Arundel resident Charlotte Twinley, 21, has been nominated for a Positive Role Model for disabilities at the National Diversity Awards. Charlotte was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) when she was 15 years old. EDS is a connective tissue disorder, affecting all of the collagen in the body which supports joints, muscles and organs. This caused her to have severe digestive complications. This greatly affected her life, causing her to stop being able to take part in sports. This all led her to develop anxiety, depression and anorexia.

Soon after, Charlotte had to leave university, and have a completely liquid diet for a year, until she had surgery to get a stoma bag. Now Charlotte uses social media and the internet to help others who are going through similar problems, spread awareness and end the stigma towards stomas, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and mental health problems.

Charlotte said: “Now, less than a year into having my stoma, I’m able to go out and eat and, what’s even more important, I want to eat and finally fully appreciate food again. I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m raising awareness for EDS and chronic illness and helping those who are in a similar situation as I was as much as I can on Instagram.

I worked with Barcroft TV to produce a video on YouTube and Snapchat about EDS and my ileostomy – highlighting the fact that it’s not just people with cancer, crohns and colitis that have a stoma. The YouTube video has over 203,000 views and I received 60+ messages on social media about my video after it was released on Snapchat, all of which I replied to. I’m taking part and modelling for campaigns about body image and health conditions, like a campaign organised by Love Disfigure and NuNude outside of Victoria’s Secret for more inclusivity – this became viral with Huffpost, LadBible, Daily Mail and People writing articles about it, as well as many others around the world.

In January 2019, I was part of an article in Glamour Paris talking about how I raise awareness for stomas on Instagram. I have also set up my own website, sharing my story and have started to blog about various topics; such as diversity, disabilities and mental health. I’m dedicated to raise awareness for mental health, for eating disorders, for body dysmorphia, for body confidence, for diversity and for encouraging people to love and accept their bodies the way they are. I want to be the girl I needed to see when I was struggling. I want to be the best role model I can be.”

If you would like to vote for Charlotte for you can do so herehttps://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/22295/

You can also follow her on her blog and Instagram.

Source – www . Sussex Local . Net

A man from Surbiton who defied the odds to recover from a late diagnosis of HIV and go on to fight for disability rights has been nominated for a national award.

Roland Chesters, who was given just two weeks to live at the time of his diagnosis, has suffered long term effects on his brain and motor skills because the virus was picked up and treated at a late stage.

He has overcome post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic ill health and discrimination to bring greater disability rights to the workplace and tackle the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS.

Now Roland’s work has been recognised by The National Diversity Awards (NDA), whose supporters include Graham Norton, Katie Piperand Adam Hills.

Roland, who works as a disability development consultant at Luminate, said: “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.

“There is still a fear and ignorance about HIV, which puts people off getting tested. I want to spread the message that those on medication are undetectable and cannot pass it on.”

The NDA are the UK’s largest diversity awards, which recognises inspirational people in fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

Sir Lenny Henry CBE, a previously shortlisted nominee for the Celebrity of the Year gong said: “Diversity to me means involving everybody without any discrimination; its means having integrated groups in society, it means fairness and total inclusion and that’s what the National Diversity Awards are about. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated, you’re all doing a fantastic job, rock on!”

Roland, 59, became a chair for the disabled staff network at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where he previously worked as a language-testing specialist. He introduced a change of policy – enabling disabled staff to no longer have to regularly change jobs.

The Royal Holloway University of London graduate helps employers in various industries to create an inclusive workforce and for their employees to develop confidence in their role.

Roland supports a number of charities and community projects, such as the Terrence Higgins’ Trust Positive Voices, where he speaks about HIV at schools, colleges and workplaces in order to tackle existing stereotypes.

He has volunteered as a mentor withPositively UK, a charity which offers peer-led support. During this time, he has supported people who have been ostracised and attacked after they ‘came out’ with their diagnosis

One man, who was sexually assaulted and cannot be named for legal reasons, was afraid to leave his home until he worked with Roland.

The man has nominated Roland for the award, saying: “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.”

Roland, who was diagnosed in 2006, has also sat on a number of boards, including the National Long Term Survivors Group (NLTSG), which supports HIV Positive people, and the London AIDS Memorial Campaign and Disability Rights UK – where at the time he was the only gay, disabled person on the board.

Roland has widely shared his own story in order to break-down barriers. In 2018 he published Ripples from the Edge of Life, which is both a memoir and self-help book.

Roland, who continues to speak out at events and in the press, said: “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.”

Roland lives with his partner, Richard, in Surbiton, Surrey. He enjoys opera, classical music, theatre and fashion.

The NDA receives over 25,000 nominations and votes each year. Founder and CEO Paul Sesay said: “We look to those who represent progress, spirit and resilience and I cannot wait to learn about the wonderful work being carried out this year.”

You can vote for Roland until May 31.

To vote online, click here:

Source : www . Gscene . com

NDA shortlisted project, Future Leaders of Nottingham, has helped over 50 Nottinghamshire residents fast-track their careers and now it’s looking for more Future Leaders to take part.

The unique professional development programme was launched in 2016 to make leadership in Nottingham more diverse and representative of the communities it represents, across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Applications for the 2019/20 programme are open until 31 May and it’s keen to hear from ambitious people who work in Nottinghamshire and want to progress and make a difference. To make leadership more diverse and representative, the programme is specifically interested in receiving applications from people who are Black, Asian or another ethnic minority, people living with a disability, or people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or other gender or sexual identities.

To enable talented applicants from all sectors to apply, there’s a sliding scale of fees to make Future Leaders of Nottingham affordable for non-profit organisations and social entrepreneurs.

