Louise Carson has been announced Jersey Women’s Refuge/Soroptimist International Jersey Inspirational Woman of the Year 2021.
From a stellar line up of incredible women, Louise Carson was chosen for the 2021 prestigious award. Congratulations also to Karen Gallichan, awarded runner up and Lorna Pirazzolo who took 3rd place, all inspirational local ladies.
“We were delighted to receive nearly 50 nominations this year of women who all make a selfless contribution to Island life,” explained Marine Oliveira Manager, Jersey Women’s Refuge. “We celebrate each and every one of them.”
“Once again we were humbled by the calibre of entries making the judging very difficult. Soroptimists International Jersey founded this award in 1998, originally it was called ‘Woman in the Community Award,” commented Jean-Marie Gavey, Joint President, Soroptimist International Jersey. “We are thrilled to see the award go from strength to strength over the years honouring those who serve our Island.”
Awards were given at a presentation at Essential Dance Studio, 2 Wesley Street, a place very close to the heart of the 2019 winner. The JWR team invited Paul Raphael and his daughters Olivia and Chloe, husband and daughter of the previous winner, Cheryle Raphael who was tragically lost in the Summer but was so dearly loved by many islanders for her contribution as a truly inspiring woman.
More about the winner
Louise, an active member of Journey to Zero Waste Jersey Facebook Group giving members advice and support to reducing waste, recycling and reusing in Jersey. Louise also runs Philips Footprints recycling scheme across Jersey, not only to recycle but to raise funds for the charity, whilst finding and coordinating volunteers.
Louise recently set up Potty Eco Pots to ensure plant pots are no longer disposed of. Louise supports Just One Tree campaign which encourages fund raising and tree planting as part of a wider initiative within schools fostering awareness within the next generation. She has also arranged for the distribution of eco-friendly period packs to raise awareness of these products in schools and to open up the conversation with younger girls regarding these products. Louise sews old t-shirts into re-usable carrier bags to be used by Olio and other organisations.
Louise continually encourages others through her social media activity, gained many supporters and change many people’s lifestyles to make massive improvements to the island, its environment and its residents.
Runner Up – Karen Gallichan
An inspiration to all women, her great determination to succeed is matched by her depth of compassion for autistic people and their families in Jersey. As a member, former trustee and latterly Boutique Manager for Autism Jersey, she has helped to create a special place where parents, grandparents, friends and family can pop in to a safe space to talk about how autism impacts their lives. Karen offers a listening ear and practical support and reassurance from a parent’s perspective.
In 2016, Karen decided to train to swim the English Channel to raise £10K to fund a bursary that could be awarded to young adults with autism to help them fulfil their potential. In 2019 she completed her challenged taking 19 hours and 44 minutes, the first ten hours in the dark, raising £13K for her bursary which she has aptly named ‘Channel your Dreams.’ It is already making a positive difference to the lives of autistic islanders. Karen has committed herself wholeheartedly to improving the lives of autistic islanders. Her dedication and passion is quite incredible.
3rd Finalist – Lorna Pirozzolo
Lorna is founder of Cancer.je an online directory of support for cancer patients, their friends and families. She is co-founder of Jersey Recovery College, is part of the Jersey Cancer Support Network and was involved in Jersey’s Cancer Strategy.
Whilst fighting her own cancer battle, she realised many islanders were not aware of the support available to them. Lorna funds the running of the website herself. She never complains and her nominee believes she is the strongest women you will ever meet. She works tirelessly, to help others on their journey despite what she is going through herself, a most inspiring woman.
The judging panel consisting of Rozelle Sutherland, Founder of JWR, Committee member, Mary Le Gresley, Terry Morel, Hon. Head of Fund Raising, JWR 3rd party supporters, Jean-Marie Gavey and Jean Dale, Joint Presidents of Soroptimist International Jersey who launched this award many years ago in partnership with Jersey Women’s Refuge.