MORE than 1,000 women from all across the region have been nominated for this year’s West Country Women Awards and the finalists were announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at Devon’s Powderham Castle.

Attended by the Earl of Devon, the ‘tea and cake’ event celebrated and recognised those nominated in all fifteen of the categories and was also attended by most of the category sponsors.

Olympic medalist Sharron Davies stepped in as the judge for the category Women in Sport which is one of only three categories as yet unsponsored.

West Country Women Awards co-Director Tess Stuber said: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received for these awards and the astonishing, inspiring stories we are hearing from all across the region.

‘And that support comes too from our fabulous sponsors such as Headline Sponsors Plymouth City Bus who have already committed to two years on board with us.’

Alexis Bowater OBE, co-founder, said: ‘We set out to celebrate and recognise women all around the south west peninsular and within weeks of our launch more than a thousand people had received nominations and feedback in their inbox doing just that.

‘It’s been a tremendously difficult task for the judges to whittle down those numbers to the finalists due to the extremely high calibre of entries.

‘We are now really looking forward to the Grand Final on the first of December in Plymouth.’

Among those hoping for glory are Fiona Lee of Teignmouth’s Safeguarding Associates and Devon County Coucnil’s Ana Tereza da Silva Barbosa Richards.