Category Archives: Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – September 2023

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and with that in mind we have chosen Vicky McClure as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month. 

Vicky is an English actress, model and presenter. She is known for her roles as Detective Inspector Kate Fleming in the BBC series Line of Duty and Lol Jenkins in Shane Meadows’ film This Is England and its Channel 4 sequel mini-series This Is England ’86, This Is England ’88 and This Is England ’90. Before This is England, she appeared in another of Meadows’ films, A Room for Romeo Brass, where she played Ladine. She won the RTS Award and British Academy Television Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Lol in This is England ’86 in 2011.

McClure is also well known for her role as Karen White in Broadchurch, and other roles such as in Filth and Wisdom, Hummingbird, Svengali and The Replacement.

Vicky has supported the Alzheimer’s Society for many years and became an Ambassador in honour of her grandmother, Iris, who had dementia.

She is synonymous with the Memory Walk, having attended every walk in her native Nottingham since 2011, using her voice to encourage as many people as possible to sign-up to their local walk and raise funds to support the Society.  

She is passionate about the power of music to support people affected by dementia, presenting the BAFTA-nominated BBC documentary, Our Dementia Choir, and recently attended a virtual Singing for the Brain service to highlight the support available from Alzheimer’s Society during the coronavirus lockdown. 

In 2022, McClure made a further BBC documentary featuring other Dementia gatherings and musical support groups from elsewhere in the UK, and brought her own Dementia Choir to perform with Tom Grennan before 20,000 spectators at the Splendour Festival held in Nottingham’s Wollaton Hall grounds.

Vicky was appointed an MBE in the 2023 Birthday Honours for services to drama and to charity.

To find out more about World Alzheimer’s Month see here

To find out more about Vicky see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – August 2023

On 20 August it is the final of the Women’s Football World Cup and with that in mind we have chosen Sue Campbell as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Sue is the Football Associations Director of Women’s Football who has a long history of sports administration. She was educated at Long Eaton Grammar School, Bedford College of Physical Education, and the University of Leicester where she obtained a Master of Education degree. She worked as a PE teacher in the early 1970s, before becoming deputy director of Physical Education at Leicester University in 1972 and a lecturer in the Department of Physical Education and Sports Science at Loughborough University from 1976.

In 1980, Sue was appointed regional officer for the East Midlands by the Sports Council of Great Britain. She was deputy chief executive of the National Coaching Foundation for one year in 1984, before becoming its chief executive for a decade, 1985 to 1995. She became chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust in 1995, having played a key role in setting it up and from 2000 -2003 she was an adviser to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education and Skills. 

In 2003 Sue was appointed as the Chair of UK Sport, she held this position until April 2013, presiding over Team GB and Paralympic GB’s performance at the London 2012 games. Sue became Chair of the Youth Sport Trust in 2005, stepping down in December 2017.

On 10 November 2008 she was, created Baroness Campbell of Loughborough, of Loughborough in the County of Leicestershire. She sits on the crossbenches of the House of Lords and she chose to make her maiden speech on the subject of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sue was appointed Head of Women’s Football with The Football Association in March 2016, and became Director of Women’s Football in January 2018.

In 1991 Sue was awarded an MBE and CBE in the same year.  She was appointed Dame in 2020 for services to sport.

In February 2013 she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.

To find out more about Sue see here,_Baroness_Campbell_of_Loughborough To find out more about the World Cup see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month

24 July is the Samaritans Awareness Day called ‘Talk to Us’ and with that in mind we have chosen Hussain Manawer as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Hussain is an acclaimed poet, writer, actor and activist and has supported the Samaritans for many years as part of his mental health campaigning.

In March 2017, Hussain set a Guinness World Record, partnered with Kings College London and supported by the Samaritans, for the world’s largest mental health lesson which included 538 pupils from local schools.

Later that year, he launched an EP during Mental Health Awareness Week entitled Am I Going Too Deep, with 36p from every download donated to Samaritans.  He also teamed up with Samaritans to launch his short video Playground to mark World Mental Health Day which encourages adults to think back to a time when life was simpler, looking back to his own childhood.

In 2018 Hussain received an Honorary Fellowship from Kings College London for his mental health campaigning work. The fellowship came at a time when he had just launched the UK’s largest mental health youth festival in partnership with Twitter – #HussainsHouseLive.

He also supported the Big Listen campaign, to spread the word that listening can be the first step to saving a life. He kicked off the conversation with an appearance on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 Live. Hussain performed a specially written poem called Indirect Emotion, about learning how to listen to and support a friend who’s struggling.

In January 2019 Hussain supported the Brew Monday campaign to speak out about loneliness and encourage people to reach out to support each other in a specially produced film and in 2020 Hussain contributed to the How to Listen book where he was interviewed about his own personal experiences.

