NDA23 Winner Interview: Dave Moreton

31st January 2024

Positive Role Model Award: LGBT


A follower of Jesus for 50+ years, Dave Moreton, after spending five years in the RAF, in 1975 he was arrested and discharged after an investigation due to his sexuality. Feeling as though his sexuality was incompatible with his faith, Dave turned to prayer for guidance, eventually realising that he needed to accept himself for who he truly was. Playing an instrumental role in developing post-16 educational provision and support for students and young people with special educational needs, Dave has provided individual guidance to young people on a range of issues, including gender issues. Through his work at Oasis Open House Dave has created a safe and inclusive space where individuals can connect, share their experiences, and find support. His work has helped break down barriers and create more welcoming environments for LGBT+ individuals in religious communities.


Dave Moreton


We spoke with Dave Moreton after they won the Positive Role Model Award: LGBT at The National Diversity Awards 2023. Here’s what they had to say:


How did it feel when you received the email to advise that you had been nominated for a National Diversity Award?


When I first got the email about being nominated for a National Diversity Award, my reaction was a big, loud 'WHAT'! I thought it might be a scam or a prank from a mate. After checking it twice, like I was Santa or something, I realised it was real. Then I felt a bit chuffed, but also a bit like I was getting too big for my boots for feeling proud. But hey, it turns out people actually think I'm doing something good! So, I ended up feeling pretty grateful and happy about the whole thing.


After the excitement of the shortlist announcement and after patiently waiting for the final result, how did you feel when it was announced that you were the official winner of the Positive Role Model Award: LGBT?


Upon hearing my name announced as the official winner of the Positive Role Model Award: LGBT, I was engulfed in a sea of emotions. Initially, there was an overwhelming sense of disbelief. It felt as surreal as waking up to find you've slept through an important meeting. Then, a touch of embarrassment crept in, akin to accidentally waving at someone who wasn't actually waving at you.


However, this soon gave way to a burgeoning excitement, the kind you feel when you accomplish something you never thought possible. It was like finally nailing a recipe you've been trying to perfect for ages. The honour of the award brought a sense of pride mixed with a little humorous disbelief, much like finding an extra fiver in a coat pocket you haven't worn for ages.


In all honesty, it's a tremendous honour, and I'm extremely grateful. But there's still a part of me that half expects someone to say it's all a mix-up. It's an amazing feeling, yet there's still that small hint of incredulity that makes the whole experience feel a bit unreal.


You are officially a National Diversity Award Winner! Moving forward, how will you utilise this to further leverage your cause?


Winning the National Diversity Award is not just a feather in my cap, it's like having a whole peacock up there! It's an incredible opportunity to further leverage our cause, and here's how I plan to use it - with a dash of humour, of course.


First off, this award is like a megaphone in a library - it's bound to get people's attention. I'll use this newfound visibility to amplify our message, making sure it's heard far and wide, like a pop song that you just can't get out of your head.


Then there's the networking aspect. It's like being given the golden ticket to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, but instead of chocolate, it's connections with influential people and organisations. I'll be using these connections to cook up some collaborations that could really spice things up for our cause.


The credibility that comes with this award is like having a royal seal of approval. It's a big thumbs up to our efforts and will surely help in twisting a few arms (in the most gentle and persuasive way, of course) to get support and funding.


And last but not least, I want to use this platform to inspire and empower others. Think of it as passing on the baton in a relay race, but instead of a baton, it's a glittering wand of change and empowerment. I hope to show others in the community that their voices matter and change is not just possible, it's happening.


So, with this award, I plan to turn up the volume, make some new friends, wave my credibility wand, and sprinkle a bit of inspirational magic everywhere I go. Let the fun and games begin!


What were your thoughts on the National Diversity Awards Ceremony?


The National Diversity Awards Ceremony was an absolute spectacle, in the best way possible. It was like attending a grand ball where every guest is a hero in their own right. The atmosphere was electric – imagine a mix of the Oscars, a bit of the Royal Variety Performance, and a dash of a family reunion you actually want to be at!


The diversity and talent in the room were nothing short of inspiring. It felt like being in a mosaic where every piece was unique and vibrant, coming together to create something extraordinarily beautiful. There was this palpable sense of unity and shared purpose, akin to being on a team where everyone is rooting for each other.


The presentations were top-notch. They managed to strike the perfect balance between gravitas and entertainment, like a well-written sitcom that leaves you both thoughtful and chuckling. And the stories shared by the nominees and winners – oh, they were the real stars of the night. Each one was like a mini blockbuster film, filled with triumphs, challenges, and heartfelt moments.


The organisation of the event was like watching a well-oiled machine, or perhaps more fittingly, a beautifully choreographed dance. Everything seemed to flow seamlessly, from the red carpet arrivals to the final applause, making everyone feel like VIPs.


In summary, the National Diversity Awards Ceremony was a delightful blend of celebration, inspiration, and community. It was an evening where the spotlight shone on the true diversity and resilience of humanity, leaving everyone feeling a bit more hopeful and connected. It was a reminder that while we all come from different walks of life, when we come together, we create something truly spectacular.


Nominations for the National Diversity Awards 2024 are due to open early next year! What advice would you give to others who are thinking of entering the awards?


As nominations for the 2024 National Diversity Awards are on the horizon, here's some advice for those considering entering:


Believe in Your Story: Every nominee brings a unique story. Whether it's about overcoming personal challenges, making a significant impact in your community, or championing diversity and inclusion, your journey matters. Don't underestimate the power of your experiences. It's not just about grand achievements; it's the small, consistent efforts that often make the biggest difference.


