Paralympic star and 7/7 survivor Martine Wright has been named the Vitalise Woman of Achievement 2012 at a gala award ceremony today.
Martine received the illustrious award in recognition of her inspirational achievements in overcoming the horrific loss of both her legs in the 7/7 terrorist bombings of 2005 to rebuild her life and compete at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Martine competed in the sitting volleyball event at the Games. She is the latest in a succession of Vitalise Women of Achievement to compete in the 2012 Paralympics. The two former winners of the award were wheelchair tennis medallist Lucy Shuker and hand cycling medallist Karen Darke.
Internationally renowned fashion designer Karen Millen was the keynote speaker at the 30th annual Vitalise Women of the Year luncheon and awards ceremony.
The gala event was in support of disability charity Vitalise, and, for the first time in 2012, the charities Alzheimer’s Research UK and Marie Curie’s Big Build appeal. Proceeds from the event will be divided between the three charities. Over the previous 29 years, the awards have raised nearly £500,000 for Vitalise.
Vitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds said: “At Vitalise we always focus on what people with disabilities can do, not what they can’t, and Martine is a fantastic example of that life-affirming attitude. Her courage and determination in overcoming a terrible personal tragedy in order to rebuild her life, culminating in her appearance for Team GB in the London Paralympics, serves as an inspiration to us all. We salute her indomitable spirit.”
The Vitalise Business Woman of the Year Award went to Emma Elston, who co-founded the UK’s first ever waste container refurbishment company, UK Container Maintenance, in 1998 and built the company up from scratch. She now employs 80 people and has offices in Cheshire and Essex, with an office in Scotland to be added this year.
The Vitalise Women of the Year Awards honour women’s outstanding individual achievement in all professions. In addition to the Vitalise Woman of Achievement Award, the Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year Award recognises outstanding achievement in the sphere of business and provides positive role models to encourage other women to enter the business arena.
Vitalise is a national charity providing essential services for disabled people and carers. Vitalise provides short breaks for disabled people and carers, with 24-hour nursing care on-call and personal support, at three accessible Centres in Essex, Southampton and Southport. All of Vitalise’s Centres offer a wide range of activities and excursions. For more information visit www.vitalise.org.uk
About Alzheimer’s Research UK
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading charity specialising in finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia. There are 820,000 people across the UK living with dementia today, with numbers forecast to rise substantially in the next generation. The charity relies on donations to fund its vital dementia research. For more information visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org
About Marie Curie’s Big Build appeal
Marie Curie needs to provide more terminally ill people with the high-quality care they deserve in their community, at the end of their lives. The charity’s BIG build appeal needs to raise a further £3million to build a new Hospice for the West Midlands. The money will help provide care in the hospice itself and for people across the region who want to remain in their own homes. As well as providing in-patient care the hospice will also offer patients diagnosed with cancer and other terminal illnesses the chance to participate in group activities and have individual appointments before returning home each day. The new Marie Curie Hospice will support hundreds more patients and their loved ones with high quality care in a comfortable environment. For more information visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/bigbuild