THE FOUNDER and director of an addiction recovery programme launched in Bournemouth has been shortlisted for an prize at the UK’ largest diversity awards.

Managing Director at Steps to Active Recovery, or STAR, Emma Heath from Bournemouth has been shortlisted for the Positive Role Model Race, Faith Religion Award at the National Diversity Awards 2020.

Having run for the last six years, the recovery course from addiction now operates in 20 different churches across Dorset and further afield.

Emma Heath said: “To be nominated and now shortlisted for these prestigious national awards is an honour and I am so overwhelmed with the support and encouragement from people all over the UK who have voted for me.

“Having battled through addiction, many times not thinking I would survive, I am so grateful today to be able to use my battles into blessings and to help other people who are going through struggles and pain.

“I have a huge vision to help change a culture of addiction through faith-based programmes and I am determined to fight for this community issue and tackle it from a community approach going forwards.”

A record breaking 64,000 people nominated for the National Diversity Awards this year, with 126 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide.

Emma Heath was put forward for the award by The Mayor of Bournemouth Susan Phillips, who is a keen supporter of Emma and the work she is involved in.

Cllr Susan Phillips said: “She speaks from the heart about her addiction, her problems and the pathway she has been on.

“All I can say is that she deserves to win this award, bringing her own circumstances into the real world to help others.

“Emma has embarked along this incredible journey to become an inspirational woman, encompassing the needs of others, putting aside the challenges of addiction and turning her efforts into ground-breaking recovery work.”

Community organisations and role models from across the UK will head to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Friday February 26, 2021 to witness the countries 2020 winners being crowned the best of British diversity.

Actress and comedian Sally Phillips will take centre stage on 26th February as the official host of this year’s ceremony.