Business News

Local nominees for National Diversity Awards announced

May 4, 2020

Many of our local LGBTQ+ groups and community role models have been nominated for this year’s National Diversity Awards (NDAs), which celebrate unity in society and will take place in Liverpool later this year.

The NDAs, which are voted for by the general public, celebrate the achievements of charities, role models and community heroes that tackle the issues in today’s society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work. Local LGBTQ+ groups and individuals that have been nominated so far include:

Community Organisation (LGBT): Allsorts Youth Project, which supports and empowers children and young people under 26 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or unsure (LGBTU) of their sexual orientation; Out To Swim South, LGBTQ+ and allies swimming club; My Genderation, an ongoing film project focusing on trans lives and trans experiences.

Positive Role Model (LGBT): Jessica Kellgreen, Jessica Out of the Closet; Kate Everall, Lesbemums; Harri Weeks, the National LGB&T Partnership; Joanne Monck; Joseph Harwood.

Iain Gowers, from Out To Swim South, said: ‘We’re very proud of our nomination for the award. For over a year and half we’ve worked to make our Brighton swim team more diverse and inclusive, from changing our photos used to including information regarding body diversity, highlighting our female swimmers, and including information for trans and disabled swimmers on our website. We’re currently rolling this out to our other branches and always looking at what we can do next.’

Effie Fowler, fundraiser at Allsorts Youth Project, said: ‘We’re absolutely thrilled to be nominated for a National Diversity Award. We wholeheartedly value the support we see and feel from our community and are deeply thankful to those who have nominated us. As a youth-led LGBTQ+ charity, it is truly moving to see the resilience, creativity and talents of Allsorts children and young people acknowledged and celebrated on a national scale. We thoroughly look forward to the event and again, thank our supporters for this opportunity.’

Fox Fisher and Owl, co-directors of My Genderation, said: ‘My Genderation’s message has always been one of positivity and to show trans people overcoming obstacles and living their life as their most authentic selves. As a non-profit and volunteer trans-led organisation, we’re delighted to be nominated for the National Diversity Awards. It doesn’t only mean recognition for us and the work we do, but for all the people working with us and all our wonderful contributors who have made the world a better place by telling their stories. Thanks to everyone for their support and votes.’

Joanne Monck, nominated in the Positive Role Model category, said: ‘I’m now legally female after transitioning in 2014 at the age of 58. I live in Brighton and truly humbled to have been nominated. I’m really excited and hope to get on the shortlist. Since the start of my journey, I’ve developed a passion for supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Everything I do is on a voluntary basis. I give a lot of support to Sussex Police, as an independent advisor and hate crime ambassador and serve on several scrutiny panels and reference groups empowering the police to become more sympathetic to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. I also serve as an advisor for the Crown Prosecution Service with my ultimate goal of enabling through it legislation to be changed in relation to hate incidents and hate crime on social media.

‘I’m a Stonewall schools role model visiting schools and talking to students about my life and that it’s okay to be who you want to be. After receiving some vitriolic hate on social media, I established a support group on Facebook to advise and help others who have found themselves in a similar situation.

‘I’m the Bluebell Heritage Railways’ equality, inclusion and diversity advisor and a national diversity mentor. I have, over the years, gained considerable respect for what I do for the community and frequently get asked to talk on various local radio stations.

‘My passion for creating awareness and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and their rights to be treated with dignity and respect is the reason I believe I’ve been nominated. This work is all done while carrying the burden of a life-threatening medical condition.’

The deadline for nominations is Monday, May 18,2020. To see a full list of nominees or to nominate a community group or hero, visit the website.

For more info on Allsorts Youth Project see here. 

For more info on Out To Swim.

For more info on My Genderation.