top of page

Celebrating our Nominations for the National Diversity Awards 2024

Updated: May 8

[Left to right - (behind) Molly, Chloe, Jane, (in front) Tara, Nick and Artemis]

The National Diversity Awards

The National Diversity Awards is the pinnacle of celebrating the extraordinary efforts of grassroots communities, community organisations and passionate individuals across the UK. These communities and the organisations and individuals who are part of them, advocate for them and help them thrive through tireless, often unnoticed, work and dedication deserve the recognition from our society. Founded in 2012 by Paul Sesay and his team, this event emerged from a vital need to spotlight positive role models and empower diverse communities nationwide. Through this platform, unsung heroes and organisations receive the acknowledgment they deserve, leading to increased funding, essential partnerships, and wider recognition for their invaluable services.

Their dedication knows no bounds as they work tirelessly to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a more equitable society for generations to come. In honouring them, we not only celebrate their achievements but also reaffirm our collective responsibility to create a world where diversity is celebrated and embraced. Together, let us continue to shine a spotlight on the remarkable diversity of talent that thrives in the UK, honouring those who embody the true essence of positive change. From grassroots initiatives to innovative programs, these individuals and groups embody the spirit of unity and empowerment, inspiring us all to strive for a more inclusive future.

Now more than ever, it's paramount to amplify the voices and recognise the exceptional contributions of individuals and organisations driving positive change across the UK. In 2024, as the National Diversity Awards gather to honour the unsung heroes and community organisations making a profound impact on the lives of millions across Great Britain, they reaffirm their commitment to fostering a society where everyone is valued and respected.

Celebrating Achievements

Today, we are honoured and humbled to announce that we have received not just one, but five nominations at the prestigious National Diversity Awards 2024.

Community Organisation Award for Disability

Lifetime Achiever Award - Tara Mackings BEM

Role Model Award for Disability - Jane Bray and Artemis Machabée

Role Model Award for Age - Molly Mackings

As we reflect on our journey, it's essential to recognise the significance of these nominations. They are a testament to our unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of our work. Each nomination represents a milestone, a validation of our efforts to create a more equitable and just world for all.

Community Organisation Awards

The Community Organisation Award applauds groups, charities and voluntary organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to their local community, or nationwide, with diversity as their core focus.

The Disability category has been sponsored by Direct Line Group, one of the UK's largest insurance companies with a company vision to create a world where insurance is personal, inclusive and a force for good.

Tailored Leisure

Being nominated for the Community Organisation Award holds profound significance for Tailored Leisure, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) run by disabled people for disabled people. We are dedicated to breaking down barriers for individuals with disabilities and long-term health conditions. By prioritising diversity as its core focus, Tailored Leisure and its diverse team have tirelessly worked to make a tangible difference in communities and nationwide.

For Tailored Leisure, this nomination serves as validation of our unwavering commitment to fostering inclusion and accessibility within the leisure and fitness sector. Through our innovative programs and initiatives, we have transformed lives, empowering individuals with disabilities to not only access but also thrive in leisure and fitness activities. Moreover, our dedication extends beyond mere participation, as we actively support individuals in gaining skills and entering employment opportunities, thereby promoting greater economic independence and empowerment.

Additionally, Tailored Leisure's advocacy efforts on behalf of disabled families across the UK have further cemented our role as champions of diversity and inclusion. By amplifying the voices of marginalised communities and advocating for our rights, we have become a beacon of hope and inspiration for countless individuals and families facing similar challenges.

In essence, the nomination for the Community Organisation Award is a testament to Tailored Leisure's profound impact on society. It recognises our tireless efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable world, where everyone, regardless of ability or health condition, has the opportunity to live life to the fullest. As we continue our journey of empowerment and advocacy, Tailored Leisure embodies the true spirit of community and diversity, inspiring positive change for generations to come.

