TO MARK International Women's Day, the Advertiser is celebrating the achievements and accomplishments of woman in the local area.

From activists to politicians to entrepreneurs who are each making their mark on the town, Andover has no shortage of inspiring women.

Here we showcase just a few of those sisters who are doing it for themselves.


Katie Piper

ACTIVIST Katie Piper is included the list for the most inspirational women in Andover for her work in activism for women.

The Andover celebrity shot to fame after she spoke out about her attack with acid in 2008 by her ex-boyfriend.

She said: “My mum is probably my biggest inspiration, she was always very strong and very hard working.

“It’s that attitude of whatever happens in your life, you don’t give up and keep going on, and anyone who has that attitude inspires me.”

Katie set up the Katie Piper Foundation in 2009 at the age of 25 as she was recovering from her burns in hospital.

She added: “When I came out of hospital it was Andover that I chose to come back to and lots of people in the town were very kind to me.

“Where it’s quite a small town everyone knows each other and supports each other and it’s quite a safe, friendly place.”

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Caroline Nokes

POLITICAL leader, Caroline Nokes started her successful parliamentary career during the 2010 general elections for Romsey and Southampton North.

Born and bred in Romsey, Nokes was originally a member of Test Valley Borough Council from 1999 until she was elected as MP in 2010.

Shortly after she was elected, Caroline injected herself into several different causes which were particularly important to her, including her active role in the Fathers4Justice campaign.

Following this, Caroline was recently elected as the chair of the Women and Equalities Committee last month.

She said: “I want to see a 50/50 representation of men and women in Parliament. This place has changed enormously since 2010, as the number of women has increased so has the culture improved.

“It is less like a boys prep school than it was in 2010 when I arrived but there is much further to go.”

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Linda Cheung

Linda Cheung left the world of banking to set up her own businesses, Cube Social and Intrapreneur Nation.

She’s also a board member of Enterprise M3, representing business across the region, as well as being an advisory board member of Vitaccess.

She said: “Sometimes I used to react negatively to being asked to speak as a female entrepreneur but now I have recognised that gender is just the beginning of it.

“I support diversity for the benefit of innovation.

“The greater the diversity, the more likely you will come up with a better approach.”

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Katherine Bird

KATHERINE Bird has lived in Andover for 20 years – nine of which have been served as a town and borough councillor.

She has worked tirelessly alongside various members of the local community to have a number of defibrillators installed throughout the town, is the chief organiser of the town’s annual A-Fest event and recently took on a new role at the Andover Charity Trustees.

But despite her work developing the town whilst in office, she admits she has also experienced inequality in the workplace.

She said: “I am very proud to be part of this town, but you don’t have to look very far to see examples of inequality of women in the workplace.

“Sometimes women have to fight harder than men to get their voices heard; and it is always worth doing it when you are fighting for something that you love.”

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Beverly Power

BAKING enthusiast, Beverly Power is one of Andover’s most successful business owners in the town with three separate businesses in the town.

Her most popular, The Travelling Cupcake, is a local favourite well-loved by residents who often visit the bakery on Andover High Street for her latest baked goods.

Speaking to the Advertiser, she said: “I have always been an entrepreneur from about the age of 10 when I was baking and selling fudge door-to-door in my hometown in South Africa.

“Nothing has ever been handed to us on a golden platter, it’s been blood, sweat and many tears. But without our community support we wouldn’t have a business.

“I’m hugely passionate about Andover and its potential in the future.”

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Nicola Burt Goodland

KNOWN as the nicest bus driver in town, Nicola frequently brightens the day of her passengers with her fun-loving banter and good conversations.

Before working for Stagecoach, Nicola cared for the elderly.

Her proud mum, Doreen said: “It broke her heart caring for the elderly, she couldn’t do it any more but now she drives the elderly all over. She is just a very happy, jolly person and is a very good mum and a good wife.”

She added: “Our parents loved us and we loved our children. There is just a lot of love in our family. They didn’t have a lot of material things growing up but that didn’t matter because it’s love that counts.”

She is so well-liked that colleagues put a photograph of her on the back of one of the buses in Andover.

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Iris Andersen

ACTIVE volunteer and full-time councillor, Iris Andersen, has been representing the town of Andover for nearly 10 years.

After raising her six children in the town, Iris pursued a career in politics to help those in need on a one-to-one basis.

She said: “We are fighters and to bring that to any political party can only be a good thing, we aren’’t living in a man’s world anymore. We have men who are wanting to stay at home while the women go to work.

“We should be encouraging women into politics, they’ve got a lot of inspiration to give but often they don’t think they’re good enough to go for it.”

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Georgina Roberts

SHOPPING enthusiast, Georgina Roberts has been trading in Andover for nearly 25 years and has established her brand to be one of Andover’s most popular independent businesses on the high street.

Speaking exclusively to the Advertiser, Georgina said: “Being an independent businesswoman has given me the freedom to make my own decisions as I am my own boss which I wouldn’t get anywhere else.

“Women are natural multi-taskers which really lends itself to being a successful entrepreneur because you can juggle more tasks whilst remaining calm in stressful situations.”

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