One of my favourite events ever are the National Diversity Awards [the NDAs] which take place in Liverpool every year. The NDAs are about highlighting the unsung heroes working tirelessly to foster inclusion in the UK through their transformative work in and with historically marginalised communities. I love that we get to give these incredible people and organisations their flowers, we all get to learn and be inspired, and then we also have so much fun eating, singing and dancing!
This year a record-breaking number of 75000+ votes and nominations were received for the NDAs, which is incredible. It shows the amount of good there is out there, and I wish each nominee feel seen and proud of their great contribution to society. Our Global Executive Director at Avast Foundation – Shane Ryan - serves as one of the Judges of the Awards and I honestly cannot imagine the difficulty of selecting winners from amongst such outstanding and impactful shortlisted organisations.
As the chair of the Avast Foundation Youth Leadership Board, I am very proud that Avast Foundation are gold sponsors of the awards this year! We sponsored the Community Organisation for Disability Award, I want to take the time to salute the work of all the shortlisted nominees of this category: AL’S ARC, Mushroom Theatre Company, The Disability Union, Owl Blue, Shine 21 Dorset Down Syndrome Buddy Club, The Postiveitree, Send Socials Birmingham CIC, and the winner The Luna Project. The Luna Project is an incredible charity which supports and raises awareness of young people with chronic illnesses, disabilities and long-term health conditions through friendships.
A lovely surprise [for me anyway] was finding out that we ourselves (Avast) had been nominated for the Diverse Company Award alongside some other great organisations! It is great to be recognised but I also view such recognitions as a challenge to keep going, and to dare to do even better!
I thank the organising team - not least the Founder and Visionaryof the Awards - Paul Sesay – for putting on an incredible Awards, I had a great time with colleagues and friends. Thenight truly belonged to all nominees and shortlisted people and organisations! You are all amazing, Thank you and bless you all for all you do!