In a joyful evening at the impressive Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, Able Magazine, who were media partners for the event were thrilled to be presenting the disability role model award to a worthy winner.

Actress and comedian, Sally Phillips and Able Magazine editor, Tom Jamison presented autism campaigner, Aston Avery with the positive role model award for disability for raising in excess of £20,000 for charity. Aston has overcome the challenges of autism and a diagnosis of enterocolitis and has since received a national diploma in performing arts which no doubt helps in his work in teaching dance to younger autistic children. The unstoppable Aston also volunteers at a local radio station where he presents his own show. Aston’s moving acceptance speech, where he described all of his fellow nominees as “winners” was one of the highlights of the night.

Tom Jamison said: “This is why Able Magazine loves to be media partner with the National Diversity Awards. Aston Avery is definitely a role model and a worthy winner who has done so much for other people and deserves his moment in the spotlight.”

The National Diversity Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated exceptional devotion to diversity, equality and inclusion. Through becoming a media partner, an arrangement now in its fifth year, Able Magazine is in a position to spread the positive messages behind the awards to an audience of disabled people and their carers, many of whom appreciate the inspiring stories that come out of such events.

Jamison added: “We see the National Diversity Awards as one of the year’s highlights. Becoming a media partner with the event gives us a real connection to our readers and the incredibly inspiring work they do. As the magazine about ‘What disabled people can do, not what they can’t’ it just makes so much sense to be part of the proceedings”.

A record 20,000 nominations and votes were received this year, paying tribute to diverse talent, including positive role models, community organisations and entrepreneurs from the LGBT, ethnic minority, age, gender, religion and disability communities.

Opening proceedings, founder of the National Diversity Awards, Paul Sesay said: “The grassroots organisations that the National Diversity Awards recognise are pioneering, amazing initiatives on equality diversity and inclusion; and we need to promote, empower, profile and acknowledge their extraordinary achievements.” The ceremony, without a doubt, delivered on that promise.

With 3,500 members, Glasgow Disability Alliance were praised for having a remarkable impact on disabled people across the city and took home the Community Organisation Award for Disability.

The National Diversity Awards continues to be a refreshing and feel-good ceremony, where each nominee has a great story to tell about the fantastic work they do in their specific community.