News

Local charity founder honoured at UK’s largest Diversity Awards

21 Sep 2017

Avril Hitman BEM at the National Diversity Awards

Founding Artistic Director of Bromley-based charity, Magpie Dance, Avril Hitman BEM, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievers Award at the prestigious National Diversity Awards.

Scissor Sisters singer Ana Matronic joined forces with TV presenter Brian Dowling to host the awards on 8 September 2017.  Role models and charities were honoured nationwide at Friday’s ceremony, rewarding Britain’s most inspirational people for their fight against inequality.  Community heroes from across the UK gathered to celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion.

Avril Hitman beat seven others in the running for the Lifetime Achievers Award and has said:

“I’m honoured and delighted to have received this prestigious award for my work with Magpie Dance over the last 32 years. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted and has supported me over many years. The National Diversity Awards highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion in society and I’m very proud to be the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achiever Award.”

A record 22,000 nominations and votes were received this year, paying tribute to grass root communities nationwide. A spokesperson from the Award organisers said:

“After decades of supporting thousands of people with learning disabilities through the art of dance, Avril Hitman BEM received the prestigious lifetime achiever award. A list of tremendous achievements were recognised by judges, including Avril’s determination to challenge perceptions surrounding disability and impacting on the wider world of dance, health and education.”

Magpie Dance are based at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley and run dance classes, summer schools and workshops for people with learning disabilities in Bromley and across the UK. For more information concerning their work, visit their website.