CHILD abuse campaigner Sammy Woodhouse has been nominated for a prestigious award recognising those who made significant and lasting contributions to society.
The mother-of-two is among 15 nominees for the Kate Granger award for outstanding contribution at the Yorkshire Choice Awards 2019.
A public vote is open until March 1 and winners will be announced the following month.
Jordan Mangnall (below), who runs Moorgate aromatherapy shop Jaded Heart, is shortlisted for businesswoman of the year.
Her shop is also up for best independent business, while mum and colleague Tracey Mangnall is in the running in the best customer service category.
Sammy said it was a “lovely surprise” to find out she had been nominated.
“I still don’t know who nominated me,” she said. “It’s nice to be recognised for how much hard work I’ve put in and know that people appreciate it.”
She added: “This is the highest award of the night you can receive.”
Sammy waived her anonymity as a child sexual exploitation victim in March 2017 — a year after Arshid Hussain was jailed for 35 years for a catalogue of abuse against her and nine other girls.
Since going public, Sammy has kick-started several campaigns, spoken at more than 300 events and released her book, Just A Child, last year.
She now hopes to release a school-friendly version of her memoir to help teach youngsters about CSE.
The 33-year-old said her two sons were very proud of her latest nomination and she was now more open with them about her work.
“I used to try and hide things from them, but they love it,” she said.
“My son was asked to write an essay at school on an inspirational person, there was a list of people to choose from, but he wrote about me instead.
“I didn’t even know until I went to his parents’ evening. It was so lovely, really emotional.”
Also nominated in the outstanding contribution category are Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson and Sheffield domestic abuse campaigner Claire Throssell, whose two sons were murdered by their father in 2014.
Sammy picked up her first solo award for her campaigning efforts last year with the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize — beating nine other women who were also shortlisted for their work against male violence.
Her focus for the start of this year is continuing her work on Sammy’s Law, which calls on the Government to pardon people who received criminal records as a result of childhood exploitation.
Another focus for her in 2019 is the family court system, which she brought the spotlight on last month after revealing Rotherham Borough Council had given her abuser the chance to apply for rights over her son.
The council insisted it had been acting within the law — which led Sammy to call for an amendment to the Children’s Act which would ban any male with a child conceived by rape from applying for access or rights.
Sammy said she had told council leader Chris Read and chief executive Sharon Kemp, during a meeting last month, that she felt the council had hidden behind the guidelines during the uproar.
But she was clear it was the “whole system” that needed to change, not just the council.
To vote for Sammy, Jordan and Tracey, visit www.yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk/votehere.
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