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The Mecure Holland House Hotel in Redcliffe was probably not the obvious place to hold an awards ceremony aimed at being inclusive and welcoming as 26 diversity awards were given out to an audience of over 250 guests, many of  whom wouldn’t normally sit in the same room as each other let alone spend an evening of combined celebration and mutual respect.

Anyone who was there on saturday night would tell you that there was an air of expectation, excitement and unity as the audience wondered if it was them or their group who were to receive a coveted Bristol Diversity Award. There really was a kind of “One Love” atmosphere.

The event was conceived by Bristol Community FM’s Chief Executive Pat Hart last year as part of the award winning radio stations 10th birthday celebrations.(He also pioneered the award winning One Love Breakfast Show 6 years ago). It was so well received that the idea was handed to ethical media organisation e-com who increased the amount of awards from 5 to 25 and streamlined the nomination and voting process making it transparent and easy for anyone to get involved. With Bristol Community FM now the media partners and Royal Air Force Recruitment co-sponsors alongside a host of others including Creative Youth Network, United Communities and Drummer TV, the Bristol Diversity Awards received good traction and the event was sold out 2 weeks in advance.

Other Bristol Award organisers from The Shout Out LGBT+ Awards, The MTM Awards, The Rise Awards and the MMG awards all attended and gave their support affording  the BDA’s even more credibility.

So as a mixture of fine food was served to the guests the show began promptly at 8 despite an extra 20 or so people just turning up (front of house organiser Victoria still found places …and food for them).

Broadcasters Sherrie Eugene-Hart & Pat Hart opened proceedings with some fine video graphics and a manner that encouraged the audience to listen intently as the judges and voting methodology was explained. Before we knew it the winners were being announced Oscar style with gold envelopes, musical fanfares, and slick graphics. The Bristol Diversity Awards 2018 was in full flow. A quick break for viral sensations Da Fuchaman & Alfie Haile to perform So much love as TV weatherman Alex Beresford was grabbed onstage to join in and then back to the awards.

Winners arrived and left the stage until the last three special recognition awards to Kaya Kilaze Bown, Liz Wilson who died last year and St Pauls Festival co-founder , 89 year old Roy Hackett who received The Paul Stephenson Award for Contribution to Race equality. The audience were on their feet, taking snaps and video as Roy made his speech with Dr Paul Stephenson also being assisted to the stage and sitting alongside Roy.

It was a memorable night full of genuine joy, love and understanding as the various diverse groups and organisations mixed, networked and celebrated. Event creator and organiser Pat Hart said afterwards “ These awards are our way of saying, let’s stop talking and start doing. We’re being proactive in bringing this city together, nobody has given us funding, that’s not why we’re doing it. We want to show that if you want real change you just go out and do it! There have been enough conversations, we know what we need to do and we’ll just keep on doing it”

The Bristol Diversity Awards will be back next year with the nomination process opening in September this year. A full list of all the winners and their stories are listed below.

Positive Role Model Award for Age  – Amy Rodwell

Amy grew up in Bristol and is 20 years old. At school she lacked confidence and by her own admission had no ideas what she wanted to do in life and certainly didn’t think it would amount to much. Now she is a leading light at the Mayors office working in business support but also is now an ambassador for other young people who want to study apprenticeships as an alternative to university. Amy has become a real inspiration to others by showing you can break down social barriers and achieve.

Positive Role Model Award for Disability – Ashley Jenkins

Ashley is a reporter and broadcaster on BCFM radio. Part of the Midweek Sportsbar team that won a national award. Even though he likes to talk about himself a lot, (according to co-host Neil Maggs) Ashley has a never give up attitude that has seen him push the boundaries of what is expected of a young man with quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Ashley continues to break down barriers and has inspired many of us to aim high.

Positive Role Model Award for Gender – Lyn & Sandra  – Rise Women

Lyn Moreno & Sandra Gordon set up R.I.S.E in 2013. RISE Stands for Recognising Individual Success & Efforts and was targeted towards the BAME business community who were far and few between. There have since been RISE Women events and a rise radio show on community broadcaster Ujima Radio.

