Wendy Mills and Joy Whitworth - Woman of Rochdale 2014 joint winners

Date published: 09 May 2014


For the first time in its history, the Woman of Rochdale title has been awarded to two outstanding women.

At the Woman of Rochdale luncheon held this afternoon (Friday 9 May) friends Wendy Mills and Joy Whitworth were given the prestigious title.

Wendy was nominated for the award for her endless charity work for The GEM Appeal.

Joy was nominated for her charity work over the past 19 years.

Wendy is known as one of the chief fundraisers for the charity, which was set up by Karen Johnson to fund research into incurable genetic and metabolic disorders in children.

So far she has helped to raise over £2 million for the GEM appeal. She has organised charity football matches, sponsored walks and walks up mountains to raise money for the people of Rochdale.

On a personal note, Wendy helped and supported close friend Joy whilst she battled cancer and has helped to support her niece after her diagnosis with Cystic Fibrosis.

Her nomination form described her as a “genuine woman of Rochdale who is one of Rochdale’s greatest ambassadors.”

Upon receiving the award, Wendy said: “This is the icing on the cake. If it was going to happen, I am glad we got it together because we truly are a double act.”

Joy Whitworth and Wendy Mills - Woman of Rochdale joint winners
Joy Whitworth and Wendy Mills - Woman of Rochdale joint winners

As well as raising money for Springhill Hospice, Marie Curie, Breast Cancer Care, Rochdale schools and North Manchester Burns unit, Joy is also known for working with the GEM Appeal and is constantly organising events and giving her time voluntarily to the organisation.

She has completed the Great Manchester Run numerous times as well as two Great North Runs and countless Race for Life events.

Joy has also battled cancer and was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago. Whilst undergoing chemotherapy treatment, she completed one of her many Manchester runs claiming “it helped her in her fight to beat the disease.”

All proceeds from the luncheon are donated to Springhill Hospice.

Sarah Ford, Alison McGuigan and Lillie Winterbottom from Springhill Hospice
Sarah Ford, Alison McGuigan and Lillie Winterbottom from Springhill Hospice

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