MORE than 20 women will be waiting with bated breath today to find out if they are Bury’s Woman Of The Year 2012.

The winner will be announced during a ceremony held this afternoon at Bolholt Country Park Hotel, in Walshaw Road, Bury.

There are also awards for the winners of three categories — carer, volunteer and business/professional/entrepreneur.

The ceremony, organised in aid of Bury Hospice, celebrates women across the borough who go above and beyond the call of duty. They could be a devoted foster parent, dedicated volunteer or exceptional businesswoman who has made a real difference.

Last year’s winner was Frances Halligan, a volunteer who used her experiences to help other people.

She took early retirement from her career as a teacher when she faced mental health problems and became a volunteer to show her gratitude for her own recovery.

A civic reception was held at Bury Town Hall last Thursday, where the 22 nominees met the judges and the Mayor Of Bury, Councillor Joan Grimshaw.

The judges have now made their decisions and the winners will be named after lunch a nd a speech by Sheila Dibnah, widow of well-known Bolton steeplejack, Fred.

The candidates for Bury Woman Of The Year, and a brief summary of why they were nominated, are listed below: Barbara Cohen, from Prestwich – volunteer Barbara has been a dedicated community worker for decades. Her community work involves the uplift of young ladies and patients in The Christie hospital, who can pamper themselves with make-up, wigs and nail care. Two years ago, Barbara pioneered Jewish Women’s Help Line, to help those in distress.

Trudie Barres, from Prestwich – volunteer Trudie is a very long-serving member of Child Line, where she recently received an award when Esther Rantzen came especially to Manchester to present it to her. Trudie is also a stalwart of the Heathlands Nursing Home tea bar.

Bernice Barr, from Prestwich – volunteer For 40 years, Bernice chaired one group of the League of Jewish Women, who are directed to hospitals, homes, schools and prisons to give extra strengths and care to every denomination. She also chairs the Friendship Club at Gan Eden, which is a very large sheltered housing complex.

Gaynor Hayton, from Bury – carer Gaynor cares for her son Adam, who has cerebral palsy and who has had surgery to reconstruct his hip after dislocating it. After surgery, Adam became very ill and Gaynor cared for him day and night and was his one-to-one carer.

Denise Middleton, from Bury – volunteer and carer Denise raised tens of thousands of pounds through tireless hard work to help save Unsworth Junior Football Club, culminating in the virtual rebuild of the clubhouse with state-of-the-art changing rooms, a shop, games area and a kitchen.

Julie Parton, from Bury – volunteer She works at Bury Cancer Support Centre as a therapist/manager, and also undertakes fundraising for the charity.

Helen Macklin, from Bury – volunteer Helen has been involved with amateur football for many years, and together with her husband, is heavily involved with Unsworth Junior Football Club where she is secretary and has seen the club grow to over 20 teams, ranging from under six to open age teams.

Geeta Sarin, from Whitefield – volunteer Depsite several health setbacks, Geeta has become vice chairman of the ‘B16 in mental health’ group. She has also set up a website on sexual abuse awareness, Edwina Rosenberg, from Prestwich – carer Edwina has been going to St Philip’s RC Primary School, Salford, for the past 23 years to help the less able children, and for 28 years, has visited Heathlands Home to care for and provide comfort to those in need.

Ria Jones, from Bury – carer Ria has a seven-year-old daughter named Poppy who has cerebral palsy. Ria learned two years ago about a surgery in the USA, which was not available in the UK but would enable Poppy to walk. Ria set out with a very small team of people to raise more than £40,000 to make this possible.

Dorothy Shenton, from Bury – carer For over 30 years, she has given her love and care to more than 100 babies and young children. She is known to many as Auntie Dot. Dorothy is now 75 years old and still fostering.

Emma Treen, from Tottington – business/professional/entrepreneur At 28-years-old, Emma runs a small home-based company with her brother and husband. They opened the doors in November 2011 and opened their first shop in Ramsbottom in August 2012, excelling in customer service and satisfaction by being available on the phone 24 hours a day.

Hayley Kempton, from Tottington – carer Hayley is a senior carer at Abbeywood Residential Home in Tottington. She is the end of life champion and has recently completed the Six Steps To Success Programme for end of life care.

Yvonne Wright, from Ramsbottom – volunteer and business/professional/entrepreneur Yvonne is a Bury councillor for the Tottington ward, and is a volunteer for the Blind Society for Bury, the Deaf Society, and is also chairman of Pets In Need, Tottington. She also set up a fashion shop in Ramsbottom and later created Bolton Street Business Club.

Barbara Jack, from Radcliffe – business/professional/entrepreneur Barbara co-founded Early Break in 1994 and has managed and steered its growth into a locally and nationally recognised organisation.

She has been chief executive and company secretary at Early Break since 1997.

Ann Rimmer, from Ramsbottom – business/professional/entrepreneur Ann has grown Clock Creative over the past 13 years to become the specialist B2B branding and communication agency, this year achieving record growth.

Jackie Barcock, from Bury – business/professional/entrepreneur Jackie and her co-director operate the Property Search (PSG) Franchise office based in Bolton Road, Bury. She is the operations director and driving force behind the survival and continued success of the small business. Her office was voted the PSG Franchisees’ Franchisee in September 2012 by her colleagues and peers at their annual conference.

Emma Morris, from Ramsbottom – business/professional/entrepreneur Emma runs the Chocolate Cafe in Ramsbottom. Together with her husband, Paul, the couple currently employ 15 staff and produce around 100 different flavours of chocolate bars. They are now planning to invest £350,000 in a chocolate factory which will create up to 20 extra jobs.

Harriet Clarke and Joan McMahon, both from Radcliffe – volunteer Joan and Harriet are volunteers with Jigsaw Link, a one-to-one befriending project for older disabled people who are socially-isolated and lonely. They are also the mainstay of the Jigsaw Link weekly luncheon club and help on group outings. In addition, they are also involved with Contact The Elderly and once a month take older people who live alone to Sunday tea with host families.

Wendy Wray, from Bury – business/professional/entrepreneur Wendy is the owner of Delicious Catering and recently took over the cafe in the Fusilier Museum, Bury, using only fresh locally-sourced produce and ingredients, supporting many local suppliers.

Zara Morris – carer Zara has been caring for her ill mother for many years and has had to put her own career on hold. She goes to all her appointments and has received a commendation award by Chief Constable Peter Fahy for her bravery when stopping a petrol station robbery on her way to taking her mother to St Mary’s Hospital.