Local nominees in National Diversity Awards 2021

Date published: 24 April 2021

Jade Kilduff, blogger Actually Aspling, and Personal Independence Payment Professionals have all been nominated for a National Diversity Award 2021.

Jade and Aspling have been nominated in the Positive Role Model (Disability) category, whilst Rochdale company Personal Independence Payment Professionals has been nominated in the Community Organisation Award for Disability category.

Sign language and inclusivity champion Jade Kilduff, of Heywood, has been nominated for her charity work, fundraising, contribution to community and commitment to changing the lives of others.

Jade is an ambassador of Peeps HIE, a charity which supports those affected by HIE (hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy), a lack of oxygen to the brain before, during, or shortly after labour.

Both Jade and her little brother, Christian, six, are ambassadors of the charity as Christian had a HIE event after needing 24 minutes of resuscitation when he was stillborn at birth, given a less than 1% chance of coming out of a coma.


Jade Kilduff, with little brother Christian and Mayor of Rochdale Billy Sheerin
Jade Kilduff, with little brother Christian and Mayor of Rochdale Billy Sheerin


It was with Christian in mind that Jade started the Sign Along With Us group in 2019, teaching Makaton sign language so she could communicate with her little brother. This grew and Jade began offering free signing classes to other local children and their families, to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

After learning ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman – their unofficial motto – the Sign Along With Us group auditioned for – and ultimately placed second – in last year’s series of Britain’s Got Talent.



'Actually Aspling' - Victoria Whiting
'Actually Aspling' - Victoria Whiting


Aspling – real name Victoria Whiting – blogs about her experiences of being autistic and has previously been nominated for the award in both 2020 and 2019. From Middleton, Aspling was diagnosed in early 2017, and began her blog a year later, formerly known as Girl on the Spectrum.

Most recently, she shared with Rochdale Online how she has found life as an autistic adult woman.

Personal Independence Payment Professionals from Rochdale has been nominated in the Community Organisation Award for Disability, for which it was shortlisted in 2019.

PIP Professionals is a small certified social enterprise which was founded in 2018. It works to ensure claimants are awarded the correct rate of disability benefits.

The majority of PIP Professionals’ profit goes into offering free advice and support to those who need it.

The National Diversity Awards were created to celebrate and recognise the hard work of grassroot communities and people who have been dedicated to tackling societal issues.

Charities, role models and community heroes will be honoured at a prestigious ceremony showcasing their outstanding devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion.

The concept for the National Diversity Awards arose when The Diversity Group identified an urgent need for more positive role models to be actively promoted, with the aim to empower and inspire the diverse communities across the UK.

To vote for each of the nominees, please visit:

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