Nominations have now closed for The UK’s largest diversity awards as judges begin preparing to announce this year’s shortlist.
The National Diversity Awards have been inundated with inspirational messages from across the nation, praising diversity heroes, entrepreneurs and community organisations.
With nominees waiting patiently to see who will be crowned the best of British diversity, organizers recently caught up with last year’s winners to see how receiving their accolade has affected their lives.
“Winning the N.D.A is the single most gratifying moment of my life” Said Rachael Pearson, winner of the Positive Role Model Award for Gender.
Founder of autism isolation no more, Rachael converted her home into a sensory space for children and parents, providing access to all the sensory equipment they could possibly need.
“It’s made me so proud and happy; I feel truly blessed to be part of such a towering beacon of diversity and inclusion for the nation. It’s given me an extra shot of get up and go for it. It’s fulfilled something in me that I wasn’t even aware I was missing”.
Echoing this sentiment, Rachel Jury, creator of the pioneering blog ‘Rocking2Stomas’ said “I cannot put into words what the National Diversity Awards night meant to me. I felt honoured to even be there amongst some amazing inspiration and brilliant people who have helped their communities in so many ways. The award represented hope and it felt like a win for the stoma community as a whole and another step in awareness”.
Rachel is an amazing young lady with a life-limiting condition which has resulted in her having two stoma bags – a Urostomy and an Ileostomy. She created her pioneering blog in January 2017 due to lack of online information and created a Facebook group called ‘Double Baggers Ostomy Support Group’, finally forming a place in the community to go for support.
The iconic awards have recently announced new supporters and returning sponsors such as MI5, Auto Trader UK & HSBC. The prestigious black-tie event has also attracted a growing list of endorsements from celebrities who are actively supporting the diversity agenda including Sir Lenny Henry, Graham Norton & and Adam Hills.
This year’s host Sally Phillips will take centre stage at the breathtaking cathedral on 20 th September as the UK’s most inspirational and selﬂess people will come together to honour the rich tapestry of our nation,
“I am delighted to be hosting the 2019 National Diversity Awards. Acknowledging and celebrating the hard work and stand out achievements of role models and community groups throughout the UK is a genuine honour for me. Having attended the Awards back in 2016, I experienced this fabulous ceremony first hand and I cannot wait to be back this year celebrating the dedication and commitment of some of the UK’s most luminous and exceptional people.”
With the ever-increasing need for cohesion between communities from all walks of life, the National Diversity Awards is sure to deliver this year’s grandest celebration of diversity.
Source – Able Magazine
A savvy 17-year-old has launched an all-natural range of Afro beauty products – after learning how to do her own hair when her mum was injured in accident.
Now the teenager is up for a National Diversity Award and wants to spread the word about her organic hair butters and raise awareness about young carers. Lucia became a young carer at 11-years-old.
She had just started secondary school and her mum broke her back in a serious car accident, leaving Lucia as the main carer for her mother and young brother. As well as taking on the house work and cooking, Lucia also had to learn how to care for her and her brother’s long Afro hair, she had no experience, but she quickly picked up the skills – and that blossomed into the beginnings of her business.
‘The hardest part was seeing my mum go from being such an active part of her community to being immobilised and pretty isolated,’ Lucia tells Metro.co.uk. ‘I think from that, as cheesy as it sounds, what I have learnt is that life is too short and to take every opportunity you can to be successful. ‘For so long I didn’t feel like I was doing anything but in hindsight I see that I do have such a different experience to my peers, which is why I feel strongly that there needs to be more awareness, so that young carers know they are special and get the support they deserve.’
Lucia started her business – Lucia Loves… – when she was 14. Now she has products in local shops in north London and has big dreams to expand before she finishes college. ‘My mum always took care of my hair. When she got injured, I had to learn to look after it myself literally overnight,’ explains Lucia. ‘I used to mix different products together to see what would work. I remember putting Cantu with oil and some shea moisture in the food blender, then putting it in a spray bottle.
I found it fun, but my mum was not impressed. ‘She bought me some raw ingredients like shea butter and cocoa butter, and I taught myself how to make these into a hair butter (while making a lot of mess), when clearing up, I realised that the hair butter made my skin feel nice too. I named it Melting Joy. ‘I then got the opportunity to sell products in a shop and my mum encouraged me to start my business doing what I was already doing with my products, she taught me about the importance of group economics and I now buy my ingredients and use stockists from other black-owned businesses as much as possible.’
For black and mixed-race women, hair is historically political. Western beauty standards make it incredibly difficult to embrace and celebrate natural Afro hair, and that is something that can be hard to unlearn.
