Fourteen awards were handed out last night to people, businesses and organisations which have most excelled in promoting equality and diversity across Europe Рwith gongs going to big businesses including Nestl̩, HSBC and Coca-Cola.

Other smaller European Diversity Awards winners included LGBT rights organisation Stonewall, sports charity Youth Sport Trust, and youth mentoring charity Urban Synergy.

BBC newsreader Jane Hill, who hosted the event, said: ‘The European Diversity Awards recognise the efforts of people and organisations who are building a society across Europe which embraces all citizens – irrespective of race, gender, physical or psychological abilities, sexual orientation, age, or religious belief.

‘The awards provide an important opportunity to highlight some of the excellent work that people and organisations are doing to make a lasting difference.’

The official 2013 European Diversity Award winners were:

  • Hero of the Year – Claire Harvey, Youth Sport Trust
  • Outstanding use of technology – Starting Blocks App
  • Journalist of the Year – BBC School Report
  • Role Model of the Year – Jean-Jacques Henchoz, Swiss Re
  • Outstanding Employee Network Group – American Express – Women’s Interest Network
  • Community Project of the Year – Urban Synergy
  • Diversity Team of the Year – Coca-Cola Enterprises
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year – Stonewall
  • Campaigner of the Year – Wing Commander Mark Abrahams MBE – Royal Air Force
  • Charity of the Year – Amy Winehouse Foundation
  • Company of the Year – Nestlé S.A.
  • Diversity Champion of the Year – Antonio Simoes – HSBC
  • Lifetime Achievement award – Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin
  • Innovator of the Year – Suki Sandhu – OUTstanding In Business