May 2022 saw the debut publication of Hussain’s poetry collection – Life is Sad and Beautiful. Launched during Mental Health Awareness Week with various book signings and screenings of short films bringing the poems to life, the book is a Sunday Times Bestseller.

To find our more about the Samaritans see here

To find our more about Hussain’s work see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – June 2023

Diabetes Awareness Week runs from 12 – 18 June and with this in mind we have chosen Adam Smith as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Adam is a Sky Sports presenter whose roles include hosting his own weekly show Saturday Social as well as presenting Kings of the Premier League on Friday evenings and The Debate.

He also conducts regular weekly interviews with some of the biggest names in the Premier League as well as co-hosting regular shows on TalkSport radio.

Adam has also hosted a string of live events including presenting KSI vs Logan Paul from Los Angeles, the opening ceremony for the first ever game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and hosting a special one off event for Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday at Windsor Castle.

Adam is a Celebrity Support for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2015 and says it has “completely changed his life”. Adam has a large fan base on social media and has supported several of JDRF’s campaigns, including the type 1 myth-busting campaign during Diabetes Week and the BBC Lifeline Appeal. He is committed to raising awareness of type 1 diabetes, to dispel any stigma and misinformation about the condition and to help JDRF support and inspire everyone in the type 1 community.

Find out more about Diabetes Awareness Week see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – May 2023

15 – 21 May is Mental Health Awareness Week and with that in mind we have chosen Zoe Sugg as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Zoe is a vlogger and YouTube sensation who rose to fame with her YouTube channel Zoella.  Zoe is Mind’s first Digital Ambassador.

With over 12 million followers on YouTube, Zoe is known for regularly vlogging about fashion, beauty and lifestyle. In 2012, she bravely opened up about her own experiences with mental health. Zoe first experienced panic attacks and anxiety when she was 14 years old and since then she’s become all too aware of how isolating it can be to have a mental health problem. She feels passionately about speaking out and hopes that by doing so, she’s helping others to feel less alone.

Zoe regularly promotes Mind’s campaigns, such as Time to Talk Day and Crafternoon on her digital channels. Most recently, Mind featured as part of the ‘Tuesday Takeover’ series on her Zoella Instagram channel, highlighting various aspects of our campaigning and fundraising work. Rosie Weatherley, Information Content Manager at Mind, was also interviewed for a ‘13 Questions With‘ feature on the Zoella website.

Zoe also regularly fundraises for Mind, from launching a fundraising campaign for her 28th birthday to donating 100% of the profits of a neon sign created in aid of Mind.

To find out more about Zoe see here

To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – April 2023

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and with that in mind we have chosen Vicky Fleetwood as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Vicky is a woman of many talents; a former junior hurdler, a personal trainer and a Rugby World Cup winner. She was also part of England’s bronze medal winning sevens squad in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, she is also a diet and nutrition adviser

Vicky began playing at age 14 after tiring of watching her brother play. She moved to Saracens from Lichfield after the Women’s World Cup in 2014, where she made six appearances. Despite making her Red Roses debut in August 2011 at the age of 21, Vicky had raced to 50 caps by July 2015. She played the 2017 Women’s World Cup and made three appearances off the bench including in the final against New Zealand. Vicky moved to the England Sevens programme for a year in 2017/18 but in 2019 she returned to XVs. She also played in the Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam win that year. She was unavailable for England’s 2019 Super Series campaign due to injury but returned for the start of 2019/20. Vicky was named ‘Player of the Match’ in November’s Quilter International against Italy and shone in the 2020 Six Nations, crossing against Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

She is currently also the Director of Rugby at Old Colfeians Rugby Club in Lee South East London.

Vicky is a Patron for Bowel Cancer UK, she is determined to help raise awareness of the symptons having lost her mother to the disease in 2016 at the age of 62.

To find out more about Vicky see here To find out more about Bowel Cancer Awareness Month see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – March 2023

International Women’s Day is on 8 March and with that in mind we have chosen Emma Hayes the Manager of Chelsea Women FC as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

When injury halted her playing career at an early age she decided to study at Liverpool Hope College studying European Studies, Spanish and Sociology and then took a master degree in Intelligence and International Affairs.

Her first football coaching role as at Long Island Lady Riders in the USA and in 2006 she was part of the coaching staff at Arsenal Ladies during their very successful period where they won 11 trophies.  She returned to the USA to coach in 2008 holding managerial positions in the Women’s Professional League including Chicago Red Stars.

In 2011 she returned to the and became the manager of Chelsea Women FC in 2012 replacing Matt Beard making her the only female manager in the league at that time.

Her time at Chelsea has been and continues to be extremely successful.  Under her management the team has won the WSL 5 times, the FA Cup 4 times, the league cup twice, Community Shield once and were runners up in the Champions League in 2020 being the first female manager to reach the final for 12 years.

