Mandy Burrows Award: Meet our 2024 nominees

June 2024

Congratulations to all of our wonderful nominees, who have been put forward for our 2024 Mandy Burrows memorial award for making an outstanding contribution to WAY over the past year.

Mandy Burrows was a WAY member who died at the age of just 30 in January 2014. Many members and friends donated money to a collection for WAY at her funeral and we decided that the best way to remember Mandy for many years to come was to use these funds for a memorial award. 

Read more about wonderful nominees and why they have been nominated by fellow WAY members. The winner will be announced at WAY’s AGM in September.


Scott has been nominated for his work hosting WAY’s online pub quiz on Friday nights over the past four years, as well as volunteering in his local area and helping to host New Member Zooms.

"I like to think I have helped members by just understanding what they are going through from a personal perspective. I have been a widow now for nine years and struggled a lot before I joined WAY. Now, by hosting the quiz, I help people make friends so they can feel like they are just a normal person and maybe forget that they are a widow – even if it’s just for a few hours – with some light-hearted friendly banter."

Rebecca (previous Mandy Burrows Award winner)

Rebecca has been nominated for setting up a sub-group for WAY members people without children and for her work as a long-time volunteer for the local WAY group in Norfolk.

“Finding WAY made all the difference to me after being widowed, so giving back has been important to me… I started a sub group for WAYers without children to offer a safe space for members who don’t have children of their own to connect with others in the same boat. We have become the most amazing community, and always give the warmest welcome to new members.”


Orlanda, who is an Ambassador for WAY, was nominated for the Mandy Burrows Award in recognition of the work she has dedicated to the Blank Space campaign for birth certificate equality.

“The Blank Space campaign is very close to my heart – and hearing other women’s stories of the battles they faced to have their late partner recognised on their child’s birth certificate is humbling and often upsetting. But on the flip side I feel duty-bound to shine a light on it and to work towards change. It both saddens me and spurns me on.”


Ruba joined WAY in early 2022 to find other people who understand what she’s going through. She was nominated for the Mandy Burrows Award in recognition of her work for WAY’s Cultural Diversity Working Group.

“I got so much out of WAY events and Zooms that I wanted to give my time back to the WAY community, so I joined the Cultural Diversity Working Group as a volunteer. We work together to try and make sure WAY’s message gets across to anyone going through the tragedy of young partner loss, regardless of background. I’ve shared my story particularly as a young Muslim widow during times like Ramadan and Eid when partner loss is felt even more deeply. It is really humbling and valuable to know that this and our work in the Cultural Diversity Working Group has hopefully helped others from all backgrounds on their young widowhood journey.”


Ann has been nominated for the Mandy Burrows Award for her work as a local volunteer in her area, helping to re-energise the group and helping members connect.

“I love giving back to WAY and being an Area Contact has made it possible for me to meet the most amazing people that I’m now lucky enough to call my friends. When people first find WAY, they are often at their absolute lowest. It’s heartwarming to see first hand the difference that the support of others can make. 

If you’ve thought about volunteering some time to WAY I would absolutely recommend doing it. It’s so rewarding in so many ways. I like to think that something positive has come from the pain of losing my husband.” 


Selina, who is an Ambassador for WAY, runs a personal finance company called Black Girl Finance. She has been nominated for her work on WAY’s Diversity Working Group as well as for setting up a new subgroup for unmarried widows.

“My experience of using WAY’s services and now volunteering is that nothing is more powerful than sharing your lived experience with others. Grief is a taboo topic – and providing a space to listen to others and to also open up allows us to feel less alone. The cultural diversity works allows me to work with the team to highlight the experiences of those from diverse backgrounds. It also allows us to highlight that WAY is a place for everyone from all walks of life and background.” 


Kelly has been nominated for the Mandy Burrows Award for the number and variety of events she has created in her local area.

“I joined WAY just a few weeks after my hubby unexpectedly died of a DVT. I help arrange local events in Worcestershire. I found setting these up offered a great distraction from day-to-day life and gave me something to look forward to. I feel humbled a group of strangers can come together and offer care, support and understanding and new friendships are formed along the way.”


Charlotte has been nominated for continuously going out of her way to set up WAY events for WAVY members (those 35 and under when widowed), making sure others can get support.

"I stumbled into organising WAVY (widowed and very young) events when three summers ago a friend from the group was visiting near where I live and suggested we see if anyone else wanted to join us for dinner and a few drinks. That first event had 7 of us attend and from then it has grown to sometimes over 20! It’s often a nice mix of regulars and people new to the events and some who have been widowed a while and some much more recent."