ILKLEY Soroptimists and Ilkley Fairtrade Group have announced the winner of their Inspiring Women Award.

This year they were looking for young women aged between 16 and 25 who volunteer to help others.

The award ceremony was held on March 14 at the Clarke Foley Centre in Ilkley when all the nominees were celebrated and presented with a certificate, and the overall winner announced.

The event was also a celebration of the 80th year since the Ilkley Soroptimist Club was chartered, and the 30th anniversary of the Fairtrade Group receiving the Fairtrade Mark.

To mark the milestones the two organisations worked together to promote the voluntary activities of young women and asked the public for nominations.

The judges who had the very hard task of selecting the winning volunteer were Mary Hamilton, volunteer manager for Otley and Keighley, Susie Westwood, President of Yorkshire Soroptimists and Cllr Linda Brown, Ilkley’s councillor with responsibility for Fairtrade.

The young women celebrated were:

Chloe Sellers who volunteers two hours a day, five days a week looking after the little ones over the lunch period at Christchurch Café throughout the year. Chloe also helps at Scope the charity shop on the Grove.

Kate Bacon who volunteered at weekends throughout her university degree course at Lancaster University to keep a girl guide unit alive which had been in danger of closing. Kate is now training to teach but still volunteers with the guides.

Ash Alipoor, aged only 17, who has been involved in guiding since the age of seven and volunteers to make a difference. She is now working for her Queen’s Guide award and regularly runs sessions on topics such as staying safe and mental health awareness to other units in the girl guides.

The overall winner was Ella Sanderson who has been volunteering with disabled children for five years and continues now at Moor Time. Ella also volunteers at Menston Methodist Chapel café. She also writes poetry and has performed on BBC Radio.

As part of the event Karen Palframan, of the Ilkley Fairtrade Group, explained to the gathering the origins of Fairtrade across the world and how it has developed in Ilkley. Karen works closely with Ilkley Co-op who kindly donated Easter Eggs and wine as raffle prizes.

Finally a basket of over chicks 100 containing chocolate eggs knitted by Ilkley Soroptimists was collected in. These will be distributed at Easter in the Great Get Together Food Parcels set up by Becky Malby.