Two Manchester Paralympians praise National Diversity Awards, as nominee shortlist released

By Sophia Rahman

A national awards scheme promoting diversity and social cohesion has released its shortlist ahead of its Manchester ceremony next month.

The National Diversity Awards will honour commendable individuals and organisations who have strived to enhance equality, inclusion and diversity in the categories of race, gender, disability, age and LGBT.

The gongs will be awarded at a glitzy bash hosted by former Big Brother winner Brian Dowling at The Midland Hotel on Friday September 21.

Paul Sesay, chief executive of The Diversity Group, said: “I wanted to create an event where role models in various communities were rewarded for their hard work and dedication, highlighting all that is great about Britain and how the diversity in our country is what makes it so valuable and special.

“I have always been a great pursuer of equality and believe that diversity is the one true thing we all have in common and what better way to celebrate it than together!”

Greater Manchester’s own Paralympians Sarah and Barney Storey said they are delighted to support the awards.

 “The rich tapestry of our nation comes from the fact we are blessed with talented individuals from across the globe who choose to work and live in the UK,” they added.

The shortlist for the 2012 awards are:

Positive Role Model – Disability: Alan Rayment, Katie Caryer, Liam Mackin

Positive Role Model – Age: Bijna Dasani, Nathan Popple, Michael Burton

Positive Role Model – Race: Zita Holbourne, Inayat Omarji, Abraham Eshetu  

Positive Role Model – LGBT: Paris Lees, Jennifer Fear, Christine Burns

Positive Role Model – Gender: Bekezela Nsingo, Jane Kenyon, Denise Charlton

 Community Organisation – Disability: Disability Online, Harrow Asian Deaf Club, Bradford Bulls Wheelchair Rugby League Club

Community Organisation – Age: Asian Elders Resource Centre, Northampton Youth Forum, Age UK Oldham

Community Organisation – Race: Rukus, Support Against Racist Incidents, Anthony Walker Foundation

Community Organisation – LGBT: MindOut, Transmedia Watch, LGBT Youth Scotland

Community Organisation – Gender: Amadudu, JAN Trust, Women Making a Difference

 Entrepreneurial of Excellence – Disability: Andrew Neal (ACN Retail Design Ltd), Dom Smith(Soundsphere Magazine), and Laura Chapman (Equality Training)

Entrepreneurial of Excellence – Age: Julie Robinson (Move it or lose it!), Blessing Maregere (Bright Futures Enterprise), and Abdul Shakur (Sparkbrook Neighbourhood Forum and blogger enterprises CIC)

Entrepreneurial of Excellence – Race: Samuel Kasumu (Elevation Networks), Efe Ezekiel (Ushine Ishine) and Mark Esho (Easy Internet Solutions)

Entrepreneurial of Excellence – LGBT: Marius Maritz (Pinstripe Cherry ltd), Tris Reid-Smith (Gaystar News) and Tony Burns (Seen Magazine)

Entrepreneurial of Excellence – Gender: Sheila Singh (London School of Academics), Shelley Perry (SEED), and Maggie O’Carroll (The Women’s Organisation)

 Diverse Company: Lancashire Constabulary, the Co-operative Group, Creative Support, Blackburn with Darwen Primary Care Trust

 Lifetime Achiever: Louis Julienne, Peter Tatchell, Christine Burns

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