Our Soraya Kelly, the Barry breast cancer survivor whose triumph over adversity tale led to the launch of a global charity, has been nominated for a national award.
She has beaten hundreds of worthy women to be placed in the final five of Hello magazine’s Star Mum Award, which honours mothers who, while raising their family, still find the time to help others in need.
And now she needs our terrific town to step up and support her by sharing the story far and wide, and casting your vote here.
The Star Mum Award also focuses on women who may have overcome remarkable personal challenges. And they look for entries that espouse compassion, empathy and strength, wisdom and kindness.
So, it’s easy to see why Soraya shone through. Known for her “vision and fighting attitude”, mum of four Soraya, 51, works tirelessly to divert young people in Wales away from drugs and violence, and support their mental health using sport, education and paid work or training.
Diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer three years ago, her campaign The ‘Gloves Are On’ initially just promoted early detection but her brave journey really caught the public’s imagination. This led to a number of new opportunities as she took the high profile initiative all around the country – with a particular focus on schools, youth centres, and young peoples’ sports facilities.
#TheGlovesAreOn (#TGAO) dedicated to providing a range of opportunities, education and support to children, young adults and their families on difficult and sensitive issues, gained official charity status in October 2019 – nearly two years to the day after Soraya was diagnosed with the potentially devastating disease.
Their health and wellbeing packages include support and advice on a range of issues that affect our youth. This includes, bullying and mental health issues, relationships and sexuality, gang culture and knife crime, bereavement and loss, exam and peer pressure, personal development and self-confidence
The Gloves Are On work with schools, organisations, businesses, and third sector organisations to deliver this support. Their core team, who act as Role Models, are supported by a number of credible and respected Ambassadors.
Find out about all their latest projects, and how to get involved here.
And then please cast your vote to give Soraya and the team the platform to do so much more work that really makes a difference.
Soraya said; “Since, the start of The Gloves Are On, we have had much success in helping our young people. We have made improvements in areas such as well-being, raised awareness on many social issues, and have broken down barriers with increased positivity on an individual and group youth basis.
Winning the Star Mum Award would be great for me personally, but, more importantly, it would give me the prefect platform and profile to deliver the much work that needs to be done – especially in this current unpredictable and anxious time.”
This year’s ceremony, the third Star Women awards, will be a digital event and will once again be hosted by broadcaster Kate Silverton, who will also offer commentary during video presentations to honour each winner.
I’ve pressed the red button for Barry.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
As Chair of #TheGlovesAreOn Sue promotes the work of the Charity, who are passionate about making a difference for our children and young people through education. And is also both LGBTQ Lead, and Communications Advisor, for the collective.