Press Release

The 2022 National Diversity Awards

Celebrities Applaud Britain’s Diverse Heroes


Katie Price, Christine McGuinness, and Dame Kelly Holmes celebrate the Best of British Diversity at the 11th annual National Diversity Awards.


The UK’s largest diversity awards in association with ITV News took place on Friday 16th September at the breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. A number of special guests stepped out in support of the incredible role models and community organisations who have changed the lives of so many.


Hosted by actress and comedian Nina Wadia OBE, the prestigious ceremony included a headline set from R&B music icon Lemar, as well as appearances from TV personalist Christine McGuinness and headline dominator Katie Price.


“I am delighted to be hosting such a fantastic and important event.” Said Nina Wadia. “It’s great to meet all the nominees and recognise their hard work and efforts in facing the challenges of today’s society.”


ITV News have been working in conjunction with organisers leading up to the ceremony to highlight shortlisted nominees on regional and national news channels. The awards, which was also live streamed, has been described as the ‘golden globes of the diversity world’ among attendees.


In addition to real life diversity heroes, a number of special guests made an appearance at the UK’s largest diversity awards to show their support for the incredible nominees who have changed the lives of many including soap stars Ash Palmisciano, Shelley King and Annie Wallace.


United Utilities and Direct Line Group were amongst some of the brands sponsoring the pioneering awards that have paid tribute to over one thousand grass root charities and diversity champions since its inception. Other companies shining a light on diverse talent included The British Army, The Open University, Auto Trader, OVO Group, Kantar, MI5, MI6, GCHQ, Lush Spa, Avast Foundation and Rathbones.


A record-breaking 75,000 people nominated this year alone with 126 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide. The evening kicked off with a minute’s silence, paying tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, followed by founder of the NDA's Paul Sesay, discussing the importance of the National Diversity Awards.


“What began as a simple idea back in 2011 has now become a diverse family of thousands of people from all across the UK”. Said Mr Sesay. “I continue to be extremely proud of everyone involved and remain humbled by the astonishing work that is being carried out by individuals residing from grass root communities who effectively inspire, encourage, and uplift others to achieve unbelievable accomplishments.”


Taking home one of the big gongs of the night, one of the most recognisable names in British sport Col Dame Kelly Holmes MBE was the recipient of the Celebrity of the Year Award for helping to guide disadvantaged young people through the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. In June this year Dame Kelly publicly came out as gay, in a powerful documentary called Kelly Holmes: Being Me and explains how after 34 years she finally feels free to be her authentic self.


The first positive role model award of the night went to Melissa Grace McComas, whose campaign to raise awareness of Angelman Syndrome has led to national press appearances, support from Ryan Reynolds, and garnered over 27 thousand twitter followers.


Katie & Harvey Price were next to present Sebbie Hall with the positive role model disability category for completing random acts of kindness every day for over 2 years, making 2,000 strangers smile and raising £44,000 for charity.


The gender accolade was gifted to Gamal Turawa, the Met Police's first openly gay black officer and the protagonist of the 2022 BAFTA winning Best British Short film, ‘The Black Cop’.


The UK’s first openly transgender rapper Nate Ethan Watson was named LGBT role model of the year, whilst History teacher Josh Preye Garry was awarded the positive role model for race, faith and religion for driving the conversation around black history.


Generation Success Founder James Adeleke scooped the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award for helping over 10,000 young people through mentoring, training and recruitment. Another highlight of the evening came when Amberleigh Care accepted the Community Organisation Award for providing specialist therapeutic care and education to over 100 vulnerable young males, who have gone through trauma in their early lives.


NatWest Group were presented with the Diverse Company Award, and The LUNA Project were hailed for supporting young people with disabilities through friendship, workshops, and vital resources.


Steph’s Place were commended for providing a voice for the UK Transgender & Non-Binary Community, and Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) were applauded for working with more than 10,000 victims and survivors of domestic abuse across Yorkshire each year.


GIN UK (LGBTQIA Indian Network) beat seven other competitors for connecting 1,400 LGBTQIA community members of Indian & South Asian Heritage through events and support groups. Furthermore, Bradford 4 Better emerged as winners of the Multi-Strand category in aid of creating a citizen led community action movement to empower the residents of Bradford to make positive changes.


CEO of the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity, Dr Tony Lloyd, received the prestigious lifetime achiever award with a list of tremendous achievements by judges for being a pioneering advocate for neurodiverse paradigm in health, education, and business in the UK. 


Local community dance group Movema wowed the audience with an energetic performance, and the ceremony concluded with singing sensation Lemar filling the grand Cathedral with his stunning vocals. Designed to highlight the country's most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA's are supported by the likes of Graham Norton, Stephen Fry and Meera Syal.


The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker, said: “If ever there was a time to unite and celebrate the best of British diversity, it is now. It’s so important to recognise the achievements of role models and community organisations across the UK and provide a platform to vital causes that don’t receive the praise that they deserve.”


The UK’s grandest celebration of diversity was a tremendous occasion, and even more special to celebrate 11 years of rewarding those who do not seek thanks or praise but no doubt have an immense impact on people’s lives across communities nationwide.


Activist Katie Piper and Paralympic Gold Medallist Danny Crates were on this year’s judging panel, dedicating their time to help choose the highly anticipated shortlist.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Positive Role Model for Age:

Melissa Grace McComas

Positive Role Model for Disability:

Sebbie Hall

Positive Role Model for Gender:

Gamal Turawa

Positive Role Model for LGBT:

Nate Ethan Watson

Positive Role Model for Race, Faith & Religion:

Josh Preye Garry

Community Organisation Award for Age:

Amberleigh Care

Community Organisation Award for Disability:

The LUNA Project

Community Organisation Award for Gender:

Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS)

Community Organisation Award for LGBT:

Steph’s Place

Community Organisation Award for Race, Faith & Religion:

GIN UK (LGBTQIA Indian Network)

Community Organisation Award for Multi-strand:

Bradford 4 Better

Entrepreneur of Excellence:

James Adeleke

Celebrity of the Year:

Col Dame Kelly Holmes MBE

Diverse Company:

NatWest Group

Lifetime Achiever:

Dr Tony Lloyd