Future Leaders selected to take part in the programme get access to a range of masterclasses and practical workshops run by leading experts on a range of topics, plus one-to-one coaching and mentoring from senior leaders in the city.

Participants also get the chance to work on live projects as a group. For example, the current cohort of Future Leaders are working on three projects exploring positive defiance in high fly-tipping areas, a leadership programme for young people, and community provision for Universal Credit recipients and those experiencing financial hardship.

Throughout the programme, Future Leaders have the opportunity to attend events, conferences and training, including a behind-the-scenes tour of Nottingham’s leading organisations and infrastructure. At the end of the programme, Future Leaders are invited to join the programme’s Steering Group, to help shape the direction of the programme and select applicants in future years. There’s also a growing alumni network that actively shares opportunities and continues to support each other – year after year.

Future Leaders of Nottingham was developed in response to the Citywide Positive Action Study 2014, which identified key gaps in diversity at board and senior management level. In 2018, it was shortlisted for a NDA award, making it to the final shortlist of 124, from 24,584 nominations.

Future Leaders of Nottingham is coordinated by The Renewal Trust, a community development trust working in Nottingham, in partnership with some of the city’s leading employers, including Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nottingham City Homes, Communities Inc, Futures and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) have gone on to be nominated in this year’s NDAs, in the Diverse Company of the Year category, for the work they’re doing to improve the diversity of their workforce, including their involvement with Future Leaders of Nottingham.

Future Leader April Chung, Finance Manager at Imara, said:

“Future Leaders has grown me more than I could ever imagine, the knowledge and learning I’ve gained has given me the confidence and the resources to develop myself, and also the tools to grow my organisation. I’ve made long lasting friendships, it’s been such a valuable experience and I would recommend this programme to anyone.”

Find out more about the Future Leaders of Nottingham programme and apply before 31 May – link to: www.bit.ly/FLNottm

 

 

Dennis Relojo-Howell a mental health advocate and founder of Psychreg from Rainham, Essex has been nominated for the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award at The National Diversity Awards 2019.

The Breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will play host to this year’s awards, to be held on 20th September. Britain’s most inspirational and selfless people will come together to honour the rich tapestry of our nation, recognising individuals and groups from grass roots communities.

The prestigious black tie event recognises nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

Growing up in a slum in Manila in the Philippines, Dennis has witnessed first-hand how discussions about mental health are considered a luxury – which is understandable given that there are numerous other issues which are deemed to be more pressing.

Dennis’s childhood experience led him to launch Psychreg, a global mental health platform, in order to address the stigma around mental health. His passion in promoting the therapeutic value of blogging has led him to be recognised as the world’s first blog psychologist.

As a psychology website, Psychreg runs a blog, a podcast, and an open access journal, Psychreg Journal of Psychology.

Leading global brand Johnson & Johnson were 2018 headline sponsors of the UK’s largest diversity awards, attracting a growing list of supporters including Adam Hills, Graham Norton and Katie Piper.

Sir Lenny Henry CBE, who was previously shortlisted for the Celebrity of the Year award said: ‘Diversity to me means involving everybody without any discrimination. It means having integrated groups in society. It means fairness and total inclusion and that’s what the National Diversity Awards are about. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated. You’re all doing a fantastic job, rock on!’

Actor Warwick Davis and human rights activist Abbey Kiwanuka received accolades at last year’s ceremony, alongside a host of incredible award winners.

Kick It Out, the UK’s Leading organisation campaigning for equality in football, beat seven other competitors for the Race, Faith & Religion category, and Rocking2Stomas blogger Rachel Jury was praised for using her impressive following to shine a light on urostomy awareness.

ADHD Foundation were commended for changing attitudes and improving life chances through tireless campaigning, and Action Breaks Silence were applauded for offering free self-defence training to over 50,000 women and girls at risk of gender-based violence.

Sail NI were praised for supporting over 300 transgender people and their families across the Northern Ireland, and Geoff Holt MBE scooped the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award for founding Wetwheels, taking more than 5,000 disabled people on the water each year.

Radio Reverb, Touchstone and Rachael Pearson were also recognised among some of the UK’s most inspiring role models and community organisations.

The National Diversity Awards receives over 25,000 nominations and votes annually. Founder and CEO Paul Sesay said: ‘As we enter our 8th awards season, The National Diversity Awards prepare to welcome a host of outstanding role models and charities to our family. We look to those who represent progress, spirit and resilience; and I cannot wait to learn about the wonderful work being carried out this year.’

Source – www . Essex – TV . co . uk

Louis Johnson, 12, from Tettenhall Wood, has been nominated in the positive role model (age) category in the national awards.

The prestigious awards recognises nominees in their respective fields of diversity, including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

In eight years of fundraising, since he was five years old, he has raised nearly £20,000 for local charities.

Last year alone, the Smestow School pupil raised nearly £6,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

In his nomination, Louis said: “Just being nominated means a lot, it is not about winning to me it is about others seeing what I do and awareness of charities I support.

“Just making a difference is all it takes.”

Last year Louis was named as one of two child ambassadors for the British Citizen Youth Awards. He also was awarded the Duncan Edwards Good Citizen Awards and a Certificate of Excellence from the Mayor of Wolverhampton.

His next fundraising challenge will see him undertake a 15-mile walk from Tettenhall to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and back, in fancy dress, on April 20. When he reaches the hospital, Louis will be donating teddy bears and colouring books to children being treated there.

Nominations and voting for the National Diversity Awards close on May 31 and a shortlist of nominees will be announced shortly after. An awards ceremony will take place in September.

To vote for Louis, visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/21022.

Source – www . Express and Star . com

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