‘To be honest, I have always wished my hair was softer and easier to manage because I found it annoying,’ says Lucia. ‘People always said to me I would look so much better if I straightened my hair but recently, especially since starting my business, I have seen so much positivity around natural Afro hair, which is good. ‘I feel actually proud of my hair.
When I see people with Afros I get excited and I really appreciate how much time and effort hair care takes. ‘My hair has lots of different curl patterns in it. The texture of my hair has changed so it’s always a learning process. ‘Of course, there is so much stigma around our hair type in society still. People think it’s unprofessional, I have been told my hair is a distraction and messy, when often that is not the case. ‘When we embrace our natural hair, we can be a part of reducing the stigma and by extension help alleviate the discrimination black and mixed women often face.’ Lucia is mixed-race and has struggled with discrimination and negative perceptions during her education – a lot of that stemmed from prejudice about her hair.
‘When I was in nursery, I remember girls saying I couldn’t play with them because I had to choose if I was black or white and I wasn’t either,’ says Lucia. ‘My mum remembers me asking her, at like three years old, why I didn’t have hair like hers – she showed me Alicia Keys and taught me that my hair was amazing.
‘All through school, teachers and my peers always made comments about my hair, they said it got in the way of the board, when I had corn rows they told me I looked like a boy, when I wore it out they said my hair was distracting. In both primary and secondary school, I was bullied. ‘I loved school and I enjoy learning, but I found it difficult to fit in.’ But this sense of alienation pushed Lucia to throw herself into her business – and she’s come a long way since she started out.
‘My whole range is natural and 100% certified organic. All of my packaging is environmentally sustainable and I encourage customers to return the jars and tins to be reused,’ says Lucia. ‘My products are all tested on myself and my family, never animals! None of my products or their ingredients are tested on animals as I have been a vegetarian all of my life.
‘I do not use water or preservatives either. They are made by someone who actually has experience with natural, Afro hair. Also, my business is just a regular person, facing regular challenges. For example, I have only just been able to start my re-branding now I am in college, so I have gained access to the computers and software that I need, as I couldn’t afford it myself.
‘Look out for my re-branded product labels on my social media in the next few months. ‘I hope to expand the Lucia Loves… brand into more than just hair products. ‘I want to make it about connecting with different communities who face challenges, for example I have started writing a book aimed at young people about what it means to be a young carer. “Being a Young Carer is…..”. ‘I am holding an event on 13th July called “Love Your Hair” aimed at parents with children who have Afro or curly hair, it’s about empowering children to embrace their curls and teaching parents and carers how to manage the curls naturally.
‘I love animation, I hope to study it at university and for this to be my career path. I hope to use animation as a medium to further connect with marginalised communities through positive representation.’
The National Diversity Awards receives over 28,000 nominations and votes annually, and Lucia is up for an award in her age category.
‘My advice for young entrepreneurs? Just don’t let anyone or anything stop you,’ says Lucia.
Source : The Metro Newspaper
A Surbiton man who defied a late HIV diagnosis and became a disability campaigner was nominated for a national award.
As the Surrey Comet previously reported earlier this year, Roland Chesters was given two weeks to live at the time of his HIV diagnosis, and suffered long term effects including brain damage because the virus was picked up and treated at such a late stage.
Nevertheless, he went on to defy the odds and continues to thrive as a campaigner for disabled rights.
His work in challenging the stigma surrounding HIV-AIDS has now been recognized by the The National Diversity Awards, after Mr Chesters was nominated for the prestigious award ahead of the presentation ceremony on Friday, September 20.
Mr Chesters spoke of his elation at receiving the nomination and hopes that it will further boost his efforts to combat misconceptions about the disease.
“I am delighted to be nominated for such a prestigious award and hope it will raise awareness of the hidden disability that is HIV and AIDs,” he said.
One key area of focus in the Surbiton man’s efforts has been encouraging people to get tested for HIV-AIDS.
The government’s annual report on the disease has found nearly half of those diagnosed in the UK are at the late stage of infection.
Mr Chesters now works as a consultant at disability support network Luminate, and previously chaired the disabled staff network at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
He was nominated for the award by an HIV-positive man who was sexually assaulted and cannot be named for legal reasons.
Remaining anonymous, the man praised Mr Chesters for helping him conquer his own anxiety about the disease.
“Roland took me under his wing and helped me to conquer my fears as I use to lock myself indoors.
“Roland helps me say ‘I have HIV’,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chesters continues to work and campaign for disability rights and an end to stigma surrounding HIV-AIDS.
“I will not live in fear. I want to stand up for other people who may be more vulnerable or with less of a support network.
