General News

Graham Norton supports National Diversity Awards

Besi Besemar February 21, 2017

“Did we know that we were standing on the threshold of a very different and much darker new world?” said Moira Smyth, Winner of the positive Role Model Award for LGBT+.

Reflecting on events since The National Diversity Awards 2016, the driving force behind the LGBT+ network at Hampshire County Council expressed her uncertainty for what is yet to unfold in 2017, and how recent events across the globe will impact diversity and inclusion.

“Hints of the new world were present as we had already received the reports of hate crime in our Country, but could we see the events that have since unfolded in America? Not really.” She continued.

The National Diversity Awards are a shining light in this darker new world. Nominations opened on February 20, and organisers expect an influx of entries from community organisations and positive role models from across the UK, in a defiant stance to promote and recognise our nations unsung diversity heroes.

Funke Abimbola, Senior Lawyer and Diversity Leader, and most recently a judge for The National Diversity Awards, echoes this sentiment.

He said: “These awards are vital as they celebrate and encourage those unsung diversity heroes working tirelessly to level the playing field within our communities.”

A previous winner of the positive role model award for gender, Funke, continued: “Others can then learn from and be inspired by their example. Never has this been more important than now in our post-truth and post-BREXIT era.”

With the ever-increasing need for cohesion between communities from all walks of life, the National Diversity Awards aims to deliver this year’s grandest celebration of diversity.

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral plays host to the 2017 ceremony, on September 8 when the UK’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.

Graham Norton
Graham Norton

The awards have recently announced new supporters and Microsoft are returning as Headline sponsor. The prestigious black tie event has also attracted a growing list of endorsements from celebrities who are actively supporting the diversity agenda including Sir Lenny Henry, Stephen Fry and Katie Piper.

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

There can only be one winner for each of the 15 award categories; but with 20,000 nominations and votes received annually, The National Diversity Awards will without a doubt showcase the best of British diversity at such a crucial time.

Paul Sesay
Paul Sesay

Founder and CEO Paul Sesay, said: “Unlocking Britain’s diverse talent and rewarding unsung champions remains at the heart of these awards.”

Sesay, who was fostered as a young child, is the guiding light behind The National Diversity Awards, and has made it his mission to bring communities together.

He continued: “As we enter our sixth year, I know there are still so many game changers who remain unnoticed and unheard. We aim to provide a platform for those who have the passion and determination to spread the positive message of inclusivity. I look forward to learning about this year’s nominees and witnessing their spectacular journeys.”

Nominations for the National Diversity Awards, close on June 9.

To make a nomination, click here: