The impact of winning a Wise Women Award

Keep The Faith started hosting the Wise Women Awards alongside Wisdom for Women International in 2011. We speak to some of the previous recipients of a WWA, and how they felt about being recognised for their work.


Sonia Phillip won the Christian Leadership Award at the 2011 WWA for her work as Women’s ministry leader in the United Pentecostal Church. 

KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): What was your initial thought when you learnt you’d been nominated for a Wise Woman Award?

SONIA PHILLIP (SP): My initial thought was one of someone joking around, until I read the end of the email and saw the organiser’s name listed. True excitement set in, and I felt overwhelmed that someone appreciated the work I was involved with.

KTF: What was your response when you were announced winner of a WWA?

SP: I sat for a few seconds with my mouth open – I did not expect to get this Award. It was an amazing moment of joy and happiness mixed with nervousness.

KTF: How has your winning a WWA impacted you?

SP: It has motivated me to continue to do what I was doing, and become more appreciative to the Lord. I am also more focused on helping others to be achievers. I have had workshops where women have been encouraged to write books, and also one person has opened up her own nursery in the community.

KTF: What have you been up to since winning the Award?

SP: I was on Revelation TV to talk about the Award. I am still involved in ministry as the Women’s Leader over London & South of England in the United Pentecostal Church, and sit on the National Ladies’ Committee. I am the Dean of Apostolic Training Institute,  (a part-time Bible school), and serve in the community as Vice Chair of Goldsmith Community Association.

KTF: Why do you think an event like the WWA is necessary?

SP: It brings to the forefront women who you would not have otherwise heard about.

It is a prestigious occasion, where ordinary women feel special, and are truly appreciated and encouraged in doing what they love to do.


Carmen Anderson won the Woman in the Community Award at the 2012 Wise Women Awards for her work with the elderly in the London Borough of Harrow.


KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): What were your initial thoughts when you learnt that you had been nominated for a WWA?

CARMEN ANDERSON (CA): I was shocked, surprised and humbled that someone thought that I was deserving of a nomination. It brought tears to my eyes. I had never heard of WWA to be honest.

KTF: How did you feel being announced as a WWA winner?

CA: I was nervous, to say the least, and started to think what I would say. It was a humbling experience, especially after seeing the other women who had received awards for other categories. Whatever I do is from my heart – I don’t do it to be recognised.

KTF: How has winning the Award impacted you?

CA: Winning has not impacted me directly. However, it was encouraging to be recognised for my efforts, which has always been voluntary.

KTF: What have you been up to since winning the Award?

CA: I am still actively involved in my community work and in my local, district and national church. I have recently been assigned new responsibility for overseeing the Women’s department for five churches in my region for my church.

KTF: Lastly, why do you think an event like the WWA is necessary?

CA: There are a lot of women who are doing good things and are not being recognised and appreciated. It is encouraging to see positive women from different ages, backgrounds and cultures achieving and striving for excellence.


Lurine Cato won the Woman in Music Award at the 2012 Wise Women Awards for her ministry of music. 


KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): What were your initial thoughts when you learnt that you had been nominated for a WWA?

LURINE CATO (LC): Excited! It was my second nomination for an Award, so I must admit the possibilities of winning seemed far away for me.

KTF: How did you feel when you were announced as a WWA winner?

LC: I was so happy and nervous; first time winning an Award, all I wanted to do was thank God for the journey.

KTF: How has winning the Award impact your approach to your faith, work and ministry?

LC: I see winning a WWA as an opportunity to share my story. It was my faith in God and the love and prayers of family and close friends that got me here. Promoting Jesus Christ is what I love to do, plus helping people to believe that nothing is impossible – no matter your background or story.

KTF: What have you been up to since winning the Award?

LC: Well, since then I’ve won four more awards for music – including a MOBO Award. I just finished my own concert in January 2014, which was a success, and now I am completing my Album.

KTF:  Lastly, why do you think an event like the WWA is necessary?

LC:  Women naturally have a heart of love and care, so we find ourselves reaching out to others with or without money. We don’t do it to prove anything, but it’s encouraging to know that, without you knowing it, someone out there besides God can see what you’re doing or what you’ve achieved. Therefore, to be recognised is a bonus, and makes you want to push more.


Juliet Coley won the Woman in Community Award at the Wise Woman Awards in 2013 for leading the Everybody Dreams project, initiated by pupils of Gladesmore School in Tottenham, north London.

KEEP THE FAITH: What were your thoughts when you learnt you had been nominated for a WWA?

JULIET COLEY (JC): Wow! Really? Me? Then I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of pride, because the Award was not just about me but my school children and colleagues, who I had worked closely with on this community project.

KTF:  How did you feel when you learnt you were a winner at the WWA ceremony?

JC: I literally fell out of my bed. I had been discharged from hospital on the day of the ceremony, so my teenage children went in my place. When they messaged: ‘You WON, mummy!’, I flew out of my bed and started jumping around the room screaming, then realised I was on my own, so got back into bed and gave God thanks.

KTF:   How has winning the Award impacted your approach to your faith, work and ministry?

JC: Winning the Award was massive for me because, although I’ve been involved in many trailblazing initiatives, I had never personally won anything.  My work continues in the way it always has, but I am mindful others should have the opportunity to feel the joy I felt after winning a WWA, so it’s important for me to think about women doing brilliant things and nominate them.

KTF: What have you been up to since winning the award?

JC: I love young people, and I continue in my role as Senior Deputy Head at a secondary school in Tottenham. I made a documentary for YouTube about the project, and mention my WWA. I now sit on the board as a trustee of the Kiyan Prince Foundation, which supports youth vulnerable to crime.  I am also writing my debut novel, 39 Weeks, which is due to be published this year.

KTF:   Lastly, why do you think an event like the WWA is necessary?

JC: The WWA is an incredible event that inspires and uplifts a community by honouring incredibly ordinary women. An award is the last thing any Christian expects for the work that they do. The WWA is a fantastic vehicle to uplift, inspire and encourage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *