TV Star Brian Dowling and ITV News Presenter Charlene White hosted the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards on September 18, 2015.
ROLE MODELS and charities were honoured nationwide at Friday’s ceremony at the breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, rewarding Britain’s most inspirational people for their fight against inequality.
Community heroes from across the UK gathered in the bustling city of Liverpool to celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated their outstanding devotion to diversity, equality and inclusion.
A record 20,000 nominations and votes were received this year, paying tribute to grass root communities nationwide. Microsoft were just one of the brands supporting a skyfall of diversity talent – positive role models, community organisations and businesses from the LGBT, ethnic minority, age, gender, religion and disability communities.
Other brands include PwC, Barclays, Kier Group, Liverpool City Council, Transport for London, Penna, Financial Ombudsman Service, MI5, The Army, Co-operative Funeralcare, The Open University and ThoughtWorks.
The energy in the room was an intrinsically positive one, with each nominee being extremely supportive of each other. The evening was kicked off by founder of the NDA’s Paul Sesay, discussing the importance of the National Diversity Awards and what inspired him to create the ceremony.
As passionately as ever, Sesay said, “The grassroots organisations that The National Diversity Awards recognise are pioneering amazing initiatives on equality diversity and inclusion; and we need to promote, empower, profile and acknowledge their extraordinary achievements.” The ceremony, without a doubt, delivered on that promise.
After decades of supporting disabled people through his organisation Microlink, Dr Nasser Siabi OBE was awarded the Lifetime Achiever Award by singing sensation Lemar.
A list of tremendous achievements were recognised by judges, including Nasser’s incredible feat of founding the largest independent supplier of Assistive Technology and disability related management solutions, improving the lives of over a quarter of a million individuals globally.
Another highlight of the evening came when 21 year-old Foster Focus Founder, Luke Rodgers was honoured with the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award. Guests were told of Luke’s courageous efforts in challenging the foster care system and empowering the voice of children into service improvement.
Venus Vs Mars actress Letitia Hector awarded Aurora New Dawn the Gender Community Organisation award, for their bold work with victims of violence and domestic abuse, whilst ‘My Transsexual Summer’ star Lewis Hancox gifted Megan Key, @TransGirlsCan campaigner, the Positive Role model Award for LGBT.
Britain’s most senior black lawyer in the UK pharmaceutical industry, Funke Abimbola scooped the Gender Positive Role Model award for impacting diversity across the sector.
Named 2015’s Age Community Organisation of the year, Include Me TOO were hailed as ‘a perfect example of a community organisation’ by TV star Philip Olivier, whilst Havering Dementia Action Alliance took the gong in the Disability category.
With support from national Cheerleaders, Result CIC were commended for uplifting those who feel marginalised and providing expert coaching to groups across Greater Manchester.
Bristol based radio station Ujima, were awarded in the Race, Faith & Religion category, and Trans Masculine Support & Advice UK collected the award in the LGBT category.
‘Your Future, Your Ambition’ founder Tunji Akintokun was applauded for inspiring over 3000 young people to pursue careers in STEM-based industries.
Despite being up against strong competition, Oliver Hellowell emerged as the winner of the Positive Role Model Award for Disability, and The Calico Group beat nine other competitors for the Diverse Company Award.
Britain’s favourite weatherman Alex Beresford awarded Merseyside Housing Champion Philip Leong with the Race, Faith and Religion accolade.
The night was wrapped up with stellar performances from Liverpool Dance Sensations MD Productions, and sensational Britain’s Got Talent Semi Finalists Revelation Avenue.
The National Diversity Awards was a real feel good ceremony, where each nominee had earned their right to be in attendance for their fantastic work in their specific community.
The Golden Globes of the diversity world was a wholeheartedness event refreshingly celebrated in such swanky style, that it was evident who were the stars of this show, the well-deserving, humble and extraordinary nominees.
The full list of winners are as follows:
Positive Role Model for Age: Tunji Akintokun
Positive Role Model for Disability: Oliver Hellowell
Positive Role Model for Gender: Funke Abimbola
Positive Role Model for LGBT: Megan Key
Positive Role Model for Race, Faith & Religion: Philip Leong
Entrepreneur of Excellence: Luke Rodgers – Foster Focus
Diverse Company: The Calico Group
Community Organisation Award for Age: Include Me Too
Community Organisation Award for Disability: Havering Dementia Action Alliance
Community Organisation Award for Gender: Aurora New Dawn
Community Organisation Award for LGBT: Trans Masculine Support & Advice UK
Community Organisation Award for Race, Faith & Religion: Ujima Radio
Community Organisation Award for Multi-strand: Result CIC
Lifetime Achiever: Dr Nasser Siabi OBE