We are deeply grateful for the unwavering support of our community and the incredible individuals who have participated in our sessions, events and volunteering opportunities. Their stories, courage, and enthusiasm have not only enriched our programmes but have also been the very heart and soul of our organisation. We extend our sincerest thanks to each and every person who has shared their journey with us, for it is through their openness and generosity that Tailored Leisure has flourished. Together, we have forged a community where everyone feels valued, included, and empowered. Your ongoing support inspires us to continue breaking down barriers, advocating for inclusivity, and striving for positive change. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making us who we are today.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achiever Award honours an individual who has made significant, innovative and cumulatively outstanding contributions to enhancing the practice of equality and diversity, devoting a major portion of their life to their cause.

This award is sponsored by HSBC UK, a British universal bank and financial services group that prioritises inclusion to cater to the diverse needs of their valued customers across their extensive national branch network.

Tara Mackings BEM

For Tara Mackings BEM, being nominated for the Lifetime Achiever Award is not just a recognition of her individual accomplishments, but a testament to her unwavering dedication to the cause of equality and diversity. Despite facing discrimination, barriers, and biases due to her cerebral palsy and being a single mother to two children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), Tara has transformed adversity into opportunity.

Her life experiences have not broken her spirit; instead, they have ignited a fire within her to drive meaningful change. Tara's journey, marked by resilience and determination, led her to establish Tailored Leisure - a beacon of inclusivity, advocacy, and empowerment. Through Tailored Leisure, Tara not only raises awareness and advocates for change but actively implements solutions to address the needs of her community.

For Tara, every individual deserves the opportunity to achieve physical fitness, find a sense of belonging within a community, and have access to much-needed respite. Her relentless efforts have made these aspirations a reality, touching the lives of countless individuals and families within the disabled community of the North East.

Her recent recognition with the British Empire Medal earlier this year is a testament to the profound impact she has made. Yet, for Tara, the work is far from over. She continues to tirelessly devote herself to Tailored Leisure, striving to ensure that every member of the disabled community can thrive and flourish.

For Tara Mackings BEM, the nomination for the Lifetime Achiever Award is not just an accolade but a reaffirmation of her lifelong commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable society. Through her resilience, compassion, and unwavering dedication, Tara exemplifies the true spirit of a lifetime achiever, inspiring others to join her in the journey towards a brighter and more inclusive future.

Tara Mackings BEM extends her deepest gratitude to her unwavering support network, without whom her journey would not have been possible. To her children, whose boundless love and resilience continually inspire her, and to her dedicated team at Tailored Leisure, whose unwavering commitment to the cause has propelled the organisation forward, Tara expresses her heartfelt appreciation. She also extends her thanks to the wider community whose support and encouragement have been a constant source of strength and motivation. Together, they have shared in the triumphs and challenges, united by a common vision of inclusivity and empowerment. Their unwavering support has been the cornerstone of Tara's journey, reinforcing her determination to continue making a difference in the lives of others.

Positive Role Model Awards - Disability

The importance of having a role model can never be underestimated; role models help us to be driven, to focus, to achieve goals and strive to gain success. The positive role model award recognises an individual within the community who shows selflessness, drives change and works tirelessly to inspire others.

In the context of the Positive Role Model Award, the category dedicated to disability serves as a vital platform for recognising individuals who embody resilience, determination, and advocacy within the disability community. These role models serve as beacons of inspiration, challenging stereotypes and paving the way for greater inclusivity and acceptance. By sharing their stories and accomplishments, they not only empower others living with disabilities but also foster a sense of belonging and representation. Being a role model for disability means more than just overcoming personal challenges; it means advocating for systemic change, breaking down barriers, and championing the rights of all individuals to live with dignity and equality. As we celebrate the nominees in this category, we honour their selflessness, drive for change, and tireless efforts to inspire others, reaffirming the importance of visibility and representation in promoting diversity and inclusion.

The Disability category has been sponsored by OVO, an energy supplier that strives to create a place where everyone feels they belong "Not just because it's the right thing to do. But also because a more diverse, inclusive team is a better, happier one."

