NCW President Gwenda Nicholas, a judge at Parliament Week event “Strictly Democracy”, sponsored by the British Federation of Women Graduates and held at the London HQ of the Rotary club, commented “It was a challenging but rewarding task, judging such inspiring candidates” The competition, run on “Strictly Come Dancing” lines, sought to find the speaker whose presentation most showed how their work contributed to democracy. After a tough battle leading to a tie-break from the audience votes, the judges decided the winner was Alison Baum of Best Beginnings which supports young mothers, with Dr Lucy Thorne, speaking of her work with the norovirus, a worthy runner-up.

Other candidates included Lottie Birdsall Strong (previously a winner in the NCW SpeakOut competition) on her research into the participation of girls in sport, particularly in secondary schools, Madeleine Harris Smith from Alcohol Health Alliance, which campaigns on the harm done by alcohol and Benita Matofska, founder of Compare and Share which encourages equitable sharing of the world’s resources.

Judges were Eve Conway, Rotary International, Ruth Spellman OBE, Chief Executive Workers Educational Association, Gwenda Nicholas, President National Council of Women, Gloria Banner, President British Federation of Women Graduates, Jenny Morley, Past President BFWG. The event was skilfully chaired by Gwen Rhys, CEO of Women in the City.

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