Positive Role Model Award for LGBT+ – Ivan Jackson

Ivan is a hard working volunteer who is an invaluable member of the One Love Breakfast team, ShoutOut member and Showtime presenter on BCFM radio. He not only regularly compiles, researches and reads news but also works tirelessly to break down barriers between various sections of the community.

Positive Role Model Award for Race/Ethnicity – Dr Zainab Khan

Dr Zainab Khan has lobbied for, designed and delivered “The Link” the largest Black and Minority Ethnic professional networking event in Bristol. As well as “Equity” a Black and Minority Ethnic leadership programme targeted at home students at the University of the West of England.The programme has made such a positive impact that it’s now planned that all faculties at UWE will be part of the Equity Initiative.  Dr. Zainab Khan has been at UWE for almost 10 years.

Positive Role Model Award for Faith/Religion – Fr Richard McKay

For over 13 years he was RC Chaplain at HM Prison Bristol. Committed to working not only ecumenically but also across all faiths, he serves on Bristolʼs Multi-Faith Forum. He has a passion for the unity of the Church and its mission to bring justice, equality and freedom to the oppressed of our world.

His parish has over 60 nationalities represented in the congregation week by week, and the worship reflects this cultural diversity, eg singing in different languages, and a multicultural choir, as well as often the Scripture readings are in a number of languages. A major part of his Pastoral work is in support of those seeking safe asylum and sanctuary in our country.

Organisation Award for Age – Bristol Central YFC

Founded by Kassim Hamid & Derek Scale  as Bristol Central Youth FC, the club were awarded the Community Club of the year award in 2015 for fulfilling those original aims to be a multi ethnic club with a culturally diverse membership reflecting the richness of the inner city.  The club now provide opportunities for hundreds of young people who would not otherwise have the opportunity to play.

Organisation Award for Disability – Young & Free


Organisation Award for Gender – Gal-Dem

Gal-dem is a magazine (online and in print) and creative collective comprised of over 70 women and non-binary people of colour which launched in September 2015.

Gal-dem was founded by Liv Little who, frustrated with the lack of diversity at Bristol University, wanted to reach out to women of colour like herself.

Organisation Award for LGBT+ – Pride Without Borders

Pride without Borders is an innovative project supporting LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers who have faced discrimination and persecution in their home country and have fled to the UK to try to find safety. Pride without Borders offers a lifeline and a space where people feel they can talk openly and gain emotional and practical support to take the steps they need to rebuild their lives and to live safely and without fear. They are able to make new friendships,get help to fight their cases, and support to navigate the complex bureaucratic processes they face.

Organisation Award for Race/Ethnicity – United Communities

United Communities is a community based housing provider with a long history of supporting BME residents to secure good quality housing across Bristol. They have worked really hard for over 30 years and have build a portfolio of 1800 homes across the area. They house over 45% BME households – many of which came from significantly poor housing and now have an excellent platform for their future.

Organisation Award for Faith/Religion – Jamia Mosque

Easton Jamia Masjid is one of the oldest and most respected places of worship for Muslims across the South West region. First established in 1983, the mosque’s congregation has continued to grow over the years. The key aim of the Easton Jamia Masjid is to educate the youth of Islam and all its variants, enabling them to live a life of respect, humbleness and honour. The Mosque aims to inspire the love and honour of Islam into the hearts and minds of the community. They aim to prepare the community as good ambassadors of Islam with their good behaviour, noble citizenship and civilised manners.

Business Award for Age – Street 2 Boardroom

Street2Boardroom was founded in 2016 by Clayton Planter, who has a successful track record of working with young people and adults from the streets, urban neighbourhoods, projects and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Clayton decided to start Street2Boardroom when he noticed that the current system did not allow these people to increase their full potential and find positive role models that they could relate to.