Jane Bray

For Jane Bray, being nominated for the Positive Role Model Award in the disability category is not just an acknowledgment of her personal achievements, but a recognition of her resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to driving change within her community. As a disabled mother of three, including a child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), Jane has faced countless challenges stemming from her physical disability, hearing impairment, and her battle as a breast cancer survivor. From a young age, she had to fight against assumptions and biases, constantly proving her abilities to a world that underestimated her.

Despite the obstacles she faced, Jane refused to let her disabilities define her. In the workforce, she encountered discrimination and marginalization, yet she persisted, advocating for herself and others like her. Her journey took on new meaning when she became a mother, challenging societal perceptions of disability and parenthood. Through the support of the disabled community, Jane found solace and strength, discovering that with the right support, she could excel in every aspect of her life.

The onset of the pandemic brought new challenges, isolating Jane from her support network and impacting her mental health. However, her discovery of Tailored Leisure in 2020 proved to be a turning point. Through their online fitness classes tailored for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, Jane found renewed physical and mental well-being. Inspired by their mission, she became not only a client but also a volunteer, eventually joining the organization as a Project Coordinator in 2023.

Working for an organisation run by and for disabled individuals has not only provided Jane with a supportive and empowering environment but has also allowed her to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. Each day, she contributes to improving the well-being and inclusivity of her community, fulfilling her mission to challenge stereotypes and create a more equitable society. For Jane, the greatest honour lies in the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others, proving that with resilience, determination, and community support, anything is possible.

Jane Bray extends her heartfelt gratitude to her family, her three children, and her husband for their unwavering love, support, and encouragement throughout her journey. Their resilience and unwavering belief in her abilities have been a constant source of strength, inspiring her to overcome challenges and pursue her dreams. Jane also extends her thanks to her friends, whose unwavering support and encouragement have been a beacon of light during difficult times. She is immensely grateful for the dedicated team at Tailored Leisure, whose passion and commitment to empowering the disabled community have made a lasting impact. Lastly, Jane extends her deepest appreciation to her community, whose support and acceptance have been instrumental in her journey of resilience and growth. Together, they have shown her the power of unity, compassion, and collective strength in overcoming adversity and making a difference in the lives of others.

Artemis Machabée

Artemis Machabeé's nomination for the Positive Role Model Award in the disability category is a testament to their extraordinary journey, marked by courage, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to uplifting others. Their story serves as a reminder of the transformative power of perseverance in the face of adversity and the profound impact that one individual can have on their community.

From a young age, Artemis has been driven by a passion for volunteerism and community service. As a child, they initiated clean-up projects in their community, and as a teenager, they volunteered to clean the homes of those unable to do so themselves. During school breaks, Artemis dedicated their time to planting trees in remote areas and volunteering at animal sanctuaries, demonstrating their deep-rooted commitment to making a positive difference in the world.

During their time at university, Artemis continued their altruistic endeavours by knitting scarves for the homeless and providing support to a fellow student who was blind, ensuring they could attend classes with ease. Artemis's dedication to volunteerism and advocacy only grew stronger as they entered adulthood, championing for greater inclusion and support for disabled parents in the UK.

Through their work with professionals, Artemis has played a pivotal role in creating a policy that protects the rights of disabled parents during the child protection process. Their advocacy efforts have inspired tangible change, such as a Sunderland Councillor who was so inspired that they began to campaign to increase the availability of three-bedroom bungalows in Sunderland for disabled families.

Artemis's academic achievements, including a Master's in Creative Writing from Durham University (Trevelyan College Alum), have not only equipped them with the skills to advocate for disability rights but have also enhanced their ability to create impactful writing projects. In their role with Tailored Leisure, Artemis utilises their writing prowess to develop documents, programs, and other resources that support the organisation's work within the community.

As the Chairperson for the North South Parent Carer Panel (Family Voice), Artemis leads panels, participates in policy creation, and contributes to report writing, providing a vital voice for disabled families. Through their advocacy, Artemis challenges misconceptions surrounding disability and parenthood, pushing for greater inclusion and support within family services.

