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St Albans' founder of dance charity ActOne ArtsBase, Suzie Birchwood, to attend Women of the Year awards
A St Albans charity founder and dancer has been handpicked in recognition of her personal achievements to join 400 women from all walks of life at the Women of the Year Lunch.
Suzie Birchwood, founder of dance charity ActOne ArtsBase, will attend the awards ceremony which honours women’s incredible personal achievements.
The event aims to bring together more than 400 extraordinary women from all walks of life, all of whom have achieved something of significance.
Ms Birchwood is attending in celebration of her work founding charity ActOne ArtsBase which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012. She founded the project soon after being diagnosed with generalised dystonia, a neurological movement disorder.
She said: "I was immediately very excited when I received my invitation to the Women of the Year lunch, it was very unexpected when you consider all the amazing women out there.
"It is an incredible honour and I am so looking forward to it."
Ms Birchwood has been working with young people since attending dance college and says she found that the children she worked with were very accepting of her diagnosis, which inspired her to bring together disabled and non-disabled children and adults and create ActOne ArtsBase.
She said: "Immediately I saw an incredible impact on the young people’s confidence and cognitive functions. I particularly enjoyed seeing their progression as creative people; people with autism are often thought to be unimaginative but I found that working with creativity on their own terms yielded brilliant results."
She is now committed to providing training for young people because was concerned that young people with special needs could leave college at 18 with no further provision.
As well as running the college, she continues to dance with her company Arc Dance and is one of the five dancers.
The winners will be announced on Monday, October 14.
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