A Newcastle charity that helps people with learning difficulties to navigate relationships has been nominated for one of the UK’s biggest diversity awards.

The Josephine and Jack Project, which uses anatomically accurate cloth figures as vital educational tools for people with learning disabilities, will find out shortly if it is to be named the UK’s best Community Organisation in the disability category at The National Diversity Awards 2019.

Chief Executive Simon James explained: “Josephine and Jack are a unique resource in the North East for men and women with learning disabilities, helping them safely explore matters of sexual health and wellbeing.”

Each Josephine and Jack figure has unique features, such as a detachable breast or testicle with a detectable lump, to be used in a bespoke range of workshops exploring general health, sexual health, mental health and wellbeing.

The project started life as part of Them Wifies community arts organisation before becoming a charity in its own right following the closure of the group in 2015. Having featured on Channel 4 News and in the New York Times, it now works with groups such as Guidepost in Gateshead, Journey in Wallsend, with local schools and with a range of clients across the North East. There are also Josephines and Jacks in Scotland, Northumberland and London working under license to the project.

Simon continued: “The feedback we get from our service users and their carers and families regarding the impact Josephine and Jack have on their lives is incredible, so we’re honoured to have been nominated for this prestigious award.

“We hope this will help us raise our profile further so we can help even more adults and young people with our vital workshops.”

The awards, which receive more than 25,000 nominations and votes annually, recognise nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation. They will be taking place in September at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, and shortlisted nominees will be announced in July.

Founder and CEO Paul Sesay added: “As we enter our 8th awards season, the team at the National Diversity Awards prepares to welcome a host of outstanding role models and charities to our family. We look to those who represent progress, spirit and resilience, and I cannot wait to learn about the wonderful work being carried out this year.”

Nominations can be made until May 31st at nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate. Or to find out more about Josephine and Jack, visit josephineandjackproject.co.uk.