Artemis Machabée's nomination for the Positive Role Model Award is a well-deserved recognition of their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for all. Their story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration, demonstrating that with resilience, perseverance, and a dedication to positive change, individuals like Artemis can truly make a meaningful impact in the lives of others.

Artemis Machabée extends their heartfelt gratitude to their husband, daughter, family, and friends for their unwavering love, support, and encouragement throughout their journey. Their belief in Artemis's abilities and their constant encouragement have been a source of strength and inspiration. Artemis also expresses deep appreciation for the dedicated team at Tailored Leisure, whose passion and commitment to empowering the disabled community have made a profound impact. Additionally, Artemis extends their thanks to the team at the Family Hubs, who are making community wide change to support the most vulnerable and marginalised families. They would also like to thank Durham University, for teaching them how to use their voice for change. Lastly, Artemis expresses gratitude to the broader community for their acceptance and encouragement, which have played a crucial role in their journey of resilience and growth. Together, they have shown the power of unity, compassion, and collective support in overcoming challenges and making a positive difference in the world.

Positive Role Model Awards - Age

The importance of having a role model, particularly within the age category, cannot be overstated. In a world where young people grapple with myriad challenges and seek guidance on their journey towards adulthood, positive role models serve as invaluable sources of inspiration and guidance. These individuals embody qualities such as resilience, determination, and empathy, actively working to uplift and empower their peers. They demonstrate selflessness through acts of kindness, mentorship, and advocacy, driving meaningful change within their communities and championing causes that resonate with their peers. By leading by example and showcasing the value of perseverance and hard work, these role models inspire others to set ambitious goals and strive for success. The Positive Role Model Award in the age category recognizes individuals who not only embody these qualities but also serve as beacons of hope and inspiration for their peers, redefining what is possible and encouraging others to reach for their fullest potential.

The Age category has been sponsored by The Open University, an online University that has a vision to be inclusive, innovative and responsive. "We promote social justice and equality of opportunity."

Molly Mackings

Molly Mackings' nomination for the Positive Role Model Award in the Age category is nothing short of awe-inspiring, showcasing her unwavering compassion and dedication in the face of daunting challenges. Despite the weighty responsibilities of being a carer for her mother, brother, and another family with disabilities, Molly embodies remarkable resilience and determination that seem boundless. Even amid the whirlwind of her daily routine, which includes a lengthy commute to college, where she passionately pursues her dream of becoming a Veterinary Nurse, Molly remains steadfast in her commitment to academic excellence, volunteering, her responsibilities at home, and her personal growth journey.

Her boundless energy and unwavering dedication are truly remarkable, serving as a beacon of inspiration to all who have the privilege of knowing her. Alongside her equally remarkable mother, Tara, Molly was instrumental in the founding of Tailored Leisure. Through her tireless efforts, Molly has paved the way for families with disabilities to access enhanced health opportunities, while simultaneously cultivating a vibrant community where everyone is empowered to thrive, regardless of their circumstances.

Molly's recent accolades at the Young Achievers' Awards 2024, where she was awarded both the Young Carers Award and the esteemed Andy Neal Award, are a testament to her exceptional contributions and unwavering dedication to making a difference in the lives of others. Her journey is not merely one of volunteerism; it is a powerful narrative of empowerment, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to fostering a more inclusive and compassionate world for all.

Molly's nomination for the Positive Role Model Award serves as a well-deserved recognition of her selflessness, her drive to effect positive change, and her tireless efforts to inspire others to join her in creating a brighter, more inclusive future. Her story serves as a powerful reminder that even in the face of adversity, with resilience, determination, and a heart full of compassion, one person truly can make a profound and lasting impact on the world around them.

Thank you for Voting!

Let us continue to celebrate their dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion. Together, we forge a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

As we eagerly anticipate the National Diversity Awards ceremony, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to those who nominated us and to the broader community that supports our mission. Together, we will continue to strive towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page