Be Authentic: Authenticity is key. The judges are looking for genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion, not just a well-polished narrative. Share your successes, but also be open about the challenges and learning experiences. It's your authenticity that will resonate most.


Detail Your Impact: Be clear about the impact of your work. How have you contributed to promoting diversity and inclusion? Provide specific examples and, if possible, tangible results or testimonials. This could be in terms of changed perceptions, improved policies, or direct support to communities.


Engage Your Community: If you're nominated, involve your community. Often, the support and stories from those you've impacted can strengthen your nomination. Plus, it's a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the collective effort.


Prepare a Compelling Nomination: Your nomination is your chance to shine. Make it compelling, clear, and concise. Highlight your achievements and dedication to diversity and inclusion, but also let your personality come through. A well-written nomination can make a big difference.


Use the Platform Wisely: Remember, it's not just about winning. Being nominated or shortlisted provides a platform to raise awareness for your cause. Use this opportunity to network, share ideas, and spread your message further.


Embrace the Experience: Regardless of the outcome, being part of the National Diversity Awards is a rewarding experience. It's a chance to meet like-minded individuals, gain new perspectives, and be inspired. Enjoy the journey and the recognition of being nominated.


In essence, entering the National Diversity Awards is not just about seeking recognition; it's about celebrating diversity, sharing your journey, and inspiring others. Good luck!


Did receiving the award benefit you in anyway? If so, how?


Receiving the National Diversity Award had several significant benefits, both personally and for the cause I represent. Here's how it made a difference:


Enhanced Visibility: Winning the award significantly raised the profile of my work and the cause I champion. This increased visibility has helped in spreading our message to a wider audience and has brought more attention to the issues we are addressing.


Credibility and Validation: There's a certain level of credibility that comes with such a prestigious award. It's like a seal of approval that says, 'What you're doing is important and effective.' This has been invaluable in gaining the trust of potential partners and supporters. It has also been a morale booster for everyone involved in our projects, reinforcing that our efforts are recognised and valued.


Networking Opportunities: The award ceremony and the associated events provided fantastic networking opportunities. It was like being part of an exclusive club where every member is as passionate about diversity and inclusion as you are.


Personal Growth: On a personal level, the award has been a tremendous source of encouragement. It's reaffirmed my commitment to the cause and motivated me to continue pushing boundaries. The experience has also been a learning opportunity, offering insights into the work of others in the field, which has been both inspiring and enlightening.


Inspiring Others: Perhaps one of the most fulfilling aspects has been the ability to inspire others. The award is a testament that dedication to diversity and inclusion can lead to positive change. It's been heartening to see others motivated by this recognition to pursue their own efforts in promoting diversity.


In essence, receiving the National Diversity Award has been a catalyst for growth, providing increased visibility, credibility, networking opportunities, and funding, while also contributing to personal development and inspiring others. It's been a powerful affirmation that the work we do is impactful and necessary.


What have you been up to since September, any exciting developments you would like to tell our audience about?


Since September, it's been an adventure – expanding our reach, collaborating with amazing partners, engaging in public speaking, diving into research, influencing policies, and focusing on personal growth. It's been busy, but every step is another stride towards making a real difference. Those networking opportunities from the awards. Well, they've blossomed into some fantastic collaborations. It's a bit like forming a supergroup in the world of diversity and inclusion – bringing together the best of different worlds to create something even more impactful.


On a personal note, I've been investing time in my own growth and learning. It's like going back to school, but in subjects you're truly passionate about. This personal development has been essential in ensuring that I can lead our initiatives effectively and stay ahead of the curve.


Why do you think it is important to recognise role models and community organisations from underrepresented communities for their work?


Recognising role models and community organisations from underrepresented communities is vital for several key reasons:


Visibility and Representation: It's akin to shining a spotlight in a previously dimmed room. Recognising these individuals and groups grants visibility to communities that are often overlooked or marginalised. This visibility is crucial; it demonstrates that people from diverse backgrounds can achieve remarkable things, challenging stereotypes and broadening narratives around success and leadership.


Inspiration and Hope: Recognising role models is like sowing seeds of inspiration in a field of potential. It offers tangible examples of success and resilience for others to admire and emulate. For someone from an underrepresented community, seeing someone like them celebrated can be a powerful source of motivation and hope.


Empowerment and Validation: Awards and recognition act as a form of validation for the hard work and challenges faced by these individuals and organisations. It's like acknowledging, “Your struggles are real, your efforts are valued, and your achievements are worthy of celebration.” This validation can empower them to persevere and boosts their self-esteem and sense of belonging.


Education and Awareness: Highlighting the achievements of these role models and organisations educates the wider public about the unique challenges and contributions of underrepresented communities. It's like opening a new chapter in a book, enriching society’s collective understanding of diversity.


Encouraging Inclusivity and Diversity: Recognising these role models promotes inclusivity and encourages diversity across all sectors. It's about integrating a rich array of diverse experiences and perspectives into our communities, enhancing the societal fabric. Diversity is not just beneficial; it’s essential for a vibrant, dynamic, and innovative society.


Driving Change: These role models and organisations often lead change in their communities and beyond. By recognising them, we amplify their voice and impact, similar to giving a microphone to someone leading a movement. Their recognition can catalyse further change, creating a ripple effect that reaches well beyond their immediate community.


In essence, recognising role models and community organisations from underrepresented communities isn't just about handing out awards; it's about illuminating beacons of hope, opening doors of opportunity, and celebrating the rich diversity that strengthens the fabric of our society.