Emma has been the Manager of the Season 3 times and was named FIFA Best Women’s Coach in 2022.

In 2016 Emma was awarded an MBE and in 2022 she was awarded an OBE for services to football.

To find out more about Emma see here

To find out more about International Women’s Day see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – February 2023

February is LGBT History Month and with that in mind we have chosen Alicya Eyo as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Alicya is an actress, best known for her roles as Denny Blood in the ITV prison drama series Bad Girls and Ruby Haswell in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale.

A|icya’s love drama started when she was nine and she attended drama and dance classes every Saturday. When she was 14, she moved to London with her family where she trained at the Courtyard Theatre School.

Her first television appearance was in 1997, in Casualty, She also made an appearance on Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and appeared in Gold the follow up drama series to Band Of Gold as a young prostitute In 1999, she appeared with Goldie in the David Bowie film Everybody Loves Sunshine known as B.U.S.T.E.D., internationally. She also starred in the movie G:MT – Greenwich Mean Time. However, Alicya’s big break came in 1998 when she was offered the part of Denny Blood, in Bad Girls.

Alicya is a supporter and patron of The Proud Trust, an LGBT charity that provides services and support for young people. This is what it means to her:

‘I’m totally honoured to have this association with The Proud Trust. Coming from the North West myself, being a lesbian, I’m thrilled to see organisations such as this. The Proud Trust is doing, and has been doing, some incredible work with our young people which I think is vital in terms of developing confidence, identity and a sense of place in this crazy world! I’m looking forward to meeting everyone involved and doing as much as I can to support them.’

To find out more about LGBT History Month see here

To find out more about Alicya see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – January 2023

World Braille Day is on 4 January and with this in mind we have chosen Nigel Limb as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Nigel is an Ambassador for the Wilberforce Trust a charity dedicated to helping those with visual impairment, sight loss, hearing loss and other disabilities across Yorkshire.

He lost most of his sight following a motorbike racing accident in 2015.

His wife was told that an MRI scan had revealed that Nigel had severe brain damage and would most likely die from his injuries within the next few days or be left in a vegetative state. The consultant requested permission to turn off his life support machine and his wife asked if it could be left on over the weekend while she got ready to say goodbye.

Then, on Monday, he woke up. The crash had caused major sight loss and Nigel had to face the loss of his business running a garage and as a floating MOT Tester. There were some tough times ahead. Despite his sight loss, you couldn’t keep Nigel off a bike for long. He had the skill, he had the muscle memory and when Scunthorpe Speedway invited him to get back on a bike he completed six laps to tremendous applause.

For the Wilberforce Trust, Nigel is an amazing Ambassador. He is living proof that life doesn’t end when you lose your sight. It doesn’t have to mean the end of your hopes and dreams and your passion for your favourite hobby. With the right support and adaptation, life can still be full of fun and happiness as well as the challenges and frustrations that come with any disability.

Now known as the “Blind Bloke Racing” Nigel has made a documentary with his wife Julie about their experience and he has appeared at different biker’s events telling his story. Being a fantastic role model for visually impaired people was never Nigel’s plan but he has shown by his example, his courage and his determination that he can bring hope to other people facing sight loss.

To find out more about Nigel see here

To find out more about world Braille day see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – December 2022

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is on 3 December.  With that in mind we have chosen Kevin Sinfield as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.

Kevin is a former rugby league player, captain and Director of Rugby for Leeds Rhinos who he spent his entire career playing for.  He captained Leeds to seven Super League Championships and two Challenge Cup successes.  He holds the record as the highest points scorer in Super League history, the third highest points scorer in British rugby league history and is Leeds’ record points scorer. He also represented England and Great Britain.  His last match was in the 2015 Super League Grand Final captaining Leeds to victory.

In 2021 Kevin became the defence coach of the Rugby Union side Leicester Tigers following his retirement from playing union for Yorkshire Carnegie.

His great friend Rob Burrow was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019, he and Kevin played together for Leeds Rhinos for many years, since then Kevin has been raising money for MND through various challenges the latest one (which has just finished) was to run 7 Ultra Marathons in 7 days.  He started in Edinburgh and finished at Old Trafford during the Rugby League Mens World Cup Final.  The route covered locations that resonated with Rob, ex footballer Stephen Darby and former Rugby Union player Doddie Weir who all have MND.  The funds raised will be shared between 5 charities supporting people impacted by the condition.  To date the challenge has raised £1,350,000.

In 2014 Kevin was awarded an MBE for services to rugby league and an OBE in 2021 for services to rugby league and charitable fund raising.

To find out more about Kevin see here

To find out more about MND see here To find out more about International Day of Persons with Disabilities see here