The National Diversity Awards 2015 Winners
Positive Role Model Awards

tunji-akintokunTunji Akintokun | Age

Founder and co-director of the innovative social enterprise ‘Your Future, Your Ambition,’ Tunji Akintokun inspires children and young adults from ethnically diverse backgrounds into studying STEM related subjects and pursuing careers in STEM-based industries, touching over 3000 school children and students since 2012. Growing up an orphan in the East End of London, it wasn’t until IBM visited Tunji's school for a career fair that he was inspired to pursue a career in technology. Understanding the importance of what encouraged him at a young age to reach for his dreams, Tunji's passion for mentoring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds has been truly phenomenal. This sustainable initiative continues to evolve to reach thousands of young people; Over the last 2 years YFYA has taken place at the Emirates Stadium with an average of nearly 700 children attending.


Oliver Hellowell | Disability

Oliver Hellowell is an 18 year old who loves skateboarding and has a business as a photographer - he also happens to have Down's syndrome. He was recently on the One Show and promotes positive and achievable expectations for all people with Down Syndrome. The transition into adulthood can bring many challenges, especially if you have a disability. Oliver's outlook on life and his ambition to succeed in his photography business is a joy and an inspiration - Not many young adults at 18 can say they have their own business. Oliver has embraced his passion and talent for photography, and has had the confidence and drive to create a company which is truly exceptional. With over a thousand nominations and some impeccable evidence, Oliver is a beacon. A shining example and marvellous role model for disabled people who wish to get barriers removed and achieve.


Funke Abimbola | Gender

Funke is a single mother and a practising solicitor now leading the UK & Ireland legal team of Roche, the world’s largest biotech company. She is currently the most senior black lawyer working in the UK pharmaceutical industry. Funke had to overcome significant obstacles in pursuing and progressing her legal career; when entering the legal profession 15 years ago, she was advised to be less ambitious as corporate law was “too competitive for a black woman”. Persistent and tenacious, Funke has embraced diversity in both her widely varied in-house activity and in her equally challenging voluntary work, making it her personal mission to promote diversity within the legal profession. This extraordinary individual mentors a number of female solicitors and as a recognised diversity champion within the UK legal industry, is having a phenomenal impact across the sector.


Megan Key | LGBT

Public Sector worker Megan has been an exemplary role model within the National Probation Service, moving from Probation Officer to Equalities Manager in the Midlands division, where she is now responsible for strategic design and delivery of equality and inclusion for service users and employees. Since choosing to live visibly as a transgender woman three years ago, Megan has been active in highlighting trans issues and promoting acceptance. The impact she’s had on the lives of trans people and members of other minority groups as a result is phenomenal. Dedicated to raising awareness at all levels and throughout the country, Megan volunteers as a trustee for Wolverhampton based charity Gender Matters, she works with schools in Birmingham to promote trans awareness, and represents her trades union at the TUC LGBT conference. An incredible role model who thoroughly deserves recognition.
Megan.


Philip Leong | Race, Faith & Religion

Housing is a crucial element in supporting health and well-being; recent legislative and financial changes have led to many challenges – particularly for minority ethnic-led housing associations. Philip has shown his extensive leadership skills in supporting Pine Court Housing Association as a board member since 2007 and Chair since 2011, in particular by empowering tenants, supporting staff and making bold changes which mean that PCHA is one of few BME housing associations nationally that is building new homes for the community. He is a role model for his persistence, perseverance and dedication to using his considerable skills in support of people in need from South East Asian communities and beyond. Philip has overseen the effective transformation of the organisation, ensuring they honour their original focus of helping those in need. In his last year as board member, Philip can be assured of a lasting legacy. 


Entrepreneur of Excellence Award

Luke Rodgers| Foster Focus

Luke is a care leaver and Founder of Foster Focus; an innovative organisation that provides training for young people that gives them the skills to conduct their own training workshops. Luke's journey is one of great courage and determination. As a child who grew up in a family of abuse and violence, Luke was moved into foster care after already attending 11 primary schools. Branded an under achiever and left to live independently from the age of 16, Luke set up an award winning social enterprise to make a difference to the lives of children in care and care leavers through youth participation. An inspirational speaker and passionate campaigner, Luke has worked tirelessly to develop sustainable organisational structures to involve and empower the voice of children into service improvement, creating a purposeful impact that will better the life chances of children in care.


Diverse Company Award

The Calico Group

The Calico Group is one of the largest employers in Lancashire, with a workforce that has grown from around 120 to 647 over the last five years. They provide a diverse range of services across a wide area of the North West, including but not limited to, traditional social housing to over 4,500 families, tenancy sustainment services to over 1000 vulnerable annually, two domestic violence women’s refuges; helping 691 women last year, and a Homeless hostel supporting 125 people last year. Calico go beyond legislation and meet their moral duty to respond to the wider social diversity within communities and the areas in which they operate. They promote and celebrate the positive effect that diversity has in the workplace and in their communities by ensuring everyone’s views are taken into account, and that the environment in which they work and live is truly inclusive.


