunteers are always welcome!

Now I will hand over to my friend, fund raiser in chief, Nicola Allen.”

 

Nicola Allen, Volunteer fund raiser in chief

Ten years ago Laura Murphy had a vision.

The vision was to start a charity to help women in the community achieve their potential.

She called it Wayfinderwoman.

This is where we are today.

What an amazing lady, what a charity, what an event.

Wayfinder educates, enpowers, cares and lets people see

the impossible can actually be POSSIBLE.

 

Being a volunteer means i am in a sisterhood like never before.

We laugh, achieve , believe and support one another.

Volunteering gives me self worth, self achievement and self belief . Giving me the opportunity to win two awards this year.

The Brighton Argus newspaper , Volunteer of the year award and DB electrical, community champion award.

When we did the Magnificent 7 project i wrote a song.

I would like to end my speech with the last few words.

The Wayfinder women are a brilliant ,resourceful, forceful WINNING team

 

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