(L-R: Alex Beresford, Tru Powell, Jamelia, Zoe Bennett, Mark Smith, Trish Adudu)

Member Article

Nation's unsung heroes honoured by MBCC Awards as finalists announced

The finalists for the up-and-coming Multicultural Business & Community Champion (MBCC) awards have now been announced following a record number of public votes. Thousands across the country picked their winners, resulting in a final shortlist that shines a well-deserved light on the nation’s unsung heroes. What’s more, 2021’s list includes three new categories of finalists, championing the work and achievements of frontline workers and lockdown heroes from a year unlike any other.

After receiving hundreds of applications for the categories, the public has chosen its finalists; among these are the 14 champions who will be crowned at a star-studded event in November - with Aston University returning as its headline sponsor - celebrating those who have gone above and beyond in the corporate world and local communities.

This year’s awards boast categories specially devoted to those who have gone out of their way to support others during the pandemic. Both ‘Frontline Worker of the Year’ and ‘Lockdown Hero’ are solely dedicated to the people who selflessly put their lives on the line during the pandemic to support others; while the ‘Social Activist of the Year’ award will be presented to an individual who is passionate about social change and using their voice to fight for equality.

Tru Powell, a multi award-winning entrepreneur himself, heads up the MBCC awards and has been overwhelmed by the number of votes cast this year. He commented:

“I’m so glad to be bringing back the MBCC awards and I can’t think of a more fitting time to spread some positivity. It has been a tough year for all, with coronavirus causing many to face both professional and personal hurdles, so being able to hear the stories of those who have gone out of their way to do good and give back has been awe-inspiring.

“The three new categories that we have added to this year’s awards are particularly close to our hearts, as they allow us to give heartfelt thanks to the people that have helped us make it through the pandemic. One of MBCC’s missions has always been to focus on the people who make a real difference within their communities; so I hope that the introduction of these categories will aid us in celebrating these inspiring individuals”.

The next stage will see the MBCC Awards’ expert judging panel of entrepreneurs, activists, and household-names pick the winners for each category. With notable contributors such as presenter Adil Ray OBE, comedian David “Sideman” Whitley and singer/songwriter Jamelia on the panel, they will also be joined by The Football Association’s Head of Diversity Dal Darroch, Greater Birmingham’s Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Henrietta Brealey, and ITV Presenter Sameena Ali-Khan to name a few. Also accompanying the panel are award winning entrepreneurs Jodie Cook, Justice Williams MBE and Cordell Jeffers.

“With so many amazing finalists, the judges will certainly have a tough decision to make this year! I’m really looking forward to seeing who they choose as their winners, and celebrating with them at the MBCC Awards in November,” Tru concluded.

The full list of shortlisted finalists and their respective categories are:

**Charity of the Year ** ACT CIC Art4Charity Birmingham Says No Blessed 2 Bless Digbeth Dining Club CIC Mums United

**Community Unsung Hero of the Year ** CJ Lloyd Webley Duncan Casburn Ezra Taylor Matt Denning Michael Willis Mike Farley

**Community Unsung She-ro of the Year ** Cllr. Sharon Thompson Juliet Coley Liz Pemberton Sarah Ventre Sharon Goodridge Vandana Khurana

**Entrepreneur of the Year ** Chef Mellow Beezy - Mellow’s Catering Jashaan Gill - Jheez Kameese Davis - Nylah’s Naturals Oyinkansola Adebayo - Niyo Enterprise Sarah Walters - Optimum Youth Care Shamil Mae - Maevela

**Frontline Worker of the Year ** Beverley Hardman Darnish Amraz Dr. Toluwa Adepeju Nathan Aycee Neelam Dhansey Shannon Louise Hebberts

**Lifetime Achievement ** Chef Akila Gail Parmel Jacqui Daniels Maureen Lewis Mukthar Dar

**Lockdown Hero of the Year ** Claire Goodwin-Fee Claire Yates Wilson Continental GT DJ Silk Jemma Yoloye Ranjit Singh

**Mentor of the Year ** Beth Mabey
Daniella Genas Dwayne Johnson Leah Siân Bayley
Marlon Walters Solomon Griffiths

**Most Influential Business Person of the Year ** Chantel Hall-Reid - Sister2Sister Chris Tipping - The Digital Marketing Laboratory Denise Myers - Evenfields Careers Rosie Ginday - Miss Macaroon Tim Andrews - Hollywood Monster Waheed ‘Aesthetic’ Mohammed - Aesthetic Health and Fitness Club

**Most Inspirational Person of the Year ** Anthony Olaseinde Cheryl Shaw Kieran Quinlan Maisha Sumah Professor Kehinde Andrews Sayce Holmes-Lewis

**Networker of the Year ** Belinda Kaur - BK Network Haider Mustafa - BizzCoin Liz Baitson - Preneur Capital Commercial Finance Michelle Raymond - The People’s Partner Ryan Doyle - Park Regis Zonia Anderson-Bell - InteleTravel

**Outstanding Business of the Year ** Asian Business Chamber of Commerce Bluesky Business Consultancy Car Buying Guru Free Train OnTheBreadLine Primal Mastery

**Role Model of the Year ** Alexandra Wilson Casey Bailey Danielle Harvey Debbie-Louise Bates Emmanuel Awoyelu Louize Beatrice Jackson

Social Activist of the Year Amahra Spence Kelechi Okafor Nzinga Orgill Oloni Baby Shani Dhanda Sophie Marie Bennett

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lucy West .

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