Community heroes were honoured at glittering ceremony for their commitment to equality
ROLE MODELS and charities across the UK were honoured at Britain’s largest diversity awards ceremony last week.
The heroes, who work closely with under-represented groups, were recognised at The National Diversity Awards in association with Microsoft for their hard work and commitment to equality and diversity.
After decades of supporting and representing people with disfigurements, CEO of Changing Faces James Partridge OBE was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award and was greeted with a standing ovation.
Partridge, who has spear-headed campaigns for social change and pushed for anti-discrimination protection, beat fellow nominee and LGBT campaigner Ben Summerskill OBE to the prestigious award, but the judges noted his significant contribution to transforming campaign group Stonewall into a highly respected registered charity.
Jessica Huie took home the entrepreneur of excellence award for race, faith & religion, for setting up the UK’s most successful multicultural Greeting Card and Gift Company.
Making history in 2007 as the first company to secure a presence for a black card range in the UK high-street, celebrities such as singers Estelle, JLS, Kelly Rowland and Ms Dynamite have all endorsed the cards.
Birmingham LGBT was named 2013’s Community Organisation for LGBT for their achievement in opening a health and wellbeing centre for their community in the heart of Britain’s second city.
And another unique organisation, UK Black Pride, which runs an annual celebration for gay and trans black and minority ethnic people in London, was also honoured.
Dave Thompson MBE was awarded in the disability category for founding Warrington Disability Partnership. His business employs over 40 people and, additionally, 200 individuals volunteer and help organise an annual disability awareness day that last year attracted 28,000 visitors.
After overcoming a traumatic childhood and addiction, Project manager Aaron Anderson made a positive impact turning a derelict piece of land into Burnside Community Garden and Community Hub, enabling 180 young people to achieve new qualifications and accreditations. Aaron received a gong for the positive role model award for age at Friday’s ceremony.
In the last 12 months there has been an increase in hate crime reports of 246%, as a result of Chase Against Crimes of Hate taking a more proactive approach, leading them to be recognised in the Multi-strand category.
Leeds based company, Farnell element14 picked up The Diverse Company Award, showcasing the great strides they have made to become an employer of choice, and magnet for talent for their 1300 employees across Europe.
The night featured stellar performances from jazz saxophonist, Rosemary Quaye, Songo Drumming Band, One Steel Band and Nachda Sansaar Bhangra Band.
Zita Holbourne, an active trade unionist who tirelessly juggles being a working mother with her community and human rights activism, performed phenomenal poem ‘Dare to Dream’ in memory of Dr Martin Luther King – 50 years on.
Hosting the evening was Big Brother star Brian Dowling and CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell, with appearances from football legend Sol Campbell and Paralympian Peter Norfolk OBE
Singing Sensation Misha B, ended the night on a high with a dazzling rendition of her latest single, Here’s to Everything.
The prestigious black-tie event has attracted a growing list of top employers including Microsoft, Transport for London, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Sky, MI5, The Co-operative Group, The Open University and the Financial Ombudsman Service amongst others.
Paul Sesay, chief executive of the Diversity Group and National Diversity Awards said; ‘What an incredible evening, the atmosphere was electric and I was humbled to be celebrating in a room full of so many inspirational individuals and groups’
To view the full list of the National Diversity Awards winners please CLICK HERE
“Diversity is the one true thing we have in common… Lets celebrate it together”
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