A local children’s charity is celebrating after being honoured with a top award at The National Diversity Awards held at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. 

The Childhood Tumour Trust, based at Winchelsea Beach, beat seven others in the running for the Community Organisation Award for Disability at the ceremony, held last Friday (September 8).

The glittering ceremony honoured role models and charities, rewarding Britain’s most inspirational people for their fight against inequality. Ana Matronic, best known as the female co-lead vocalist for Scissor Sisters, joined forces with TV presenter Brian Dowling to host the event. The Childhood Tumour Trust (CTT) is a new charity founded by Vanessa Martin.

Vanessa Works locally the NHS and has actively campaigned to raise awareness and get better care for those with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). Vanessa has two daughters, Nicole and Molly. Nicole has complex NF1 and Vanessa says she is the inspiration behind CTT. “Because of the confidence that Nicole gained from attending camp in the USA, organised by the Children’s Tumour Foundation, the idea for a new charity for children and young people was born – to enable others to have the same experience,” she said.

Vanessa has run two camps in the UK and is keen to link up those with NF1 – wherever they live in the world, give them a stepping stone into adulthood, ensure they know they are not alone and give hope for their future. She represents CTT on the patient and public involvement panels for research bids and said: “I am passionate about raising awareness and better care for children and their families affected by the condition. Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) is more prevalent than Cystic Fibrosis, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and Huntingtons Disease combined. Yet so little is known about it. “Amber Rudd MP has been supportive of the charity and understands the need for better awareness of the condition and the impact that it has on so many who have it.

Speaking at the ceremony talk show legend Graham Norton said: “’Promoting and celebrating diversity is close to my heart, which is why I am thrilled to support The National Diversity Awards! Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees, you all deserve to win!”

On receiving the Community Organisation Award for Disability Vanessa said: “We are delighted to have won! It’s very exciting. The award isn’t just for me it’s to give the people living with the condition the recognition they deserve. I am over the moon.”

Source:  http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/children-s-charity-wins-top-award-1-8149048

A community worker who has dedicated more than 40 years of her life to helping people in Blackpool has been shortlisted for a national award.

Wendy Pearce, 72, is in line for recognition in the Lifetime Achievement category at the National Diversity Awards. Over the years she has worked with schools, young offenders and first time parents to try and improve their lives. And despite clocking up more than four decades, she has no intention of retiring just yet.

Wendy, who lives in Bispham, said: “I was speechless when the email came through informing me I had been shortlisted. “You don’t expect this kind of accolade after all the years of not being recognised.” The mother-of-three and grandmother has helped generations of people, and is still handing out advice now. She said: “Only a few months ago I had 26 young women on the babysitting course I run. “But over the years I have worked with a lot of young people in Blackpool, many of whom have come here from other parts of the country and so don’t have anyone close at hand. “Some are now in their 30s or 40s, and I bump into them when I am shopping or out in town. “I see young people with a lot of different issues but when they get their confidence, they are like butterflies taking off when they see what they can achieve. “There is always something you can find that they can shine at. Young people don’t see youth workers as a social worker, or a parent, or a teacher. “We slowly build up a relationship with them so they tell us things they wouldn’t tell other people, and it’s our job to ensure they get the help they need.” Wendy currently works for Blackpool Boys and Girls Club and the UR Potential on Central Drive.

Over the years she has also worked for the Youth Offending Team, Homestart on Grange Park and with the Millennium Volunteers, as well as at schools. She said: “I don’t want to retire, as there is still so much to do. “The work keeps me young and on my toes, and I just like watching young people grow and develop.” The presentation of the awards will take place at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool on September 8.

The awards are supported by a number of celebrities including TV presenter Graham Norton. He said: “Promoting and celebrating diversity is close to my heart. “I want to wish all of this year’s shortlisted nominees the best of luck for the ceremony, you all deserve to win.”

SOURCE: Blackpool Gazette: http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/dedicated-wendy-in-line-for-award-1-8660304

The charity devoted to Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole has been shortlisted for a national diversity award.

The Mary Seacole Trust has been shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards (NDA) 2017.

Photo: Barney Newman

The charity, which promotes the legacy of Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole, has been nominated for the Community Organisation Award in the Race, Religion and Faith category.

UK charities and other role models, including British celebrities grime artist Stormzy, actress Denise Welch and actor Riz Ahmed, are among those nominated for their work to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

The Mary Seacole Trust has taken over from the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, the organisation which ran a 12-year community fundraising campaign to build a statue of the Jamaican-Scottish Victorian nurse who had been almost forgotten for over 100 years.

The statue was unveiled in June 2016 in the grounds of London’s St Thomas’ Hospital, across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Mary Seacole Trust chair Trevor Sterling said: ‘We are thrilled to be shortlisted for such an important award.

‘The statue was funded by donations from thousands of individuals and organisations, bringing together people from a wide range of fields – the NHS, the military, the arts, politics and many others.

‘While the statue is important in symbolising and recognising Mary’s contribution, there is now an opportunity and responsibility to harness this unprecedented diversity of support to create a legacy beyond the statue.’

Mr Sterling said the recognition was an important milestone as work began on the trust’s key projects – educating schoolchildren about Mary Seacole and encouraging diversity in leadership within both the public and private sectors.

National Diversity Awards founder and chief executive Paul Sesay said: ‘I am so proud to be able to witness the journeys of some of the most inspiring role models this country has to offer.

‘Each year I am overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of nominations, and those shortlisted should know how privileged I am to share your stories with the nation.’

