Hate crime volunteers win recognition for ‘outstanding’ work


A campaigning network that has achieved “outstanding results” in highlighting the “menace” of disability hate crime, and raising awareness among police and politicians, has been recognised at a prestigious annual awards ceremony.

Stephen Brookes, Anne Novis and Katharine Quarmby, who run the Disability Hate Crime Network without any funding, became the first winners of the new RADAR Crown Prosecution Service Stop Hate award, at RADAR’s People of the Year awards.

They had faced stiff competition, with judges taking the “very unusual step” of also “highly commending” seven local hate crime projects, also led by groups of disabled people, and praising their “pioneering and innovative” work.

Novis said she was “thrilled” by the award, which “shows the evidence of the voluntary efforts of disabled people”, and how they can share their “time, contacts, knowledge and expertise”.

Novis said the network’s Facebook site was being used both by disabled people and criminal justice agencies.

And she said she was also pleased that the other groups of disabled people had been recognized for their campaigning work around hate crime, something she had wanted to see from disabled people for more than a decade.

The winner of RADAR’s person of the year award was Wycliffe Noble, an architect and “unsung hero” who has been promoting access for disabled people – both in the UK and internationally – for nearly 50 years.

Noble was one of the first architects to take disability access issues seriously, in the early 1960s, and RADAR said he had had an “immeasurable influence on the accessibility of modern Britain”.

Ealing Centre for Independent Living was recognised in the care and support category, after securing the contract to run its local carers’ centre.

The judges praised its “cutting-edge work”, which showed “the benefits of giving disabled people real control”.

The winner of the young person of the year award was Nadeem Badshah, a reporter for the British Asian newspaper Eastern Eye, who the judges said had “developed an exceptional reputation for pioneering campaigning journalism”, with stories on controversial issues affecting disabled people in Asian communities, such as abuse and forced marriage.

Lizzie Emeh won the arts award, after becoming the first artist with learning difficulties to write, record and release her own album – Loud and Proud – and see it penetrate the mainstream market.

Sailor Lucy Hodges, who won the partially-sighted category in the UK National Blind Sailing Championships and led her crew to nine straight victories in the Blind Match Racing World Championships, won the sports category.

There was also an award for Channel 4’s comic drama Cast Offs, which followed six disabled people who had been marooned on an island for a TV reality show, and featured disabled talent such as Mat Fraser, Kiruna Stamell and Sophie Woolley.

Other winners included: Channel 4’s How to Look Good Naked…with a Difference, which tackled issues around fashion and beauty for disabled women; Arsenal Football Club’s disability liaison team; the Chartered Institute of Housing; and Nuance Communications.

30 November 2010