1V Woman of the Year 2019


The 1V Woman of the Year should be a role model for the whole community. She must demonstrate a series of activities or programmes which have made a real difference in her community or the town. The 1V Woman of the Year must go beyond her paid role(s) to be considered for this award. Furthermore, she must have a record of working in many communities of Blackburn with Darwen. The award is sponsored by HPA Solicitors. The shortlisted nominees for 2019 follow.

Liz Crook

Liz Crook, 49, is a local pioneer, inspiration and entrepreneur. Liz has worked in professional roles linked to the strategic care sector and consultancy in adult social care. She has worked from front line management to directorate level. In 2016, Liz founded Rummage Rescuers (RR) CIC (non-profit) supporting individuals and families in poverty. Working in a voluntary capacity, Liz completed over 1700 hours volunteering with RR between July 2017 and January 2018. Liz also founded and manages Personalising Freedom CIC whose aim is to promote empowerment choices for those in need of care packages. Liz’s unique skills bring both people and organisations together to achieve solutions and connect people.

Leanne Procter

Leanne has been in the fitness industry since 1998. Passionate about helping women and fitness, she opened Unit-2 Fitness For Women in 2010. In 2015 Leanne saw an opportunity to help vulnerable women who would not ordinarily be able to access a gym. And so The Billy Project was born, aimed at building confidence for the most vulnerable women. The Project quickly grew and with it built relationships with other projects in the BwD area. This has enabled women from all different backgrounds and cultures to inspire each other, create a positive energy, build lasting friendships and better their home environment. In 2018 Leanne won the Hive Health, Well-being & Social Care Award. Over the years she has supported many projects and charities.

Janet Ross

Janet has worked at Blackamoor School, Lancashire County Council and Age UK. She has also done voluntary work at Age UK, Lymphoma Action, Paddlers For Life Dragon Boat Team, the Senior Learners Forum at Lancaster University, the ARC Project and Blackburn With Darwen Carers Association. Janet sings with the choir at Blackburn Music Society. She also runs with Couch to 5K in Witton Park.

Saida Soge

Social justice has always been the source of Saida’s motivation and being involved in many projects over the years has given her the opportunity to work with people with very unfortunate circumstances where she has been able to make a real and lasting difference to their lives. Saida’s own life began with a similar trajectory to those entering the UK as refugees and asylum seekers. Using her experience, she aims to be a strong advocate for the voiceless and supporting those who need it. Saida works to empowering individuals and hopes to challenge and transform attitudes towards refugees.