“Until there are enough people living with the condition saying ‘this is who I am and I cannot pass on the infection’ the stigma will not go away,” he said.
The National Diversity Awards are taking place at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral (6.15pm) on Friday, September 20 with hosts Sally Phillips and Alex Brooker.
Source – www.surreycomet.co.uk
The world’s first ever Disability in Policing Conference was held today (Wednesday 5th June) hosted by the Disabled Police Association (DPA) in Hertfordshire.
Formed in July 2012, the Association welcomed members of the police family from across the country who live with or care for loved ones with disabilities.
The event, with the theme ‘Enable not Disable’, was held at The Fielder Centre in Hatfield and sponsored by Police Mutual and Police Care UK.
It was also supported by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), Hertfordshire Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.
DPA president Dr Rob Gurney, said: “The aim of the event was to bring together those who work within policing and live with disabilities to provide support and advice as well as share good practice in relation to supporting our officers and staff in the workplace”
The DPA is a national body that represents disability support networks within police forces across the UK. Its main aim is to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people who work for police forces.
The event’s guest speakers were Permanent Secretary at the Home Office Sir Philip Rutnam, who spoke about his role as the Civil Service Disability Champion, and CEO of The Police Dependents’ Trust Gill Scott-Moore, who spoke to guests about the work of the charity in supporting ill or injured people.
There were also contributions from NPCC lead for Disability Janette McCormick QPM, Hertfordshire Assistant Chief Constable Nathan Briant, Vice-President of the DPA Simon Nelson from Sussex and Vice-President of the Police Superintendents Association Ian Wylie.
Rob said: “Today’s event provided some really positive learning outcomes and showed the valuable contribution that those with disabilities make to policing up and down the country.
A surprise addition to the event was the presentation of several awards to police forces and individuals who have influenced and influenced the disability agenda within Policing which again was a first ever.. These included the following:
Most improved Disability Network
Winners – Merseyside Disability Support Network
Positive Cultural Change
Winners – West Midlands Police
Outstanding Force Contribution to Disability
Winners – Sussex Police
President’s Award Outstanding Individual Contribution to Disability in Policing
Winner – Anna Button – West Yorkshire Police
Source – Disabled Police Association
An Islander has been hailed as a diversity role model and shortlisted for a national award.
Anne Axford, from Ryde, who chairs the Isle of Wight Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IWASBAH), has been nominated in the positive role model category at this year’s National Diversity Awards.
“It’s a real honour to have been nominated, and it’s a chance for the Isle of Wight to be in the spotlight as a place where diversity matters as much as anywhere else,” said Anne, who has been involved with charity for more than 35 years.
The awards will be held at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on September 20.
He said, “To me, diversity means fairness and total inclusion, involving everybody without discrimination.
“That’s what the National Diversity Awards are all about.”
Anne — who has also been a trustee at Mountbatten and worked as a life, career and performance coach — heads up IW ASBAH’s 50th anniversary team this year. An anniversary conference will be held at Cowes Yacht Haven on June 25.
Source – Isle of White County Press
A YOUNG man who fulfilled his promise of giving back to the community who campaigned against his deportation has been nominated for a National Diversity Award.
Daniel Sukula from Bolton has been nominated for the Positive Role Model Award.
As a teenager, he made a heartfelt plea asking for help from the people of Bolton to stop him and his family from being deported to the Democratic Republic of Congo – a nation in the midst of a cruel civil war in which he feared he would be forced to become a child soldier.
Today, at the age of 29, he runs the Be The Best Community CIC youth project based in Great Lever.
He said: “I was inspired to set up the project because as a young man who grew up in Bolton, I have seen some realities of life faced by young people.”
The Sukula family, who came to the UK in 2002, was one of the first families in the UK to have all its benefits withdrawn after the Home Office refused their asylum case.
Following a campaign by The Bolton News, his family were granted asylum when he was 15 years old.
He said: “The sole reason the family were granted asylum is because of the community. They stepped in like a family; they were present from the beginning until the end of the struggle.”
However, Mr Sukula was unable to pursue his dream of becoming a footballer when he grew up. He puts this failure down to a lack of guidance and encouragement.
He said: “The path I embraced led me away from both his dream and education. Indeed bad company corrupts good behaviour. At the time it seemed that I had two options.
“The first option was to wallow in my past and permit guilt, regret and anger to affect my future. The other option was to learn from my mistakes, share my experiences to inspire others and construct a better future. This option was to ensure that other young people did not make the same mistakes that I made. I understood that in accomplishing this, it will help inspire and change the life of many young people.”
The project helps young people to develop new skills, gain qualifications, apprenticeships and take part in activities such as dancing, music, boxing and football.
