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64,000 nominations and votes as National Diversity Awards announce 2020 shortlist

Designed to highlight the country's most inspirational and selfless people, awards will now take place in February 2020

CONTENDER: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United is a contender for Celebrity of the Year Photo credit: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty ImagesA RECORD breaking 64,000 people nominated this year alone and the results are finally in for the National Diversity Awards (NDA), with an astonishing 126 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide. Community organisations and role models from across the UK will head to the breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on February 26 to witness the country’s 2020 winners being crowned the best of British diversity. Honoured

Amongst those being honoured are charities, campaigners and activists, all of whom work tirelessly to combat injustice and discrimination in very different ways. During difficult and challenging times, it is now more important than ever to recognise our country’s true role models

Paul Sesay, founder of NDAs

Nielsen, Direct Line Group and The Open University have recently been announced as sponsors of the pioneering awards that have paid tribute to over 800 grass root groups and diversity champions since its inception. ITV News are also listed amongst a host of companies showcasing their support to recognising diverse talent, providing a platform to our unsung heroes.

Rachel Corp, Acting Editor, ITV News said: “We are pleased that ITV News will once again be supporting the National Diversity Awards. ITV News remains committed to telling the stories of those, who through their work and dedication to helping others have made a difference; enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our society. We look forward to introducing the 2020 nominees to our viewers across the regions and nation.”


Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA’s continue to gain endorsements from high profile figures such as Sir Lenny Henry CBE and Graham Norton. Activist Katie Piper, presenters Alex Brooker and Ade Adepitan MBE and Emmerdale star Ash Palmisciano were on this year’s judging panel, dedicating their time to help choose the highly anticipated shortlist.

Actress and comedian Sally Phillips will take centre stage as the official host of this year’s ceremony. Sally said: “This year has presented historic challenges for everyone but with them we have also seen extraordinary and heroic achievements of people fighting to keep some of our most vulnerable communities supported.

“We need a spotlight on our communities, need, human rights and care for those on the outside like never before. We need to meet, exchange ideas and resources and pool skills more urgently than ever. I am ever grateful for the NDA network and couldn’t be prouder to be returning to their tremendous awards as host for a second time. See you there!”

Previous winners include actor Warwick Davis, men’s mental health charity Andys Man Club and reformed breast cancer survivor Codilia Gapare.

Paul Sesay, founder and CEO of the National Diversity Awards added: “During difficult and challenging times, it is now more important than ever to recognise our country’s true role models. The nation has embraced the diversity of our country and exceeded every other year by submitting a record breaking 64,000 nominations and votes.


“Let me reiterate that creating this shortlist was no easy task. The profound impact made by all our nominees is astonishing, and I feel personally encouraged to know that so many lives are being changed for the better due to the many causes being championed by all of you.

“After weeks of deliberating and thousands of heartfelt testimonials later, I am delighted to finally present to you the best of British diversity.

“Congratulations to all of our shortlisted nominees, it is an honour to recognise your fearlessness, resilience and humanitarian efforts with the rest of the world. Let’s continue the fight for justice, unity and equality for all”.

The full list of shortlisted nominees is as follows:

Positive Role Model Age: Rachel Ojo, Junior Frood, Isabella Evans aka Isabella Signs, Daniel Sukula, Bimla Devi, Hollie-Grace Gough, Gavin Mckenna, Alana Habergham-Rice

Positive Role Model Disability: Emily Nicole Roberts, Daniel Biddle, Amy Francis-Smith, Matt Eagles, Heidi Crowter, Erin McCluskey, Zack Kerr, Anne Wafula Strike MBE

Positive Role Model Gender: Dr Anna Whitelock, Caroline Lucas MP, Ije McDougall, Tanya Pinnock, Lisa Ventura, Karen Johnston, Noreen Cesareo, Dami Okhiria

Positive Role Model LGBT: Heather Paterson, Edwin Sesange, Andreena Leeanne, David Haigh, Dr Izzy Jayasinghe, Ciaran Moynagh, Charley Oliver-Holland, Laks Mann

Positive Role Model Race, Faith Religion: Vanessa Boateng, Imran Savas, Roianne Nedd, Shamus Butt, Dr Anjana Khatwa, Javid Patel, Emma Heath, Salha Kaitesi

Community Organisation Age: Ultra Education, Parson Cross Forum, SAYiT and Noah’s Lomax Fund for LGBT Teen Mental Health, Ab Phab Youth Club, The 4FRONT Project, Ariel Company Theatre, The Youth Association, Skylarks

Community Organisation Disability: Cafe Track, Focus 4 1 CIC, Concrete Youth, Genius Within CIC, Deaf4Deaf Ltd, Dorset Abilities Group, Wouldn’t Change A Thing, Happy Teeth Outreach

Community Organisation Gender: Sisters of Frida, Lifting Limits, Dope Black Mums, Break Tha Cycle, Lads Need Dads, Us Programme, Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS), Anawim

Community Organisation LGBT: Charlton Invicta Football Club, Proud 2 b Parents, Another World Belfast, TIC Box Productions, Trans’pirational, CONTROLLING CHEMSEX CIC, LGBT+ Service Nottinghamshire, GYRO at Young Person’s Advisory Service

Community Organisation Race, Faith, Religion: Women’s Voices, British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society, United Legal Access, The Ubele Initiative, BHI (Black Health Initiative), Free 2Be Me, Wai Yin Society, Gospel Temple Apostolic Church

Community Organisation Multi Strand: Gro-Organic CIC, Orange Box Choir, Bright Star Boxing Academy, TIME, BulliesOut, ACH, Great Minds Together, The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety

Entrepreneur of Excellence: Cynthia Davis, Gavin Neate, Aliyah York, Colin & Elaine Pratt, Tom Forsyth, Joel Kellhofer, Holly Bramwell, Jane Pearman

Diverse Company: Bupa, UK Power Networks, Sky, Mitie, Auto Trader, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, The British Army, Kantar, MSD, RS Components, St Mungos, Weightmans LLP

Celebrity of the Year: John Boyega, Duffy, Olly Alexander, Samantha Renke, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Sam Smith, Christine McGuiness, Marcus Rashford, Nadiya Hussain MBE, Divina de Campo

Lifetime Achiever: Jacqui Jobson, Christian Owens, Ally John, Trudi Beswick, Lord Simon Woolley CBE, Sonia Bassey MBE, Sulaiman Khan, Sally Carr MBE.

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