The awards ceremony will be held in Liverpool  on September 8th.

SOURCE: Nursing Standard: https://rcni.com/nursing-standard/newsroom/news/mary-seacole-charity-shortlisted-diversity-award-92586

An innovative North East college has been recognised for its outstanding work in encouraging diversity and equality in its organisation and the local community.


Gateshead College has been shortlisted for the Diverse Company Award in this year’s National Diversity Awards, which take place on September 8 at the stunning Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.


Charities and role models from across the UK will gather at the event – dubbed the UK’s largest celebration of diversity – to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated their devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in society.






More than 22,000 nominations and votes were received this year, and Gateshead College will now compete against other organisations from around the country for a coveted award.

The college was commended for setting out strong equality and diversity policies that are communicated clearly to staff, students and other key partners in the community. Well-defined recruitment procedures are in place to encourage a diverse pool of talent at the organisation, while the principles of equality and diversity are also woven into its learning programmes.



The college has also been commended by Ofsted for its “highly inclusive ethos” and has signed up to several initiatives – including Equality Standard Gold and Disability Confident Employer – that embed diversity into college practices and in the wider community.




Judith Doyle, principal and CEO of Gateshead College, said: “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious award, which reflects our ongoing commitment to equality and diversity. We provide staff with appropriate training to develop their skills and knowledge so that they can help students engage, promote and embed these important principles in everything we do.


“It is critical that we provide a safe place for dialogue and positive collaboration to equip young people with essential skills, knowledge, understanding and awareness of equality and diversity. This will enable them to explore, understand and celebrate difference and develop critical thinking skills that will help them, not just in their careers, but also through life.”



The National Diversity Awards provides recognition for excellence regardless of race, faith, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture. Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the awards are supported by many high-profile stars including Stephen Fry, Adam Hills, Sir Lenny Henry and television presenter Graham Norton.


Graham Norton said: “Promoting and celebrating diversity is close to my heart which is why I am thrilled to support The National Diversity Awards! I want to wish all of this year’s shortlisted nominees the best of luck for the ceremony; you all deserve to win!”


Paul Sesay, founder and CEO of The National Diversity Awards, said: “I am so proud to be able to witness the journeys of some of the most inspiring role models this country has to offer. Each year I am overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of nominations, and those shortlisted should know how privileged I am to share your stories with the nation. You are all winners and I can’t wait to meet you at the ceremony.”

SOURCE: FE News, https://www.fenews.co.uk/press-releases/14510-college-shortlisted-for-national-diversity-award



A DOCTOR who set up a business to educate students about careers in medicine has been shortlisted for the UK’s largest diversity awards.

Dr Patrice Baptiste of Leyton was nominated for a National Diversity Award,beating over 22,000 people and charities across the country to make it to the final.

The 28-year-old set up Dream Smart Tutors last summer to mentor students and link them up with professionals in the medical field.

Over 50 doctors have now signed up to take part in the programmes run in schools in Waltham Forest and Ilford.

“I am a Christian and I feel like it was a calling for me. Since I was four years old I have wanted to be a doctor,” she said.

“I wanted to do something to help others and make a difference in the world.

“I am using my database of doctors to help the students. I think it’s about you helping the next person if you have been successful.

“A lot of the students don’t know doctors and so it gives them a chance to network and ask questions.”

The former pupil at Holy Family Catholic School and Sixth Form in Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, is now a school governor.

When she graduated Dr Baptiste was the only student in her year to get accepted into medical school.

She now holds a degree from University College London and is currently on a two-year GP training course in Romford.

Dr Baptiste, who comes from a working-class Caribbean background, would like to see more students from ethnic minorities choose careers in medicine.

She said: “My parents were always there to support me and give me the confidence to pursue my dreams. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have got into medical school.

“My dad is a technician in a hospital and I wouldn’t have gotten work experience only for his connections.

“There’s a lot of things I never knew about a career in medicine like having to move from place to place and not being able to afford a house. I wish there was someone there to tell me those things when I was in school.

“I want to be a positive role model for the students and show them it can be done.” The National Diversity Awards 2017 will be held in Liverpool on September 8.

Dr Baptiste has been shortlisted in the ‘positive role model award for race/faith/religion’ category.

She said although the news took her as a surprise, she is “excited and looking forward to seeing what happens.”

SOURCE: East London and Essex Guardian, http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/15421416.Doctor_who_set_up_business_to_mentor_students_beats_thousands_for_awards__shortlist/


A KNUTSFORD resident and social enterprise founder has been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award in the positive role model for gender category.

Jane Kenyon, who founded Girls Out Loud in 2010, has made the list after 22,000 nominees were considered.

Girls Out Loud aims to raise the confidence and aspirations and teenage girls in the north west and north Wales, by pairing them with female role models. To date, the organisation has worked with more than 5,000 girls across 35 schools.

Jane said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award. It’s wonderful to have been recognised along with the other shortlisted nominees. There’s so much brilliant work going on across the country to improve diversity and I’m looking forward to celebrating that at the ceremony.”

The awards will be presented at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on September 8, with a ceremony showcasing the achievements of those bidding to enhance equality, diversity and inclusion.

The NDAs are supported by Stephen Fry, Adam Hills and Sir Lenny Henry among many others.

Paul Sesay, founder and CEO of the awards, said: “I am so proud to be able to witness the journeys of some of the most inspiring role models this country has to offer.”

Source: The Knutsford Guardian,


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