It currently works with more than 200 young people every week and has the support of many organisations in the area.
Together with project manager Tunde Olasupo, Mr Sukula is in the process of setting up a permanent hub for the youth group in Great Lever which is expected to open by the end of the year.
Mr Sukula has also created a knife prevention campaign called “Be The Change – Drop The Knife” which has received support from Bolton’s policing team.
He said: “Early intervention and prevention programmes are a proven way to change young people’s mindsets and ensure that they take positive pathways in life. Turning them away from crime and deterring from ever carrying a knife.”
The National Diversity Awards ceremony takes place in Liverpool on September 20. Shortlisted nominees will be announced in June.
Source – The Bolton News
How one parent’s battle for justice and equity for her disabled child has helped thousands of families affected by Special Educational Needs and Disabilities…
A few weeks after she had won her High Court battle with her local authority in October 2017, Chrissa Wadlow felt compelled to share her experience with other parents and carers in the hope it would prevent what she and her family had gone through from happening to anyone else.
Fast forward to May 2019, and Chrissa has supported thousands of parents and carers by organising over 80 empowering events all over the country, extending her support to professionals who support children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND), too. When you see things in black and white, like this, it’s no surprise Chrissa has been nominated 14 times for a National Diversity Award in 2019.
“Parents were crying out for impartial information and support, and I was overwhelmed by the response to my first few events which were only ever meant to be a bit of information sharing to empower others who found themselves in the same position as me. I am truly amazed that we have come this far, and I’m truly honoured to have received so many nominations” states Chrissa.
Chrissa’s efforts were in high demand, and very quickly with a lot of hard work and research, she had the backing from top UK experts in the SEND professional community.
Originally set up for just parents and carers Chrissa quickly realised that professionals needed the information and support too. “If we want our children to fully benefit from what we have on offer, it’s essential we are all reading from the same hymn sheet” Chrissa states.
As a result hundreds of parents, carers and teachers now access the services and support of Sunshine Support every week.
“We get requests to visit a lot of cities all over the UK… There is such a crisis within Special Educational Needs & Disabilities that families need our expert advice and support. So it seemed natural to tour the country with our workshops”
Sharing the Sunshine around England and Wales
2019, just a year after founding the organisation, Chrissa made the decision to take Sunshine Support on a tour across England and Wales.
With the help of her husband and co-director, Tom, and educational expert and Head of SEND Marguerite Haye, Chrissa launched the service in London in April 2019. The launch had the backing from national, award-winning law firm HCB Solicitors, headed up by Nathan Davies and Andrew Barrowclough.
“It was essential for us to have a law firm to support our families who had the infrastructure to support the ambition that we have to share our support and expertise nationwide. With Nathan Davies winning my own case, I whole heartedly recommend him and his team to our families”
Empowering Parents, Carers and Professionals
Sunshine Support workshops empower attendees by providing knowledge that isn’t otherwise available through funded and commissioned services in the local authorities or NHS. Parents regularly feedback that the workshops are far more thorough and insightful than those run by authorities, providing actual practical tips and strategies that empower them as parents and advocates and the biggest bonus is that they’re not restricted to what advice has been commissioned.
Such workshops include:
There are many more that are planned, too!
National Diversity Awards – Nominations!
Chrissa was very surprised to be in receipt of her first nomination for the NDAs, it wasn’t until a few days before the voting closed that she realised there had been more than one!
“Looking at previous winners, competition is fierce for these sorts of high profile awards. I am not expecting to win, but my mission is to put SEND on the map, so to speak, and if our nominations have improved awareness, then I’m thrilled. There is a huge movement happening within the field of SEND, and I’m so passionate about being a part of it!”
Chrissa has instigated a lot of media attention surrounding SEND in the last 18 months.
Have a read of some of the nominations for Sunshine Support’s recommendations for an NDA:
“Sunshine Support has done some incredible work for children with educational needs and support to parents all over U.K. amazing work has been done and Chrissa puts her heart and soul into her work with the children.”
