Swizzels Celebrate International Women’s Day

It is fabulous to see the profile of International Women’s Day grow every year and it is great to hear stories from inspiring women and words of encouragement for young women and girls. I love the positive and powerful messages that the stem from the day. I remember feeling quite emotional at hearing some of the speakers at the first Manchester International Women’s Day event I attended- they had done so much worthwhile work and spoke with so much passion.

International Women’s Day will take place on Thursday 8th March and we asked some of the women at Swizzels to give their views on the women who have inspired them and to share their own messages to inspire young women.

Sarah-Louise Heslop – Marketing Manager

My message of inspiration would be, that everyone can make a difference and bring about change, even small steps are progress so don’t be daunted.

When thinking of inspirational women, one person who springs to mind is my friend Sissy Rooney who embodies everything that International Women’s Day is about. She has used her own experience to inspire and motivate young people to achieve their full potential. As well as being the founder of the Street Style Surgery, Sissy is now mum to Berry-Ann. Her energy and passion to help others are very inspiring and I have loved watching her career develop and to celebrating her many awards with her. Here is her story…

Sissy is a 41 year old fashion designer who was born in Toxteth Liverpool, she was told by a careers teacher at school that she wouldn’t amount to much, maybe a sewing machinist in a factory if she was lucky, she quickly became disengaged, fell in with the wrong crowd and left school with no qualifications, but through a chance intervention from her ex textiles teacher she turned her life around and got back on the educational ladder.

Today she is the proud founder of the award winning educational company the Street Style Surgery which has been delivering workshops to young people for the past 11 years. Sissy has also launched the SSS Foundation to work with people who can feel social isolated and excluded from our society such as sufferers of domestic violence and people who suffer with mental health problems.

The SSS has now become a well-known provider of inspirational creative workshops in the UK. They give young people an opportunity to be exposed to a vast array of creative subjects from personal development to fashion designing, music production to film-making to business and enterprise workshops to name just a few and to tell each and every individual that they can be whatever they want to be and that anything is possible if you put your heart and mind in to it.

Watch this little film to find out exactly what Street Style Surgery is about.

The aim of the SSS team of practitioners is to not only pass on their skills but to inspire and encourage all the young people they work with while raising confidence levels and self esteem.

The Street Style Surgery strives to promote pride, innovation, creativity confidence and entrepreneurship within the youth of today through inspiring and engaging workshops.

Press coverage – Liverpool Echo Jan 2015

I am feeling really inspired by International Women’s day as women across the globe will celebrate the achievements of women through history and the barriers they have broken down to get there and how we can work together to achieve future goals.
Message of inspiration: women can do anything but we need to use our combined voices to silence those who say we can’t.  Believe in you, believe in the next woman.

My influential women;
Growing up I was in awe of my gran, Audrey.  She was a self-taught whizz with numbers despite little schooling opportunity, doing accounts for the family business. Community was really important to her, she was always helping others, baking for charity coffee mornings, shopping for older neighbours, fundraising. She always said if you work hard you can do anything you want; she taught me to work hard, believe in myself and to help others less fortunate, I hope to pass that on to my daughter and her friends.

Clare Lynch – Swizzels Brand Manager

It’s International Women’s Day but you don’t have to look far and wide to find inspirational women. Who else could be a better inspiration for me than the woman who brought me up, educated me and worked hard to put a smile on face? My Mum!

She inspires me because she is such a tough cookie. When times have been rough she has picked herself up and soldiered on and I think that is a life lesson for anyone. Having recently become a Mum myself, I can truly appreciate the years of unconditional love and support my Mum has given me and it inspires me to give back to my son, especially learning to have patience and to give him the freedom to become his own person. She is the most generous, kind and thoughtful person I know, a daily role model of how I can aspire to be a better person.

For me the small efforts of women should be celebrated alongside the big publicised achievements. So I would like to dedicate today to all women out there, who are silently devoting themselves to making a better life for their families whilst juggling the demands of life and work.

Emma Herring – Swizzels Brand Manager

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