Organisers of this year’s Chester Pride festival have reasons to be cheerful even before this year’s event takes place.
With one month to go before the main festivities take place in the city on August 10, the organising committee is delighted to announce it has been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award.
The honour comes following a selection process involving 28,000 nominations, with Chester Pride making it to the final eight in the Community Organisation Award for LGBT category.
The awards, run in association with ITV News, will be announced on Friday, September 20 at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.
Chester Pride 2019 will feature four stages packed with live music acts, including the M&S Bank Mainstage featuring headline act Heather Small of M People, 90s ‘Saturday Night’ singer Whigfield, X Factor’s Lloyd Daniels, Eurovision 2000 contestant Nicki French, plus a host of other acts.
Also returning will be the largest Health, Life and Wellbeing zone at any UK Pride event, with 70 stalls of information, support, and social groups, plus new for 2019 is a café space inside.
There’s also the return of the Children’s Zone, Youth Zone, the Airbus Alcohol-Free Chill Out Area with parent and baby facilities, and a marketplace featuring local traders.
Chester Pride 2019 is also one of the most accessible events yet, with an accessible viewing platform, BSL interpreter, changing places mobile toilet, and free loans of ear defenders for people who struggle with loud noises.
New for 2019 is the Kaleidoscope @ Pride stage on the Little Roodee Car Park, featuring performers of all abilities in partnership with Kaleidoscope @ Storyhouse and Vivo Care.
The colourful parade returns to start festivities, as it winds its way through the city centre.
This year, the parade promises to be bigger, more colourful, and more entertaining than ever thanks to the sponsorship from Bank of America and the parade will pass under the iconic Eastgate Clock.
Main celebrations then kick off from 1pm once the parade gets back to Castle Square.
Over the past 12 months, Chester Pride has welcomed a new chair, Warren Lee Allmark, and the committee set to work on some new exciting projects, including launching the UK’s first LGBT+ inclusive Family Activity Book in partnership with Jon Cole Arts.
Their Family Fun Days are also proving ever popular, with a second free Family Fun Day taking place on Sunday, July 28 in Grosvenor Park.
It promises to be packed full of free activities, stalls, and entertainment for the kids including a Kids Got Talent show between 11am and 3pm.
Warren said: “Our committee have been working non-stop for the last 12 months to deliver the biggest free event we have produced in Chester, plus working on several projects for the wider LGBT+ community.
“2019/2020 sees some great additions to the Chester Pride programme of events including the planned launch of our first high street and online shop, selling a range of great LGBT+ inspired gifts and treats which will help further fund Chester Pride alongside our amazing sponsors and public donations.
“Our outreach programs will only increase as we work with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Public Health, and Equalities, teams plus several other local community organisations.
“We are also furthering our working relationships with local and national business to deliver a network of training, education and inclusivity. A huge focus for me is mental health, and we are working on ways to increase visibility of support services to our guests.
“Early 2020 will see Chester Pride launch its first Awards event that celebrates local LGBT+ Icons, inclusive businesses, and public services, as part of our commitment to insuring Chester Pride keeps its community focus at the heart of everything we do.”
Source – Chester Standard . co . uk
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
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
Gill Springgay has been nominated in the Positive Role Model category at the National Diversity Awards 2019 for her work in styling and providing makeup for transgender women.
Helping transgender women with their transition was not something Gill Springgay had initially intended to do when she launched her image consultancy service.
But when a male friend unexpectedly asked her to do his makeup, she realised there was no image consultancy service for a person who was transgender. She changed her client focus and launched Makeover Girl Reinvent Yourself, working with males who are transitioning or have already transitioned.
Now, following 10 years of helping male clients make the first steps towards transitioning into a female, she has been nominated in the Positive Role Model category at the National Diversity Awards 2019.
Gill, who works from her studio at her Eccleston home, says: “I used to be a housing officer for Chorley Council and I got made redundant. I always had a vision to set up a makeover and image consultancy business as I have always been interested in hair and makeup ever since I was a little girl.
“I studied at night school and set up a website.“A male friend came to me and asked if I could do his makeup and make him look female. He came to my home and we had a talk about how he would looking terms of clothes, hair and makeup and. I was completely amazed at how feminine I could make him look. He was happy and I thought I had a talent for it. I saw the possibility of what I could do.”
Gill began seeking out transgender support groups and visited the Manchester Concord social group, offering demonstrations every month. She adds: “I have never had any female clients. I decided to focus on transgender women. There are a lot of people who need my help and I have lots of clients in transition.”
Gill’s work reaches beyond teaching about hair and makeup, as she helps her clients become more confident in their new look and accept who they are. She adds: “I go out shopping with my clients and quite often it is their first step out. “I give them the ability to see themselves as females, rather than a man in drag. They never thought they could look feminine until I teach them how. “I give my clients makeup tutorials and look at their body shape so I can tell them what clothes suit them. I do a colour analysis and as I stock wigs to suit their face shape and skin tone.”
Gill develops strong friendships with her clients and supports them through their transitional journey.She adds: “I am not a trained counsellor but I can support my clients as I listen to them and help them feel relaxed. In some cases, I am the first person they have told about transitioning.
“I have a few links with gender clinics and counsellors where I can signpost people to.