Business Award for LGBT+ – Queen Shilling

Queenshilling voted best club 3 years running, Respected by the community and Proud of our ongoing reputation for being Bristol’s friendliest nightclub.

“Queenshilling do so much for the community and they always make you feel welcome. They are like a big family!”

Business Award for Race/Ethnicity – Pilo Exercise

Pilo really strives to promote diverse culture in Bristol through the channel of music, dance and fitness. His classes bring people from a wide variety of ages, social classes and cultures together. His employees are also from all different background and countries. His contribution as a business owner to promoting equality and diversity in Bristol is outstanding and is a model for other companies to learn from

Diverse TV Broadcaster Award – Alex Beresford

Alex is a local guy, raised in Eastville, who has risen up through the ITV news team and has now presented weather nationally since 2007. He starred on the 2018 edition of Dancing on Ice and ran a Diversity School Tour Project where he visits inner-city schools to talk about media careers. Alex has always supported his local community and at times has not been afraid to speak out on matters concerning the BAME community

Diverse Radio Broadcaster Award – Neil Maggs

Neil is the host of the Midweek Sportsbar on BCFM, the show that recently won a National Community Radio Award. Supporting local grass roots sports and giving a voice to minority teams and groups, he has also championed a diverse team for the show providing a real platform for diversity. He’s also produced TV and written articles for a range of major publications.

Diverse Online Broadcaster Award – Mandem Hood (UWE)

‘MANDEM’ is a Bristol based independent online platform for men of colour. Born out of a severe lack of diversity in the media, it includes content from a variety of talented young people, focusing on issues such as masculinity, gender, and race.

Diverse Production Award – 8th Sense Media

8th Sense Media, is a Bristol based production company founded by Michael Jenkins. Providing imaginative content as well as workshops for young people to help gain valuable experience in production. Their mission is to “give a voice to Unheard Voices!”.

Diverse Publication Award – Up Our Street Magazine

Up Our Street brings people together to create change in the neighbourhoods of Easton and Lawrence Hill. As well as their magazine they deliver communications and community development projects to inspire, inform, and motivate people to action. A small organisation run by a committed trustee board of local people who care about the community in which they live, since 1999.

Young People’s Inspiration Award – Keisha Steel

Keisha is nominated by United Communities as she is a joy to have in our community. She lives with her mum and brother in a United Community home and is a absolute credit to her family. She supports her mum with her deafness and signs for her all the time. From this Keisha is at Orchard school championing the rights of disabled and need for more people to sign. Keisha volunteers with other deaf people and acts as a means of communication by signing and translating. She wants to take on signing as a career and be the next Sherrie Eugene.

Volunteer Award – Mervyn Kemp

Mervyn has been an invaluable and much loved volunteer at BCFM radio. Despite being one of the station’s older team members he has worked hard on the SilverSound show and even  gave his own time to contribute to the all Election broadcast in 2017. He lost his wife in 2017 and has continued to support BCfm through his popular monthly broadcasts.

Diverse Politician – Ruth Pickerskill

Ruth is a local councillor and the treasurer at WECIL. She has particular interest in improving services for young disabled people and in increasing WECIL’s work with minority ethnic communities and refugees.

E-Com Media –  Outstanding Contribution Award – Kilaze – Bristol HomeGrown Network

This years e-com Media special contribution award goes to someone who has worked tirelessly over the last 10 years in both the music business and with young people from across our inner city. Often for little or no reward he has maintained a high level of respect and admiration from virtually the entire Bristol black music fraternity, whilst building up a strong set of followers on his Bristol Homegrown network radio shows on Ujima & BCfm where he rarely holds back if he’s got something to say! . Life hasn’t been easy for this dad of two who spends much of his week balancing fatherhood with the daily grime of  trying to provide for his family. Whatever the obstacles in his way though he always seems to manage to produce outstanding music and visuals for himself and others and most recently was the executive editor on the acclaimed Reparations TV documentary shown across the UK. Maybe someone needs to snap up his talents soon for he follows in the footsteps of many others and leaves our City! Bristol hasn’t always shown love to him, but tonight we want to show love, appreciation and respect in the shape of The E-Com Media Outstanding Achievement Award

