SPARKLING wine, spectacular cakes and a warm welcome were all on the menu for the 2019 Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year finalists when they met up ahead of the big night.

World-changing women Elaine Wyllie, founder of the Daily Mile; Corinne Hutton; homelessness activist and Invisible Cities founder Zakia Moulaoui, Pauline Moriarty and Sarah Martins Da Silva, plus Young SWOTY contenders Mari-Ann Ganson, Corrie Shepherd and Razannah Hussain were guests of honour at the informal ‘tea party’ hosted by event partner St Enoch in the delicious surroundings of Kimble’s café and chocolate shop.

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Vicki McCarthy, who founded Reach for Autism in Greenock, plus YoungSWOTY contenders Holly Gillibrand, who is a climate change activist, champion fundraiser Molly Cuddihy and app pioneer Ellora James, who is jointly nominated with Mari-Ann, were unable to make it but are looking forward to meeting their fellow finalists at the glittering final in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel on March 26.

The event is held in association with St Enoch Centre and supported by Grand Central Hotel, Scottish Passenger Agents Association, Mackay & Inglis and Jones Whyte LLP.

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At last night’s party, the finalists joined friends and family, St Enoch General Manager Anne Ledgerwood, Glasgow Times editor Callum Baird and Herald and Times Editor-in-Chief Donald Martin for a glass of fizz, fancy cakes and chocolates and the chance to get to know each other before the grand final.

Leading gynaecologist and infertility expert Sarah said: “It is a real honour to be nominated alongside these incredible women - their stories are amazing.”

Read more: Meet the Young SWOTY superstars

Corinne, who set up charity Finding Your Feet following a quadruple amputation after she suffered pneumonia and sepsis, said: “Getting the chance to meet everyone before the awards dinner, and to bring friends and family along, is fantastic.”

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Her son Rory, 11, added: “I’m really proud of my mum.”

Aisha Hussain, whose sister Razannah is one of the Young SWOTY finalists, said: “We are all really proud of Razannah - she is amazing.”

Pauline, who set up the charity Beautiful Inside and Out following her daughter’s death, said: “None of us do what we do for awards or recognition but it’s very touching to know that we have this wonderful support.”

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Entertainment on the night was provided by classical guitarist Carmen Farfan, who is in her third year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Donald Martin said: “The Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year event is a fabulous occasion, full of warmth and emotion."

Read more: SWOTY 2019 finalists revealed

“Tonight is a chance to get to know these remarkable women before the big night - they are all very worthy, inspirational finalists.”

Anne Ledgerwood said: “We are delighted to welcome so many of our fantastic finalists here tonight, to recognise their achievements and to help them celebrate together ahead of the awards dinner.

“You are all now part of this wonderful SWOTY family.”