OUR Mum of the Year competition is back for 2021 – and after one of the toughest years in history, we want to pay homage to the best mums in Britain.
During the pandemic they’ve been busy juggling childcare, homeschooling and work, with the added stress of worrying about the health of elderly relatives and vulnerable friends.
It’s never been a harder time to be a mum, so this year it’s even more important to honour the amazing women in our lives.
Nominate her for our Fabulous Mum Of The Year Award and she could win an overnight stay for two at a Champneys spa of her choice complete with a Gold package, which includes four relaxing treatments for the ultimate pampering experience.
Two runners-up will Champneys goodie bag worth £50 plus a £100 M&S voucher and £200 Nutmeg at Morrisons voucher, and all three mums will enjoy a makeover with our glam squad before taking part in a photo shoot for the magazine.
And you could win a £200 TU at Sainsbury’s voucher, £200 F&F at Tesco voucher or £250 to spend at Primark just for entering your mum!
Nobody knows quite how relentless the past year has been more than our judge, Good Morning Britain’s Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek has been in hospital since March after contracting Covid.
“I am honoured to be back on the judging panel,” says Kate. “Throughout what has been an incredibly hard year, I know there will be some exceptional mothers out there who deserve to be recognised for everything they do.”
As well as welcoming back Kate Garraway, our panel also again includes I’m A Celebrity! winner and mum of three Giovanna Fletcher.
They’ll be joined by Kate Ferdinand, who’s just become a new mum herself thanks to the arrival of baby Cree in December, as well as Strictly’s Ranvir Singh, to look through a shortlist of your entries before deciding on our winners.
Giovanna says: “The Fabulous Mum of the Year award is an incredible way to honour the amazing women in our lives. Being a mum is hard and sometimes we need to hear what a good job we’re doing. I can’t wait to see the entries!”
Ranvir adds: “This year, the sacrifices so many mums have made is incredibly inspiring, and I am full of admiration for each and every one of them.”
Last year’s winner – who our panel picked from more than 3,000 entries – was Jemma Lee Johnson, 58, from Canvey Island in Essex. She was nominated by her daughter Sammy Jay, 29, for her work helping young people who leave the care system.
Not only has Jemma brought up five children of her own as a single mum – Sammy and her siblings Rick, 40, Bradley, 38, Carrie-Ann, 34, and Tyler, 23 – and juggled childcare with a career in the NHS, but she’s also dedicated her life to fostering teenagers.
“Last year’s win couldn’t have come at a better time,” says Jemma. “I’d been feeling low after an injury meant I had to take early retirement from my NHS job with the ambulance service driving elderly people to hospital appointments.
“So when I found out I’d won I felt so proud, and I loved the fact it was my daughter who had nominated me.”
When she met her now-husband Stuart in 2004, they discussed fostering – something Jemma had always wanted to try but hadn’t had the space at home to do.
In 2007, after Rick and Bradley left home, the couple were approved to take part in the Supported Lodgings scheme, looking after teenagers aged 16-18 who had left care but needed help becoming independent.
“Teenagers coming out of care tend to be left to fend for themselves after the age of 16, so they aren’t armed with many life skills.
“My own kids were enthusiastic about us fostering, as they all enjoyed being part of a large family, and It just felt like we were extending ours,” says Jemma.
Kate Garraway, 53
The GMB presenter is mum to Darcey, 13, and Billy, 11.
Giovanna Fletcher, 35
The bestselling author and podcast host won I’m A Celebrity! and is mum to Buzz, six, Buddy, four, and Max, two.
Kate Ferdinand, 29
The fitness guru gave birth to son Cree in December and is stepmum to Lorenz, 14, Tate, 12, and Tia, nine.
Ranvir Singh, 43
The Strictly star is mum to eight-year-old Tushaan.
The family have taken in eight teens long-term, and several more on short-term placements, including asylum-seekers. “I love giving teens a place to call home,” Jemma explains.
“Of course, there have been challenges. They’ve often been let down and have issues with rejection, so it’s hard to build up a rapport. But it’s been worth it. Stuart and I got married in 2018, and I was so pleased when three of my foster children came.”
Jemma loved her photo shoot, which she says was a “real confidence boost”. “It was lovely to meet the runners-up on the day, and to feel I was part of the world again after my retirement,” she says. “And I feel closer than ever to Sammy as a result.”
How to enter
If you want to nominate a mum and give her the chance of winning a luxury break at Champneys, fill out the form below.
The deadline for entries is 11.59pm on February 14. The winner and two runners-up will be announced on March 14. We can’t wait to see your entries – good luck!
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