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Who are Norfolk's 100 Most Inspiring Women? Here are 5 more nominees

PUBLISHED: 13:36 22 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 28 July 2019

Hollie Johnson and her sister Amy Toomey with two of their children

Hollie Johnson and her sister Amy Toomey with two of their children

Archant

More inspiring women of Norfolk in this week's round of nominees. Keep them coming!

Laura-Lou Fox NewbyLaura-Lou Fox Newby

The list for Norfolk's 100 most inspiring women is still growing so please keep sending your nominations in.

It is so uplifting to see so many Norfolk women being recognised by their communities.

If you would like to nominate somebody, please write to liz.nice@archant.co.uk, including a photograph of your nominee and 100 words to explain why your are nominating her.

A panel of experts and our sponsors, Norwich High School for Girls, BDO, Adnams, Birketts and Spire, will meet on August 13 to pick the final 100.

Jo DaffinJo Daffin

The women chosen will then be invited to a special dinner at Brasteds on October 10 to celebrate their achievements and the contribution they make to Norfolk life.

The closing date for nominations will be July 31.

This week's nominations are..

Founder of DevelopHER Vickie Allen  Picture: Tim Stephenson PhotographyFounder of DevelopHER Vickie Allen Picture: Tim Stephenson Photography

Hollie Johnson

Sister extraordinaire

I would like to nominate my sister Hollie Johnson.

Unlike lots of the other nominations I've read about, Hollie hasn't done a large scale project but without her I honestly don't know where we would be. She's a mum to three girls aged 13, eight and six. She's self employed and has trained hard to become a name for herself and works part time doing care work for an agency to ensure her girls can have all those extras and don't miss out.

Oa HackettOa Hackett

I myself have mental health problems and Hollie is my absolute rock; my entire support system. She makes sure my boys are looked after and fed etc. My youngest son is disabled and again Hollie has been the person who has been there at every step; every problem; every victory.

My son recently moved to a residential home as I am unable to meet his needs which has been very difficult - not once has Hollie broken down or shown her emotions in front of me as she wanted to make sure I was OK.

She's 100 per cent selfless and lives and breathes for her children and me and my sons.

She's my best friend, my sister and my absolute rock.

Nominated by: Amy Toomey

Laura-Lou Fox Newby

COO Thyngs, Ltd

The hard work and dedication Laura puts into doing her very best for both her job and her family make her an absolute inspiration to us all. Going to work full time whilst being a mother of two young children is not easy - but she uses every inch of her energy to make it work. Whether she has to pick up the children, walk the dog, take Harry to his hospital appointments - she will always find a way to work the best she can.

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Her assiduous and professional attitude along with her contagious and uplifting energy has led to many management job roles and a very loved colleague. When at ePosNow she went from department to department sorting out issues, building teams and moving onto the next bigger challenge which was ultimately Thyngs! COO is the most demanding job in any organisation and she thrives under pressure, gets the most out of the team, builds amazing rapport with all customers and partners all while being a mother to two young children. Although there are currently more men in the business, we hope to change this as we grow - Laura hopes to influence more woman into the industry.

Nominated by: Alice Page

Jo Daffin

Carer and bird of prey rescuer

I would like to nominate my dear friend Jo Daffin, who works as a carer by night and runs Phoenix Bird of Prey Rescue by day. Jo has always been dedicated to animals and her dream was always to run an animal sanctuary. She has worked as a carer for many years, and is a very good one. Despite such a demanding job, being made homeless and struggling with a bad back, she set up Phoenix as a registered charity and has been taking in injured and sick birds of prey, raising funds and educating public and students about these remarkable animals. She works closely with a vet in North Norfolk, and a high percentage of birds are made well and released where they were found. Jo is inspiring for her commitment, love of wildlife, dedication, compassion and fighting against heavy odds, and she is also a wonderful friend. You can find her website and see her work. She has marvellous volunteers who help to raise finds at country fairs, fetes and open days, and I think she really deserves a nomination.

Nominated by: Andrea Stainsby, Diss.

Vickie Allen

Founder of the DevelopHER Awards.

Vickie set up the DevelopHER Awards a few years back to recognise woman in the tech industry, to break from the gender divide and to inspiring the next generation to join them. Vickie has a great network and presence in the tech community within Norfolk, spreading across to Ipswich and Cambridge for her awards.

Vickie set these up in her spare time and makes no money from the awards, with it being sponsored by companies across Norfolk to make it happen. She is an outstanding role model, and helps highlight the opportunities and career choices for young women. Vickie has been nominated in her own awards many times but always removes herself, as she wants to recognise others, she is truly selfless and why I am nominating her in this awards,as she absolutely deserves this recognition.

Nominated by Cassie Bishop

Oa Hackett

Founder of littlelifts.

In 2017, Oa launched littlelifts.org.uk - a brand new charity, set up from scratch, which provides comfort boxes to women undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer across East Anglia. The concept of littlelifts came from her own personal experience of breast cancer and receiving chemotherapy treatment when she was just 28 years old in 2014.

For Oa, this was a scary time, with lots of uncertainty and an overwhelming sense of the unknown. Leading up to and during her treatment, Oa was fortunate to have a support network of friends and family - lifting those down days with a few little treats to relieve some of the side effects she experienced. The impact these small tokens had on Oa's wellbeing was huge, and so the concept of 'littlelifts' was born.

Oa's mission became one of making a small difference to women going through a similar experience to her own. Of course, understandably, a lot of people say they will give something back or contribute to good causes when they are going through hard times but once in recovery they often want to just get back to some kind of 'normal' life and put it all behind them. Not Oa Hackett! Despite ups and downs with her own health in the early months and years she remained determined to do what she now felt committed to. The littlelifts boxes are beautifully but simply designed and branded containing carefully curated items that will help women going through chemo cope that little bit better with the side effects - both mentally and physically.

Since the charity's launch, the feedback we've received has been overwhelming with no one anticipating the impact these boxes would have on the women we support. Without Oa, none of this would have been possible.

Oa, now 33 years old, is a wonderfully inspiring young woman who we would love to have recognised as one of Norfolk's finest!

Nominated by Ella A'Court-Wisbey

Please send your nominations to liz.nice@archant.co.uk
We will try to feature them all in future editions of the EDP.

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