“Not everyone is in transition. Quite a lot of clients seem to be the same age – in their 40s, 50s and 60s – who are married and have had children. “They have struggled to keep their identity in and are scared to make the first step. “It is hard enough dealing with their image as they thought they were male and they are now presenting themselves as female. Even though the concept is more accepted in society, it is still terrifying for the person. But when they are fully dressed they feel more relaxed as their brain is telling them they are a woman.”
Gill has more than 100 clients from all over the UK and has people coming from as far as London, Ireland and Scotland. She has also written various magazine articles on the subject and was poised to take part in a Channel Four documentary until her client no longer wished to take part.
Gill, who has two daughters aged 14 and 12, says: “I was the first image consultant exclusively for transgender women and I offer a specialist service so I have clients from quite far. I have links to a local B&B so people can stay overnight. I had Channel Four filming in my home as part of The Making Of Me. I was supposed to be on episode four but my client pulled out so we didn’t get aired.
“I have been lucky enough to have been invited several times to judge Miss Transliving in Eastbourne and Miss Rose Pageant in Scarborough, donating prizes and offering my sponsorship. I also attended the Beaumont Society Harrogate events for several years offering my services and sponsorship. I also voluntarily wrote regular fashion and beauty articles for their magazine. My service has grown and grown, so much so I have been mentored by Virgin, who is helping me upgrade my website and promote my business. I have been asked to represent them via theirwebsite, as they are big advocates of diversity.”
Part of Gill’s aim is to educate people about transgender and make the notion more accepted.
She adds: “My aim is to break down barriers and show it is normal. People who are transgender are no different to anybody else.”
Gill now needs your votes to be shortlisted for the next stage of the National Diversity Awards 2019, which take place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on September 20.
To vote, visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate. Voting closes May 31 and the shortlisted nominees will be announced soon after that.
Source – Written by Natalie Walker as featured in The Lancashire Post – https://www.lep.co.uk/news/people/how-eccleston-mum-has-been-helping-to-style-and-inspire-transgender-women-through-her-makeover-girl-reinvent-yourself-image-consultancy-1-9786731
YORK charity Accessible Arts & Media is in the running for a National Diversity Award 2019.
Based at Sanderson House, Bramham Road, Chapelfields, the charity has been nominated in the Community Organisation category.
Kelly Langford, project manager and marketing coordinator, said: “These awards celebrate the excellent achievements of grassroots communities that tackle the issues in today’s society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work,so it’s a real honour for us to have been nominated.”
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will play host to the awards ceremony on September 20, when “Britain’s most inspirational and selfless people will come together to honour the rich tapestry of our nation”, recognising nominees in their respective fields of diversity, whether age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.
Accessible Arts & Media (AAM)has been running inclusive arts and media learning programmes in and around York since 1982. At present the focus is on projects for learning disabled young people and adults, older people living with dementia and memory loss and people with mental ill health, with the aim of helping people to develop the skills and confidence to become involved in their community and have more of a say in what matters to them.
Creative director Rose Kent said: “We’re incredibly proud that our work’s been recognised with a nomination for a National Diversity Award. The awards are all about celebrating inclusion and diversity, which is what we do every day at AAM. We believe that everyone can learn, everyone can be creative, and everyone can contribute to their local community; they just need the right support. It would mean the world to us to win the award and put York on the map as an inclusive city.”
The National Diversity Awards receive more than 25,000 nominations and votes annually. Nominations for who should win are now open and will close on May 31; shortlisted nominees will be announced in June. The judging panel will take the number of nominations received for each nominee into account when making its decision. “Don’t miss out on your chance to get involved and support Accessible Arts & Media,” urged Rose.
To nominate Accessible Arts & Media and explain why you think they should win an award, visit nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/23007 or email email@example.com for a nomination form.
Source – Written by Charles Hutchinson as featured in The York Press – https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/17653916.york-charity-accessible-arts-nominated-for-national-diversity-award/
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
Young champion fundraiser Louis Johnson has been named as one of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Hundred Heroes.
Twelve-year-old Louis has so far raised more than £6,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital in support of children being cared for at the hospital.
Louis, who lives in Tettenhall Wood, said he was really excited to learn he had been named as one of the charity’s Hundred Heroes – which recognises individuals who support the charity.
Louis, who is a pupil at Smestow School, said: “I was really excited and happy to learn that I have been told I am one of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Hundred Heroes. I was completely over the moon.
“I have raised more than £6,000 for the charity now and so far have raised £600 for them through my upcoming walk.”
Serena Daw, public fundraising manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “We are thrilled to announce Louis as one of our Hundred Heroes. These awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate and thank our supporters for their extraordinary efforts over the past year, and Louis is fully deserving of this recognition.
“To date, Louis has raised over £6,000 for us and has been so passionate about supporting our sick kids. From tea parties to charity walks, he is always looking at new ways to fundraise. He truly is a hero – well done Louis.”
On Saturday Louis will be walking 15 miles in a fancy dress costume to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, from Tettenhall, in a bid to raise more funds for the charity. When he reaches the hospital, he will give teddy bears and colouring books to the young patients.
He will then return to Wolverhampton by train before collecting money in the city centre’s Queen Square.
In eight years of fundraising, since he was five years old, Louis has raised nearly £20,000 for a variety of local charities.
Louis has also been nominated for a Positive Role Model Award at the 2019 National Diversity Awards!
Source – www . Express and Star . com