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BBC newsreader Jane Hill is urging the European public to nominate the employers, groups and individuals that have made a significant impact in placing equality and diversity at the top of the agenda in Europe ahead of a high profile awards ceremony.

The 2014 European Diversity Awards, sponsored by Barclays and Google, will take place at London’s Natural History Museum in September.

Previous winners have included Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, who campaigns on human rights and for victims of hate crimes, and ex-Rugby International Ben Cohen who  set up the StandUp Foundation for combating homophobic bullying.

While corporate giants including Coca-Cola Enterprises and Societe Generale have also previously picked up gongs.

A total of fourteen awards are up for grabs this year and some of the categories include Company of the Year, Campaigner of the Year, Employee Network Group of the Year, Charity of the Year as well as the esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award.

Organisers say the 2014 awards are even more significant given the recent anti-gay laws passed in Russian Parliament.

European Diversity Awards founder, Linda Riley said: “The draconian laws passed in Russia demonstrate why there is still a real need to celebrate the people and the organisations who actively work promote a society in which we can all live freely in mutual tolerance and respect. The European Diversity Awards pay tribute to those who strive to achieve just that.”

Nominations for the awards close on 20 June and will be considered over the summer by judges including Baroness Doreen Lawrence, TV presenter Fiona Phillips, former MEP Michael Cashman and Paralympian Claire Harvey.

Over five hundred guest from across Europe will attend the glittering ceremony on 02 October. The event will be hosted by the BBC’s Jane Hill.

Urging the public to nominate, Hill said: “I am proud to again be involved with The European Diversity Awards. The awards recognise excellence in the areas of gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, race, culture and religion across Europe.

“They are unique in recognising all aspects of diversity across the whole of Europe and celebrate the best across both the corporate and campaigning aspects of diversity.

“I urge the European public to get involved to help ensure the most deserving pick up a “diversity Oscar” on the night.”

Curt Hess, Chief Financial Officer, Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, who are sponsoring the awards said: “People achieve their best when they can feel comfortable being who they are. That is why Barclays is proud to sponsor the European Diversity Awards and champion those people who are leading the way.”

Nominations can now be submitted at