Bereaved Rugby mums nominated for Inspirational Women Awards - The Rugby Observer

Bereaved Rugby mums nominated for Inspirational Women Awards

Rugby Editorial 26th Jan, 2023   0

INSPIRATIONAL Rugby women who suffered tragedy have been named among the finalists in the fifth Ladies First Network Business and Inspirational Women Awards.

Representing the town in the Woman Of Courage and Achieves For Charity categories are Naomi Issitt and Ceri Amphlett.

Naomi launched the Our Jay Foundation in memory of her 18-year-old son Jamie, who died suddenly following a cardiac arrest on New Year’s Day last year. Since then she has raised more than £50,000 and installed 37 life-saving defibrillators across the town.

The charity also offers CPR training events and guidance and has recently launched an information app.

Naomi said: “I was overwhelmed to learn I had been named as a finalist. It’s not really me that’s courageous though, it’s Jamie. It’s because of his bravery and what he was like as a boy and I’m really just his voice now.

“Jamie’s death was the most painful shock that any of us could ever feel. He was my right arm.

“The only way I can even try and get through the days is to work for him and keep on making sure that his face is seen and his name is said and that things change, because he deserved so much better. I know he would be proud of that.”

Ceri Amphlett established Remember Rufus with her husband after the stillbirth of their son in 2020.

The charity helps parents of children who are born sleeping or who die soon after birth by providing cuddle cots to NHS trusts, nursing teams and palliative care departments across England and Wales.

It is also currently raising funds to improve bereavement care in the maternity department of UHCW through the provision of a specific bereavement suite in the maternity department.

Nominees from Rugby also include Andrea Lennard of Pure Pegasus in the New Business category, and Libby Wilson in the Inspirational Woman category.

Libby established The Old Rectory Nursery in Rugby eight years ago after overcoming a series of setbacks including dyslexia and ADHD.

Libby, who is also up for an Achieves In Education award, said: “I changed schools seven times and didn’t pass any exams. After my GCSE results I was asked to leave school as it was felt I wouldn’t be able to cope with A level learning. Thankfully Montessori training and learning was the perfect fit for me.

“The most important thing for me is that winning this award would be an opportunity for others struggling to be inspired and show that, with hard work and dedication, you really can achieve anything you set your mind to – and also for others to understand the difficulties of dyslexia.”

Entrants have been selected from nearly 300 nominations by a panel of judges from across the UK.

The finalists will be invited to an independent judging day at Metropolis in Coventry before the awards ceremony hosted by radio and TV presenter Sandra Godley at Coombe Abbey Hotel, on March 23.

Tracey McAtamney, who forms the Ladies First leadership team with Sandra, said: “This is our fifth awards and it always amazes me the incredible amount of talented, inspirational women out there. At Ladies First we take pride in celebrating all women, whether working from home or CEO of a major company.

“We also honour those who have been through terrible situations and respond by setting up charities or community interest companies to help others.”

Sandra Godley said: “Thank you for every single nomination. There is so much to celebrate about ordinary people doing extraordinary things in our communities, both here locally and abroad.”

Visit for more on the Our Jay Foundation, and for more on Remember Rufus.


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