A new awards programme celebrating inspirational businesswomen from Sutton is open for nominations.

The Sutton Women Mean Business Awards, in association with Willmott Dixon, was launched on International Women's Day last March to highlight the achievements of working women in the borough.

The awards are open to women performing any role, whether they are whether they are corporate leaders managing businesses, young rising-star entrepreneurs, or front line service professionals, such as nurses, ambulance drivers, care home workers, police officers or firefighters.

Entry to the awards remains open until May 10. The eventual winners of the first awards programme will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony in September.

Sutton High School Head of STEM, Dr Orietta Bartalini was one of the first people to be nominated.

The school’s Head of Careers, Liz Berner, proposed the popular physics teacher for the Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) category for the way she enthuses pupils about science.

“With her energy, enthusiasm, sheer excitement with anything STEM, Dr B. inspires girls to learn, to want to find out more, to be curious and to be challenged,” Ms Berner said.

Dr Bartalini, who has now turned her nomination into an awards entry, said: “The engagement of the girls in STEM at Sutton High is a joy to see.

"Our most exciting project was where a team of Year 10 girls launched, tracked and recovered a helium balloon with an IPhone X dangling from it.

"The girls and myself had the time of our life.”

Another early awards nomination came in for Rescue Mums, made up of friends and young Sutton mums, Samantha Dalziel, Lucy Watkins and Hannah Manning, who spotted a need that their ‘home help service’ aims to fill.

Ms Manning said: “We were thrilled to be nominated for SWMB. We set up Rescue Mums in early 2017 to help people - to help those that work and don’t have time to maintain their own homes to the standard they would like, to help look after elderly parents and to take the pressure off new mums and dads.

"We also wanted to support mums who choose not to – or can’t - go back to full-time work by offering them a chance to earn money whilst working hours that suit them.

"These jobs are few and far between.”

The nine categories open for entry include: corporate leader, rising star, contribution to the community and business entrepreneur.

You can read more about some of the early awards entrants, and apply or enter, here: www.suttonwomenmeanbusiness.co.uk