The outstanding Leeds women who made an impact in 2019
The Yorkshire Evening Post is all about championing those who champion Leeds - so here are just a few of the women who left a mark, smashed goals and just generally made a difference to their communities in 2019.
Becky co-founded and now directs Leeds Homeless Street Angels, a group of volunteers who head out into Leeds city centre every week to hand out hot and cold food, clean clothes and toiletries to anyone sleeping rough or living below the breadline. It also works with Leeds City Council in re-housing people to get them off the streets.
Homeless Street Angels was granted charity status in October this year, meaning anyone can donate online to help their cause,.
Through Becky's efforts, the charity has managed to provide hundreds of people who are homeless or living in poverty in Leeds with warmth, food, shelter and a friend to listen to.
Becky and her sister Shelley Joyce, who also co-founded the charity following the death of their sister Abi in 2017, work relentlessly and selflessly in spearheading projects to help the homeless.
The two launched their rucksack appeal last month, which saw people donate to buy rucksacks with gifts such as aftershave and perfume, chocolates and beauty products for people on the streets and in accommodation.
They also teamed up with Fiona Willis from fellow charity Street Paws to make doggy rucksacks as Christmas gifts for rough sleepers.
Becky and Shelley's efforts were praised by the likes of Lord Alan Sugar in February this year, when the businessman urged his Twitter followers to donate to their cause.
Artist Carry Franklin sadly passed away earlier this year, but has left a stunning legacy for the people of Leeds.
Carry, who passed away in June aged 47, two years after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, bought the joy of reading to the streets of Leeds in the form of the Little Free Libraries, black boxes dotted around various street corners across the city where people can leave books they have read for others to pick up and take home.
The Free Libraries have all been beautifully painted and have proved so popular, the idea has since been replicated in villages and towns across the country.
Carry, who lived in Burley, was involved in multiple projects, and has written a film, performed Shakespeare across the region with drama group Theatre of the Dales, and taught art in various schools in south Leeds as well as working with a youth theatre group.
Writing for the Guardian in August, Carry's partner Dave Bache described her as "a natural storyteller" who took on injustice "wherever she saw it" and embraced the news of her terminal illness "with courage".
Carry is survived by her daughter Shula and brother Shimon.
This is one woman who needs no introduction to the people of Leeds.
The two-time Olympic champion boxer announced her retirement from the sport exclusively in the YEP in November this year.
Described as the pride of Leeds, Nicola delivered a blow to patriarchal sporting traditions by becoming a household boxing name. Raised in Burmantofts, Nicola knew from a young age she wanted to box and went on to become the first woman to win gold at the London 2012 Olympics, then again in Rio four years later.
In a personal letter to the city, Nicola revealed she was retiring from the ring this year due to concerns about her future health.
She wrote: “I’m immensely honoured to have represented our country… But it’s not without taking its toll on my body, and aside from the expected aches and pains.
"I’ve been advised that any further impact to my eye would most likely lead to irreparable damage and permanent vision loss."
Pc Samantha Wood
West Yorkshire Police officer Sam Wood made headlines this year after going public with her breast cancer diagnosis.
Pc Wood first noticed something was wrong after getting a "slight ache" when putting on her uniform body armour for work.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, she said: "I thought I had just put a bit of weight on and my armour was a bit tight which is why it hurt a little.
"A couple of my friends had found lumps in their breasts a few years ago and they urged me to go see a doctor when we got back home just to be on the safe side so I arranged an appointment."
The 33-year-old, who is based at Wakefield, booked an appointment to get it checked out and was devastated to hear she had been tested positive for cancer in her left breast.
Instead of struggling with the diagnosis in silence, Pc Wood took to Twitter reminding her followers the importance of getting checked out, no matter how small patients may feel their concerns are.
Following an operation in July, Pc Wood received the all-clear after surgeons managed to remove the tumour and surrounding lymph nodes.
Lady Brenda Hale
Born in Leeds and raised in North Yorkshire, Lady Hale is the first woman to be appointed president of the Supreme Court.
The senior judge made headlines in September when the court ruled that Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue Parliament was unlawful.
A long-standing champion of diversity in her field, Lady Brenda Hale has spoken of her 'Yorkshire grit' which helped her resilience working in the judiciary, and has given talks this year on gender equality in the courts.
Lady Hale still lives permanently in Richmond, and has said she would love to see the land's highest courts sit in the North of England.
Leeds mum Rachael made news headlines earlier this month after a tweet she posted went viral.
The 21-year-old graduated from Leeds Trinity University with a degree in counselling psychology.
Rachael gave birth to her daughter Lily-Rose aged 15, and was kicked out of school after falling pregnant at 14. But one to defy the odds, Rachael has this year managed to carve out the beginning of a no-doubt successful career for herself. She graduated on December with Lily-Rose, now six, by her side.
Writing on Twitter, Rachael said: "When I found out I was pregnant with you at 14, I promised I would work non stop to give you the best childhood I could.
"7/8 education systems later, countless jobs and everything life could possibly throw at us.
"Today I graduated at 21 with my 6 year old by my side."
The tweet has since been shared and liked more than a quarter of a million times.
Rachael is also a MindMate ambassador and was nominated for the inspirational individual of the year at the Yorkshire Choice Awards.