Special Recognition Award – Liz Wilson

Liz Wilson who sadly passed away in 2017 was a well known figure in both Social Services and Education and throughout her life was seen as someone who championed diversity, she was a powerful role model for many of her students . Liz stood as an incredibly strong and inspirational black woman who had skillfully broken down barriers and challenged racism and oppression. Liz believed and invested in people, she was approachable, passionate and a compassionate people person who touched the lives of so many. Liz was at first a generic field social worker and went on to specialise in children and family work with a particular interest for children in care. Her work within childrens’ services allowed her to develop a tremendous depth of knowledge and insight in to the lives and impact of children who had suffered terrible trauma. It is simply impossible to know how many vulnerable people and particularly young people that liz supported in her life but we can only feel in awe when we think of how she would have indiscriminately welcomed every person with open arms, warmth and embrace in their hour of need. She very recently actively supported a young fostered person going through the challenges of the asylum process who has since gained refugee status and we’ve seen this same young man on stage earlier today.  She also sat on the trustees board locally for enabling disabled children and young carers and their families to go on holidays and outings. She was so active in social work in so many places. She was generous with her time and knowledge beyond boundaries. Liz went on to become the manager of the training department and then became engaged in the academic world bringing her closer to social work students as a tutor, lecturer and practice educator. Everyone who worked alongside Liz appreciated and respected her…she was a relentless, hardworking, dedicated and committed to enabling learning, she was nothing short of inspirational and she instilled her commitment to social justice and strong values.

Paul Stephenson Award – Contribution to Race Equality – Roy Hackett

The Recipient of The Paul Stephenson Award For Race Equality  was born in Jamaica in 1928,he held a British passport and he travelled to England to work in 1952.

he visited friends in Bristol and found that he liked it, but it was difficult to find a place to live. There were often signs in the windows of houses with rooms to rent saying, “No Blacks, No Gypsies, No Irish and No Dogs”. Even when he called at houses displaying no signs, the owners would frequently slam the door in his face before he had even opened his mouth.

As he and other Black people faced so much racism, they set up a committee called the Commonwealth Co-ordinated Committee to challenge Bristol City Council and other bodies to make changes. At first, it met in Roy’s house in Easton in 1962. This later became the West Indian Parents’ and Friends’ Association,

A major achievement of the Committee was their role in the successful Bristol Bus Boycott Campaign of 1963. They forced the Bristol Omnibus Company to lift their ban on employing Black people. In 1968, the Committee set up the St. Paul’s Festival, which later became the St. Paul’s Carnival. The festival organisers had to ask local businesses for funding and to lend lorries for floats. They managed to get a steel band from Bath, a rarity then, and festival costumes were made at Roy’s house in Easton. In the early days of the carnival, the floats travelled from Eastville Market down Stapleton Road and Seymour Road in Easton, along to Lower Ashley Road, Sussex Place, and City Road in St. Paul’s, eventually arriving in Portland Square. This was before the M32 motorway was built. The floats stopped before the Lord Mayor who would give a speech in Sussex Place. St Pauls’ Carnival is older than the famous Notting Hill Carnival in London and coaches of Black people from London, Birmingham, Gloucester and Newport would arrive each year.

2018 not only marks the 50th St Pauls’ carnival but also our recipients 90th Birthday. He’s been  a founding member of the Bristol Race Equality Council, the Chair of the legendary Bamboo Club management committee who hosted amongst others Bob Marley & The Wailers and also the man who brought OSCAR The Organisation For Sickle Cell Anemia Research to Bristol. He was awarded by the Jamaican High Commissioner in 1993, received maundy money from Her Majesty the Queen, had a host of other awards including a Rise Award in 2017. One of his quotes is this  “Always try your best and make the most of your education. Education is a way of proving that you can do well and it also enables you to develop. Think about your own future children and how to make a better place for them, too.”