The Star Women Awards celebrity judges have whittled down the #hellotkindness nominees and now it's time for you to vote! HELLO!’s Star Women judging panel got together to whittle down the nominations for our Star Women Awards to a shortlist. Our judges – broadcaster Kate Silverton, HELLO!’s editor in chief Rosie Nixon, TV presenters Rochelle Humes, Vogue Williams and Saira Khan and public speaker Hibo Wardere, who campaigns against female genital mutilation – have gathered to consider the women put forward in the #Hellotokindness award. hello! readers will then be invited to vote for the woman they believe is most deserving. The Star Women Awards, in association with online childrenswear boutique Childrensalon, shine a light on women – famous and not – who inspire and empower others.
And over the past few weeks nominations have been flooding in. “It is really hard to judge these awards. It is very unfair that you ask us,” laughs Kate, who will also be hosting our glittering prize-giving lunch on 25 June. Drawing up the shortlists turns out to be a tricky business as the judges are moved by the stories of all the nominees. “I’m really glad I’m wearing waterproof mascara on the shoot today,” says mum of two Rosie. “The things that some people have to cope with in life really is heartbreaking The inaugural #HelloToKindness award recognises a woman who has done something extraordinarily kind or positive.
MORE: Meet our celebrity judging panel
Kate is abstaining from judging this category as she put forward a nominee. The award was set up in response to the success of our #HelloToKindness campaign against online negativity, which has won widespread support from famous faces including Sarah, Duchess of York, David and Victoria Beckham and singer Liam Payne. “Kindness is such a big thing to me,” says Rochelle, who has two daughters with her DJ husband Marvin. “I was at my daughter’s parents’ evening not long ago and her teacher said: ‘Above all, Alaia is a very, very kind little girl.’ I could feel my eyes watering and I was thinking: ‘Don’t cry at parents’ evening, it’s not very cool.’ But kindness is so important.
If we can raise the next generation to be kind, then I think we are winning.” Saira, who has a son and daughter with her husband Steve Hyde, also teaches the importance of kindness. “I have been trolled,” she says. “I have experienced people not being very nice to me. It is a terrible feeling when you put something out there on social media and you get a barrage of abuse back. Being kind in a world where you can be nasty at the push of a button is crucial. We must educate people and tell them that you can be kind at the push of a button instead.” Says Rosie: “Kindness is a very basic value really. It underpins everything that we have to offer as a society – ‘It’s cool to be kind,’ as the Duchess of Sussex has said. “We really think this award will be very special, celebrating a particularly kind act that deserves recognition.”
And now it’s time for you, our readers, to cast your vote. The winner of each category will be honoured at the star-studded awards ceremony at 30 Pavilion Road in the heart of London’s fashionable Knightsbridge and will win amazing prizes to boot. To vote, simply read the stories below then scroll down to where you can click your nominee.
In 2009, when she was 18, Sarah suffered a stroke that left her unable to walk, talk or swallow. After five months in hospital and rehab she was left with aphasia, a condition that has impaired her speech, reading and writing. Since then her mission has been to help other young people with brain injuries – her YouTube videos have had more than a million views and she now runs a support group – all the while striving for her goal of working in cancer medicine as a scientist. She was nominated by her mum Joanie.
After an illness left her unable to continue working as a speech therapist, Faye launched a business selling BearHug gift boxes designed to deliver all the comfort of a hug when you can’t be there in person. Kindness is at the core of everything the 29-year-old does, from campaigning for work opportunities for those with chronic illness to taking part in Government round-table discussions about accessible employment. Her motto is: “Always be a little kinder than necessary.”
Documentary maker Leslee campaigns to end violence against girls and women. After making the acclaimed 2015 documentary India’s Daughter she founded the global education initiative Think Equal, which aims to promote compassion, kindness and equality in schools. Leslee believes that social and emotional learning should be taught alongside numeracy and literacy to change mindsets, attitudes and behaviours in the early years, hoping to create a kinder, more compassionate and empathic world.
In 2012 Anna was awarded an OBE for her services to special needs education and autism. In 1999, frustrated after her sons Patrick and Angelo, who are both autistic, had been turned away from 25 mainstream schools, she set up Hillingdon Manor School in West London, which is now the largest school in Europe for children and young people with autism. She later founded the charity Anna Kennedy Online, which campaigns against bullying and promotes the benefits of dance and other performing arts.
Voting closes Midnight 16th June.