Celebrating the achievements of inspiring young women

Melissa Day, from Ipswich

Melissa Day, from Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Ipswich businesswoman Melissa Day has been nominated - and shortlisted - for a national Women of the Future Award.

Pinky Lilani
MD Spice Magic

Pinky Lilani MD Spice Magic EA BUSINESS SUPP EADT 22 11 05

Ipswich businesswoman Melissa Day has been nominated - and shortlisted - for a national Women of the Future Award.

This national programme, designed to celebrate the success of women in many different fields and activities, has now been going 11 years.

This year the national awards will be announced, and presented, at the London Hilton on Park Lane, on November 16.

These awards are designed to recognize inspirational young women of the future, in a wide range of categories.

Melissa has been nominated in the community category.

In addition to running her own beauty business, Niroshini Cosmetic Acupuncture, Melissa, from Ipswich, is involved in charitable and community work.

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She is founder of Ipswich Town of Sanctuary and also raises funds to help improve education for poor children in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka.

Melissa said: “I am really pleased and proud to be nominated, and to be short-listed too

“It is a very big event with people coming from all over the country and some flying in from abroad.

“There are a lot of different categories, such as science and technology, and business.

“I was invited up to Aviva, in London, to be interviewed - on the 23rd floor of their building. You could see the Gherkin next to it. It was amazing.

“I am there for community service, for my work with the Ipswich Town of Sanctuary and the Tea Leaf Trust (working in Sri Lanka).

“So I am really pleased to be involved.

“I think it is a really good thing; it encourages and acknowledges the work of young women in such a wide range of areas.

“I hope it will continue to encourage young people.

“It is very positive scheme, encouraging and nurturing.”

She has also been asked, ahead of the award night, to join the Women of the Future Ambassadors programme, which is sponsored by the Lloyds Bank Programme.

Melissa organised a public meeting in 2008 to explore making Ipswich a Town of Sanctuary, and started the organisation in March 2009.

It gets involved in a variety of important schemes to help make Ipswich a more welcoming town for incomers and arrivals, including refugees

One project that currently runs is English classes for non-native English speakers, which are held at St John’s URC Church.

Melissa also goes out to give presentations about Ipswich Town of Sanctuary to school groups, from primary school to secondary schools and 6th form, when she is asked.

Her fundraising for education in Sri Lanka, where she was born, has also been a big success.

“I have raised £8,500 so far,” she said.

Initially her target was to buy a second hand school bus to help a school teaching tea plantation children.

But her story, and fundraising, has brought publicity for the cause for Tea Leaf Vision in this country and abroad.

It is possible her money, with other donations, will help buy a brand new school bus instead, which would be of greater use to the charity.

The Women of the Future Awards were founded in 2006, to recognize and encourage young female talent making strides in the business world.

Pinky Lilani is founder and chairman of Women Of The Future.

She said: “We created the Women of the Future Awards in 2006 and it has become an incredibly powerful and exciting venture. Young women are shaping the future of Britain with immense energy dedication and flair. These awards recognise the sparkling younger generation of talent in Britain today.”