Inclusion Triumphs Once Again at UK’s Largest Diversity Awards
Scissor Sister favourite Ana Matronic joined forces with TV presenter Brian Dowling to host The National Diversity Awards on 08th September.
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 exceptional commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion.
Leading up the ceremony, Ana Matronic said “I’m thrilled to be back in Liverpool, a city I love, handing out the National Diversity Awards & celebrating a cause I’m devoted to. Congratulations to all the nominees representing the change this world needs, and best of luck to all!’
A record 22,000 nominations and votes were received this year, paying tribute to grass root communities nationwide.
Microsoft and Direct Line Group were named joint headline sponsors alongside a host of brands supporting positive role models, community organisations and entrepreneurs from the LGBT, ethnic minority, age, gender, religion and disability communities.
Other sponsors included the British Army, Financial Ombudsman Service, MI5, Lush Spa Liverpool, GCHQ, The Open University, The Voice Newspaper & Able Magazine.
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, “We have to be realistic about the amount of work that needs to be done for true inclusivity to take effect. The National Diversity Awards is a big step towards this happening and in helping to recognise selfless pioneers & heroes that are fighting to dispel the notion that inclusion and diversity doesn’t work.
If there is ever a time for people to band together to fight for justice, it is now. Discrimination is discrimination, no matter what background you come from. If enough people come together to influence change then change can happen.”
The Voice UK winner Mo Adeniran presented the first award of the night to 12 year old Joshua Beckford, a child prodigy who is recognised internationally in over 90 countries for his extraordinary educational achievements.
Body Builder James Sutliff was next to receive a gong in the positive role model category, using his impressive social media following to highlight the neurological dysfunction disorder Dystonia.
H&M’s first hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi gifted groundbreaking children’s book author Robyn Smart the gender accolade, and Trans*formation co-founder Emma Cusdin was named LGBT role model of the year for creating the UK’s largest professional networking organisation.
Bafta Award winning actor Adam Deacon awarded Career Nuggets creator Morenike Ajayi the positive role model award for race, faith and religion, whilst Coralie Rose scooped the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award for using real and underrepresented people in commercial campaigns through her innovative company Road Casting.
Another highlight of the evening came when the Last Leg Star Adam Hills (pictured right) accepted the Celebrity of the Year Award, and Hollyoaks stars Ross Adams and Parry Glasspool presented the Diverse Company Award to the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Childhood Tumour Trust were commended for raising awareness of Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), and Reluctantly Brave was hailed by professional boxer Natasha Jonas for training young people to become strategists.
Men Tell Health were applauded for being the only men-specific mental health organisation in the region of Teesside, and ELOP were praised for supporting thousands of LGBT people across East London.
Caribbean Social Forum beat seven other competitors for the Race, Faith & Religion category, and Activ8 Fitness Camp emerged as the winner of the Community Organisation Award (Multi-strand) presented by former WBO champion Johnny Nelson.
After decades of supporting thousands of people with learning disabilities through the art of dance, Avril Hitman BEM received the prestigious lifetime achiever award.
A list of tremendous achievements were recognised by judges, including Avril’s determination to challenge perceptions surrounding disability and impacting on the wider world of dance, health and education.
MD Productions, three times semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent and local Liverpool dance group wowed the audience with an energetic performance portraying a powerful message. The Voice UK winner, Mo Adeniran also showcased his sensational vocals filling the dance floor with a wave of uplifted faces.
Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA’s are supported by the likes of Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry and Katie Piper amongst many.
Talk show legend Graham Norton said “’Promoting and celebrating diversity is close to my heart, which is why I am thrilled to support The National Diversity Awards! Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees, you all deserve to win!”
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.
Congratulations to all our National Diversity Awards 2017 Winners.
Adam Hills & Alex Brooker