In October 2014, St Philip’s Centre was shortlisted for an award by European Diversity Awards under the category of ‘Community project of the year’. European Diversity Awards recognise and celebrate innovation, excellence, creativity and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion by organisations and individuals throughout Europe during the year.
The awards ceremony was held at the National History Museum in London on 2nd October and celebrated some of the excellent and inspiring achievements in promoting equality and diversity across the public, private and community and voluntary sectors. Judges included Baroness Doreen Lawrence and a number of senior executives from the private sector.
Attending the ceremony on behalf of the Centre, Riaz Ravat said, “This shortlisting proudly recognises St Philip’s Centre and our partners for the work we have done locally and nationally. Our range of work promotes integration and tackles intolerance and prejudice. Our commitment to celebrating diversity through innovation has increasingly gained national notice and so to be earmarked at an international level is pleasing”.
The awards honour individuals and teams of people who have made a significant impact on the lives of children and young people through their commitment and dedication to providing and/or championing exciting and inspiring learning outside the classroom opportunities. The ‘Religion & Belief Roadshow’ is a unique concept which educates children about matters of religion and belief in a fun and interactive way. The event includes food sampling, music, arts and crafts, henna painting and a large tent where children have the opportunity to wear items of clothing associated with different faiths and cultures. Stalls are available where children observe artefacts, display items and put questions to the faith volunteers. The team consists of members from the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh perspectives. The Religion & Belief Roadshow team was the only charity in the shortlist.
At the National Diversity Awards ceremony held in Leeds on Friday September 20th 2013, St Philip’s Centre received a Certificate of Excellence. The Centre had been shortlisted from over 4500 applicants for the category ‘Race, Religion & Faith’ . The Awards honour the outstanding achievements of grass root communities who have contributed to making a more diverse and inclusive society.
Supporting the nomination prior to the Awards ceremony were endorsements from the Centre’s patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Leicester, members of the faith communities and Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor of Leicester. He said “This is a particularly pertinent time for an important organisation like St Philip’s Centre to be recognised for the fantastic work it does when Leicester is one of the four short-listed cities bidding to be the UK City of Culture 2017, and where the focus of the city’s bid is on celebrating our rich diversity and heritage.
“Since St Philip’s formally came into being in 2006, Leicester City Council has been pleased to work closely with the Centre and has seen it go from strength to strength in terms of the work it does to promote understanding and engagement between the many different communities that make up Leicester”.
Over the years the Awards have gained a mass of celebrity support from the likes of Stephen Fry, paralympians Jody Cundy and Claire Harvey and singer Misha B. TV personality Brian Dowling hosted the evening, along with actress and CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell. They are sponsored by top employers including Microsoft, Transport for London, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Sky, The Co-operative Group, The Open University and the Financial Ombudsman Service amongst others.
On Wednesday 20th March 2013, St Philip’s Centre together with volunteers and staff who worked on a major inter faith project for Sewa Day in October 2012, celebrated a major award in recognition of their efforts at a ceremony held in the House of Commons.
50 volunteers from Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities had teamed up with St Philip’s Centre to mark Sewa Day, an international special day of selfless service to important causes. The uniqueness of the project was evident as volunteers from Christian, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds also took part in the event. Judges praised the project for “involving many faiths, the Council, the Mayor and people of all ages”.
In August 2012 the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom awarded St Philip’s Centre a Quality Badge for its Schools and Colleges educational programmes. Launched in 2009 as part of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto, the badge combines learning and safety and identifies for teaching staff recognised providers of quality educational visits. Beth Gardner, CEO of the Counfil for Learning Outside the Classroom said “Educational visits are among the most memorable experiences in a child’s school life. The LOtC Quality Badge offers teachers a guarantee that not only is the venue providing the sort of educational value that they can build on in class long after the visit, but that they also have the appropriate risk management structure in place.”
In May 2012 St Philip’s Centre was chosen to receive a Lord Lieutenant’s Diamond Jubilee Award. The honour was in recognition of the Centre’s work to promote good inter faith relations and bringing to prominence the concept of ‘service’ through its work with faith communities. Riaz Ravat and Sister Chris James received the award on behalf of the Centre at a special celebration event at Beaumanor Hall on Thursday 19th July.