HELLO! magazine hosted its first live HELLO! Star Mum awards on Thursday at London’s Dorchester Hotel, aptly held on International Women’s Day. The event was attended by over 80 famous faces and inspirational women and six awards were presented, recognising a diverse range of women - famous and not - who have given so selflessly to their families and society - mothers who really are superheroes.
HELLO! Editor-in-Chief Rosie Nixon, who hosted the awards alongside broadcaster and presenter Kate Silverton said: “There was barely a dry-eye in the room, as we heard the extraordinary stories of these incredible mothers, from all walks of life and backgrounds. The aim of these awards is not to ‘pit mothers against each other’ to decide who is best, but to shine a spotlight on those who may have had it tough; those who may not realise how special they are and who might rarely have been told what a fantastic job they are doing. I feel so passionately about the importance of this – on International Women’s Day, and just ahead of Mothering Sunday – and I am proud that our inaugural event went so brilliantly.”
The winners celebrated with pink champagne from Lanson
Winner of the Celebrity Inspiration award, Katie Piper said: “It’s the HELLO! Star Mum awards and also International Women’s Day and for me, it’s a real representation of what women can do when they support each other, stick together and become louder as one voice, rather than being isolated. There were lots of brilliant women in the room and the best part has been listening to everybody’s stories.”
Winner of the Raising Awareness award, Hibo Wardere said: “As mums you keep working hard, doing your normal job and being a mum, which is the hardest job on Earth. Being recognised for all those things; this is the most amazing, rewarding award I have ever been given in my life. I am so privileged and grateful for that.”
Winner of the HELLO! Star Mum Awards, Lisa Wells said: “No matter how bad things are, there is always something positive in your day and it is wonderful that my girls will have these pictures and videos to look back at…The support I have had today has been really overwhelming.”
The full list of winners are:
The Special Recognition Award: Doreen Clarke
This award recognised mums who have “had it tougher than most”, who have faced the most challenging of circumstances - and come through. Doreen's story is an example of a mother never giving up. Doreen's son Malachi was taken into care due to the violence Doreen was facing at home. She travelled vast distances to see him in the various placements he was allocated to - allowing Doreen to hold on to the hope that one day she and her son would be reunited. The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families does incredible work helping parents who have faced hardship and are struggling to parent their children in the way that they would like, and with the help of the Anna Freud Family school, Malachi is now not only home with her but he has started secondary school and is doing really well.
Campaigner Mum: Alison Baum
Alison Baum was a science producer at the BBC when she had two sons who were born with significant health problems. She decided to leave her job to devote herself to radically improving the health of young children across the UK, establishing the charity Best Beginnings, with a vision to give every child in the UK the best start in life. Since it was established in 2006, Best Beginnings has created many innovative evidence-based resources, including the free award-winning Baby Buddy App that guides parents and parents-to-be through pregnancy, birth, parenting and beyond. Along the way, Alison has amassed a strong support network – and in 2016 Best Beginnings was chosen as one of the eight Heads Together charity partners, the mental health campaign being spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Mumpreneur: Jo Tutchener-Sharp
In 2015, mother of two Jo Tutchener-Sharp went to the doctor having developed a spasm in her face and a raging headache. What was at first put down to stress turned out to be a brain haemorrhage. Jo ended up undergoing six hours of life saving surgery – which meant leaving her precious sons, then aged one and three, for a lengthy stay in hospital.
Lying in her hospital bed, her heart knotted with worry about how they were coping without her, she had a “lightbulb moment”. Jo determined that, should she recover, she would make something to give children a sense of security when they needed it most, so that they would know they were not alone - that ‘a superhero had their backs’… and thus clothing line Scamp and Dude was born. Now a successful company, boasting Liberty and Harrods as stockists, Jo also shares profits with children’s charities.
The Raising Awareness Award: Hibo Wardere
Hibo Wardere is an associate of Orchid Project, an organisation that aims to stop the practice of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) globally. Through sharing her own experience of being a victim of this practice as a young girl in Somalia, at the age of six, Hibo has done so much to educate and raise awareness about the issue. Hibo speaks at events, universities, schools and hospitals and in 2016 her memoir, Cut: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM Britain Today, was published to wide acclaim.
Hibo has worked as an FGC Community Mediator within a specialist team designed to combat violence against women and girls. In this role, she was responsible for engaging with communities in Essex to raise awareness of FGC – its legalities, along with its psychological and physical impact. Most recently, Hibo supported the London Metropolitan Police, Border Force and the National Crime Agency with Operation Limelight, a government initiative aimed at preventing and detecting cases of FGC at Heathrow Airport. And she combines all of this with being a mother of seven, and she is particularly proud that one of her sons is now a doctor here in the UK.
Celebrity Inspiration Award: Katie Piper
Ten years ago this month, Katie Piper, then an aspiring model and TV presenter, was subjected to a cruel, devastating acid attack which changed her life forever. In 2009, the story of her battle to rebuild a life she once believed was over was told in the powerful documentary Katie: My Beautiful Face. That same year Katie established the Katie Piper Foundation, with the aim of creating a world where scars put no limit on a person’s potential to succeed, to improve the outcomes of surgery and to support burns survivors through treatment and beyond. It was just the start of a mission to make the world a more inclusive place for fellow survivors of trauma.
Now a married mother of two young daughters, Katie has just published her sixth book, From Mother to Daughter: The Things I'd Tell My Child, a gritty take on parenting books, combining moving autobiographical accounts with expert advice - compiled, with characteristic candour, with her mum Diane, who was also present today.
HELLO!’s Star Mum Award: Lisa Wells
Shortly after welcoming her second child last October - baby Saffia, a little sister for five-year-old Ava-Lily - Lisa Wells received the devastating news that she had Stage 4 bowel and liver cancer. The aches and pains that she had put down to the rigours of pregnancy had been warning signs. At the age of 31, this vibrant young mother was given between two and 12 months to live. Married to her childhood sweetheart Dan, who she has been with since she was 14, Lisa remains determined to leave her precious daughters a lasting legacy.
She has amassed an army of friends, family and supporters - #LisasArmyUK - whose support will help her girls through all the cherished milestones that she will miss: picking out their wedding dresses, celebrating their successes, taking the keys to their first homes. And this Sunday, on Mother’s Day, Lisa’s intrepid army will embark on a 12-mile March On Cancer, to raise money for the future of her girls and for the Dorothy House Hospice, near Bath, which provides support to the families of patients undergoing end of life care. “I want them to know their mum did all of this in their name,” Lisa says of her girls. “My legacy will not be filled with sadness, but joy, laughter and love.”