A woman who founded a company that helps people with brain injuries has won an award for her work throughout the Covid pandemic.

Karen Haworth, founder and innovative director at Brain Health Breakthrough CIC, won the She Inspires Women in Social Enterprise 2021 award for leading her organisation with clear vision, direction and creating more kindness in the world. 

Ms Haworth, from Darwen, has successfully led a small team through the pandemic, providing much needed online support to those with brain injury experience, long Covid symptoms and supporting unpaid carers. 

She said: "I was absolutely delighted to win. The competition was very strong this year and there were some incredible finalists.

"I’m very grateful for the nomination and it has meant so much to receive this award, especially as the delivery team and I are living with long-Covid ourselves. 

"It’s amazing to be recognized for the support we have given others whilst dealing with our own symptoms. 

"We are passionate about carrying on our model of peer support and looking forward to developing awareness campaigns next year to highlight the hidden disabilities and illness experienced by people with long-Covid and brain injury. 

"We have also been proud to support unpaid carers through the pandemic who deliver care without recognition.”

Now in its seventh year, the She Inspires Awards went international for 2021 with entries coming from countries from across the globe. 

The awards’ event was held at the Bolton Whites Hotel at the end of November, as well as online across the globe, with BBC North-West presenter Annabel Tiffin hosting. 

The awards’ organiser, Gulnaz Brennan, said: “The quality of the nominations has been really outstanding. 

"We have had 145 finalists in 18 categories and the job of the judges was particularly difficult. 

"They are a special way of recognising truly amazing women from around the world today and I’m very proud of their success.” 

Brain Health Breakthrough puts people who are ‘experts with lived experience’ at the heart of service design and will be launching a Wellness In The Workplace for employers in 2022 as well as long Covid peer support training for professionals.