Community Organisation Awards

Include Me TOO | Age

Include Me TOO is the only national charity supporting disabled children, young people and their families from BAME and other marginalised community backgrounds. IM2 supports and promotes social justice, equality and rights for all children and young people. They provide a range of support including peer support, befriending services, activities, holiday clubs, outreach, information and advice. Over the years the charity has been constant in working effectively locally and nationally at a grassroots and strategic level. This remarkable charity developed the first ever National Charter of Rights for Disabled Children and Young People. The Charter received support by many national charities and government departments. IM2 also supported disabled children and young people to write and produce the 'Show Me RESPECT' song, which has been extremely popular promoting disabled children and young people’s rights, inclusion and diversity.


Havering Dementia Action Alliance| Disability

Dementia is an often forgotten issue. The Havering Dementia Action Alliance, at two years old, is the largest Dementia Action Alliance in the country. There are over 70 members who embrace all sections of Havering. There are local authority departments, health banks, shops, transport, leisure facilities and charities. The Havering Dementia Action Alliance has achieved, and is still working towards many changes for people living with dementia. There are 52 trained Dementia Champions in the Borough, covering every care home and domiciliary care agency in this area. This extraordinary charity is making an immense difference to people in all aspects of their lives from accessing libraries, changing Human Resource policies at work to helping re-design a Crossrail station. With a huge number of nominations and some astounding evidence, the Havering Dementia Action Alliance demonstrates excellence in its field. 


Aurora New Dawn| Gender

Aurora New Dawn believe that violence against women and hidden violence are both the causes and consequences of gender inequality, and that ending violence is central to achieving a world where no one is limited by their sex or gender. This distinctive charity was founded in 2011 by a small group of women with over 30 years of collective experience working in the violence and abuse sector. The organisation was created in direct response to the public sector cuts threatening service provision to victims and survivors of violence and abuse. From the very beginning, victims and survivors were – and remain – their central priority. Because of this, their roots are found in feminist advocacy and activism, which question dominant cultural assumptions about gender, stereotypes about men and women, and the inevitability of violence. Aurora New Dawn have supported nearly 3,000 women.


Trans* Masculine Support & Advice UK | LGBT

Set up in 2011 to provide advice, guidance and support for those on the trans* masculine spectrum, TMSA-UK are a perfect example of a community organisation doing incredible work for the trans community. The NHS is very difficult to navigate for trans people. Unlike non-trans patients, trans people do not have the luxury of a guaranteed waiting time. Standard waiting time for London’s gender identity clinics is nearly two years, communication with GICs are slow, and often healthcare professionals are not as up to date as they should be on the protocols and duties necessary for trans people. This remarkable group provides anonymity and fellowship to over 1,000 trans masculine members throughout the UK. The essential services and support TMSA-UK provide to their growing members is unsurpassed, and we are delighted to honour their work.


Ujima Radio| Race, Faith & Religion

Ujima Radio 98FM has proven to be an outstanding community radio station based in central Bristol, primarily promoting African and Caribbean artistic, economic and community enhancement. During the day they run topical discussion programmes which reflect the concerns of the more disadvantaged residents of Bristol. These programmes have involved very high levels of participation from local people who could never expect to voice their concerns on mainstream or commercial radio stations. This phenomenal station has built a successful social enterprise to include radio broadcasting, media training, research, events and consultancy, specialising in multi-media projects aimed at young BME and disadvantaged people within the community. Ujima have a great track record of diversity whilst broadcasting to 25,000+ listeners on a weekly basis. A perfect example of a community organisation doing exceptional work!


Result CIC| Multi-Strand

Result CIC is led by three professional directors who each belong to some of the most marginalised communities in our society: e.g. living with impairments or backgrounds involved with hearing loss, mental illness, HIV, LGBT, immigrant to the UK. However, Andy, Hormoz and Jane are confidently different. This outstanding organisation provides expert coaching and training to people from minority groups across Greater Manchester, and use their own personal achievements and skills to stimulate people’s ambitions. They were commissioned by The University of Manchester to deliver a 3-day development programme specifically for their disabled staff. Due to its overwhelming success and exceptional impact on participants it ran again in 2015! Result CIC has made an outstanding contribution to various communities by inspiring a generation of employees to aspire to be who they are, regardless of barriers.


Lifetime Achiever Award

Dr Nasser Siabi OBE

Dr Nasser Siabi OBE has committed his life for the past 25 years to spreading the Inclusivity message and creating the basis for providing opportunities for disabled people. He is Founder of Microlink, the largest independent supplier of Assistive Technology and disability related management solutions, employing 40% disabled people and helping hundreds globally. Established in 1992, its pioneering services in Education, Public and Private Sectors have positioned the company as the most visionary and successful of its kind. Nasser developed a mass screening tool to identify needs and target solutions for disabilities, which has been successfully piloted in several schools across Cape Town, South Africa. Nasser is devoted to raising disability awareness, and beyond the remits of Microlink, is an individual that has dedicated his life and personal time to his vision.