Harpenden train campaigner celebrates being named 'most inspirational' woman
PUBLISHED: 15:58 10 June 2019
An event was held in Harpenden to celebrate campaigner Emily Ketchin being crowned the town's 'most inspirational' woman.
Emily, who is chair of Harpenden Commuters' Group, was named the winner of #sheinspires2019, organised by Harpenden photographer Penny Bird, for her work campaigning to improve the train service.
The search to find Harpenden's most inspirational woman was held in honour of International Women's Day, and Emily received six separate nominations and 60 per cent of the votes.
Emily's campaign work was celebrated at the Park Café where Harpenden resident Giles Croot spoke about her achievements.
These include leading the most supported petition in the history of St Albans district council, which called for effective action, giving evidence to the transport select committee in Parliament, and taking the campaign to the BBC, ITV, Channel Four and Five and Sky News.
Emily thanked everyone for their support, and said: "The impact of Thameslink's decision to reduce Harpenden trains by 30 per cent without consultation has had a hugely adverse effect not only on commuters and their places of work, but on our support network of family and local business - it's been a personal and financial blow for everyone and is not acceptable."
Other nominees for the award were reception teacher Kim Brougham, Cllr Mary Maynard, business owner Esther Hathorn and late MENCAP charity founder Judy Fryd CBE, represented by her granddaughter Elly Downes.
Care worker Janet Crawley, who was voted Harpenden's most inspirational woman in 2018, also attended the event to support this year's nominees.
Penny Bird said: "It has been such an honour to meet and work with Emily over the last few weeks. She is an amazing inspiration to me and all the people around her."