“They have taken the knowledge and expertise gained in their own personal battles with education for their daughter and decided to help so many others. They have brought experts In educational law, occupational, sensory and speech therapists to the people that would have struggled to access or understand their need for their child, alone.. I applaud them for giving up so much of their free time to act as advocates and provide coffee mornings and support to anyone facing challenges with their child’s special educational needs and giving reassurance the they are not alone and there is support and understanding out there. Autism is one of their personal strengths but they are open to helping anyone in need. They are a non profit organisation and unlike some of the more career driven groups on Facebook etc, they have not lost the empathy, patience and understanding this is so desperately needed by the families under so much stress. There is a national SEND crisis and schools are simply unable to cope and therefore ignore or cannot fund the support or diagnostics needed to help the children in their care achieve to the best of their abilities. Sunshine Support was set up in Derby in a response to the cries for help from local families and I have personally benefited from attending their free legal advice clinic and law workshop. I couldn’t hope to afford it or understand where my child’s rights were being infringed. Now I have set up my child in a new school and he has all the support he needs. Parent confidence and knowledge is key and sunshine support do their best to deliver it to those in need and have taken their independent specialists all across the country to share the burden and help families to help themselves. Long may Mrs Chrissa Wadlow and team continue to do such great work, despite the huge pressure it puts on her family. Our families Thank her so much !”
“Chrissa and Sunshine Support have helped us through arming us with relevant information and support to help to negotiate the tough process of applying for and maintaining EHCP for our 2 boys with disabilities. The support gives parents more of a level playing field when negotiating and seeking the right help for their additional needs/disabled children in school”
“She has spearheaded this charity to enlighten and support parents and families through the minefield that is SEND support whilst overcoming hurdles of her own. She has an amazing team who she has chosen for their specific skills within the areas the specialised in. And now is taking her workshops which offer a vast amount of information countrywide SHE DESERVES THIS AWARD”
The official announcement of the shortlisted nominees will take place on 1st July. Chrissa and the team at Sunshine Support wishes everyone nominated the greatest success! It’s a major achievement to have come this far!
Source – Sunshine – Support . org
Hathershaw College student nominated for national award after months of charity work.
13-year old Ibrahim Yousaf has received several awards for his genuine passion and kindness towards the people of Oldham and the community.
Despite battling severe asthma, for nearly a year, he has volunteered in helping charities including RMCH charity, Maggie’s Oldham, Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, Oldham Foodbank, Ukeff, Action Oldham, Oldham Street Angels, Madhlo, and Spoons charity.
Ibrahim has set up his own campaign using social media as a main platform, gaining over 400 followers since it was set up last year.
His first award from Oldham Pledge was presented by Laura from Maggies in Oldham. He then went on to give away his birthday money to charity, as well as raising awareness to boost their appeals individually.
The star fundraising pupil has also received praise from the leaders of Oldham Council, a certificate of merit from GMP (Greater Manchester Police), Hathershaw College, Oldham Mayor Appreciation, a president’s award from Madhlo’s and a territorial commanders commendation award from CSUPT.
The young student from Oldham, has received a video message from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the beginning of his efforts and a video message from Oldham Youth Council thanking him for his help.
Ibrahim said, “I am determined to beat my health battle and help my community as much as I can. As one day I hope to be PM and to do my best to help unite communities and help charities as much as I can. As well as prioritising the NHS, Education, Emergency Services, Youth Services, elderly care, environment etc.
I hope I inspire others who are battling with health problems to never give up and you still can help your community, don’t let your illness hold you back from following your dreams.
I know I may not win this award but just to nominated is a huge honour.”
Source – Oldham Chronicle
A Cumbrian charity has been nominated for a national award for its work in supporting the local LGBT community.
OutREACH Cumbria, an LGBT+ charity based in Carlisle, has been nominated for the Community Organisation (LGBT) gong in the National Diversity Awards.
The organisation runs community and professional projects, along with a well-received bi-monthly magazine that empowers LGBT+ voices within the community.
Laura Cairns, chairperson of OutREACH Cumbria, said: “It’s fantastic to be nominated for a national award.
“We are run entirely by volunteers so getting recognition for what we do on a national level is a real honour and a testament to the hard work of our committee and volunteers who work so hard for the needs of the LGBT+ community right across Cumbria.”
In the 25 years the type of projects run by OutREACH has been helping people in Cumbria, it has been part of various schemes that better the lives of the local LGBT community.
They have helped to set up a rapid HIV testing space, established an exhibition celebrating the history of the Cumbrian LGBT community, and given advice and training to the public bodies such as the NHS, police, local councils and educational institutions.
The bi-monthly magazine, called Alphabet Soup, features LGBT+ authors lending their voices to highlight news and issues occurring within the community.
It also acts as an education point on sexuality and gender while showcasing local businesses that are safe spaces for LGBT+ people.
Louise Askew, Alphabet Soup editor, said: “When I first realised we had been nominated for the award I was so proud.
“OutREACH Cumbria has been working tirelessly for the LGBT+ community for 25 years and for us to get national recognition for the work we do is fantastic.”
Voting for the National Diversity Awards closes on May 31.
The winners will be announced in September at a ceremony in London.
Source – www . News and Star . co . uk