Britain’s diverse heroes honoured at National Diversity Awards

National Diversity Awards

Britain’s diverse heroes were celebrated at the UK’s largest diversity awards on Friday 16th September at the breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

The awards, in association with ITV News, shone a light on the incredible role models and community organisations who have changed the lives of so many.

Hosted by actress and comedian Nina Wadia OBE, the prestigious ceremony included a headline set from R&B music icon Lemar, as well as appearances from TV personalist Christine McGuinness and headline dominator Katie Price.

“I am delighted to be hosting such a fantastic and important event.” Said Nina Wadia. “It’s great to meet all the nominees and recognise their hard work and efforts in facing the challenges of today’s society.”

Since the awards were founded in 2011, they have paid tribute to over one thousand grass root charities and diversity champions who are paving the way for change. A record-breaking 75,000 people nominated this year alone with an astonishing 126 nominees being recognised for their various achievements worldwide.

The evening began with a minute’s silence, paying tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, followed by founder of the NDA’s, Paul Sesay, discussing the importance of the awards:

“What began as a simple idea back in 2011 has now become a diverse family of thousands of people from all across the UK”. Said Mr Sesay. “I continue to be extremely proud of everyone involved and remain humbled by the astonishing work that is being carried out by individuals residing from grass root communities who effectively inspire, encourage, and uplift others to achieve unbelievable accomplishments.”

One of the most recognisable names in British sport Col Dame Kelly Holmes MBE was the recipient of the Celebrity of the Year Award for helping to guide disadvantaged young people through the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. Earlier this year, Dame Kelly publicly came out as gay in her powerful documentary called Kelly Holmes: Being Me and explains how after 34 years she finally feels free to be her authentic self.

National Diversity Awards, Dame Kelly Holmes

Katie and Harvey Price also attended the ceremony, coming on stage to present Sebbie Hall with the positive role model for disability for completing random acts of kindness every day for over 2 years, making 2,000 strangers smile and raising £44,000 for charity.

This year’s positive role model for gender accolade was awarded to Gamal Turawa, the Met Police’s first openly gay black officer and the protagonist of the 2022 BAFTA winning Best British Short film, ‘The Black Cop’ and presented by burns survivor Abbie Quinnen.

Another highlight of the evening came when Amberleigh Care accepted the Community Organisation Award for providing specialist therapeutic care and education to over 100 vulnerable young males, who have gone through trauma in their early lives.

GIN UK (LGBTQIA Indian Network) took the win for the Community Organisation Award for Race, Faith & Religion, beating seven other competitors, for connecting 1,400 LGBTQIA community members of Indian & South Asian Heritage through events and support groups.

CEO of the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity, Dr Tony Lloyd, scooped the prestigious lifetime achiever award for being a pioneering advocate for neurodiverse paradigm in health, education, and business in the UK.

Our founder, Vanessa Vallely OBE, took to the stage to present James Adeleke, Founder of Generation Success, with the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award for helping over 10,000 young people through mentoring, training and recruitment.

National Diversity Awards, Vanessa Vallely OBE

As the evening progressed, local community dance group Movema wowed the audience with an energetic performance, and the ceremony concluded with singing sensation Lemar filling the grand Cathedral with his stunning vocals.

Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA’s are supported by the likes of Graham Norton, Stephen Fry and Meera Syal. Activist Katie Piper and Paralympic Gold Medallist Danny Crates were on this year’s judging panel, dedicating their time to help choose the highly anticipated shortlist.

The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker, said:

“If ever there was a time to unite and celebrate the best of British diversity, it is now. It’s so important to recognise the achievements of role models and community organisations across the UK and provide a platform to vital causes that don’t receive the praise that they deserve.”


The Golden Globes of the diversity world was a tremendous occasion, and even more special to celebrate 11 years of rewarding those who strive to inspire and uplift others, while never seeking thanks or praise. It was incredible to witness their achievements – there is no doubt each winner has had an immense impact on people’s lives across communities nationwide.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Positive Role Model for Age:

Melissa Grace McComas

Positive Role Model for Disability:

Sebbie Hall

Positive Role Model for Gender:

Gamal Turawa

Positive Role Model for LGBT:

Nate Ethan Watson

Positive Role Model for Race, Faith & Religion:

Josh Preye Garry

Community Organisation Award for Age:

Amberleigh Care

Community Organisation Award for Disability:

The LUNA Project

Community Organisation Award for Gender:

Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS)

Community Organisation Award for LGBT:

Steph’s Place

Community Organisation Award for Race, Faith & Religion:

GIN UK (LGBTQIA Indian Network)

Community Organisation Award for Multi-strand:

Bradford 4 Better

Entrepreneur of Excellence:

James Adeleke

Celebrity of the Year:

Col Dame Kelly Holmes MBE

Diverse Company:

NatWest Group

Lifetime Achiever:

Dr Tony Lloyd

Watch the 2022 National Diversity Awards

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