THE organisation Inspire Women Oldham has narrowly missed out on gongs at the National Diversity Awards.

Some 28,000 nominations were received for the awards and the Oldham group was shortlisted among the top eight gender organisations.

The achievement was described by Sally Bonnie, who founded the group and its Oldham town centre women's centre 10 years ago, as "incredible".

Up to 20 women from Inspire were present at the awards ceremony, which took place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

Sally said: "Inspire women are a community of women, creating meaningful change in some of the most difficult circumstances.

"They are discovering that wisdom and wealth resides in them, that they can invent solutions, their creativity showing that a different more inclusive world is possible.

"This approach has enabled women to become shapers and leaders, co-designing the development and delivery of a Women’s Centre that is based on a cooperative rather than hierarchical model."

She said that Inspire enables women from diverse backgrounds to come together, to create both a space and an organisation that celebrates individual journeys and gifts.

Sally continued: "We have seen first-hand the impact of sharing stories in a strength based way - women no longer feeling they are alone; learning, growing and recovering together; sharing stories of war, fleeing abuse, rape; losing children; life limiting illnesses; addiction etc; using their stories to develop innovative ways of enabling women to create new lives.

"In this space over 500 women have re-discovered their voice, changed the negative language used to describe them, become equal, free to pursue ideas, to shape & re-shape, to co-produce the organisation."