Yesterday saw the first ever National Democracy Awards held at the People’s History Museum in Manchester as part of marking the start of National Democracy Week.
Winners on the day included Mosaic Board Member Harris Bokhari OBE, who received the first Diversity Champion Award for his work as Founder of the Patchwork Foundation. The award is presented to an individual or organisation that has increased diversity in our democratic process and electoral systems, supporting others to have their say.
Since founding Patchwork, the not for profit organisation has gone on to help over 40,000 people from diverse communities engage in the democratic process through town hall events and master classes with senior political figures and voting campaigns. The Patchwork Foundation helps to engage under-represented, deprived and minority communities within British society through exposure and engagement into the political environment.
On his win Harris Bokhari said: “It was a real honour to be awarded the Diversity Champion Award as part of the inaugural National Democracy Week. It is vital that our democracy, politics and British institutions are diverse and reflect the society we live in. I am humbled to accept the award on behalf of all the Patchworkers, who inspire me each and every day, who have enriched my life and who are continuing to make our democracy inclusive for all.”te
The awards ceremony has been held to mark the 90th anniversary of the 1928 Equal Franchise Act, which gave women equal voting rights and kicks off celebrations for National Democracy Week.
The awards recognise the exceptional work of individuals and organisations that work tirelessly to increase democratic engagement in the UK.
The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, The Secretary of State for Transport and the elected Conservative MP for Epsom and Ewell said about the award: “Harris Bokhari does a fantastic job to encourage young people, particularly from less-engaged communities, to become involved in our democracy. This award is really well deserved.” The Rt Hon David Lidington CBE MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, added: “Colleagues from all political parties in Parliament admire the work of the Patchwork Foundation. Many congratulations to Harris on a much deserved award”.