Multi-talented Potters Bar resident up for national diversity award

PUBLISHED: 09:03 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:03 09 May 2018

Priya, in blue, with the school she volunteered at in India. Picture: supplied by Priya Sejpal

Priya, in blue, with the school she volunteered at in India. Picture: supplied by Priya Sejpal

supplied by Priya Sejpal

A Potters Bar solicitor with many strings to her bow has been nominated in the National Diversity Awards.

Priya with schoolchildren in India. Picture: supplied by Priya SejpalPriya with schoolchildren in India. Picture: supplied by Priya Sejpal

Priya Sejpal has been nominated in the Positive Role Model Award category.

The annual awards, organised by the Diversity Group, recognise nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation, and enjoy the support of celebrities such as Steven Fry, Tessa Sanderson, Tom Daley and Trevor Nelson.

Multi-talented solicitor Priya, 31, has been nominated for her volunteering, charity work and raising awareness of social issues through her acting career.

A trained Bollywood and classical Bharatanatyam dancer, she has performed regularly at charity events to raise money.

Priya (right) giving volunteer dance lessons in India. Picture: supplied by Priya SejpalPriya (right) giving volunteer dance lessons in India. Picture: supplied by Priya Sejpal

The nomination says she has always wanted to make a difference: “It all started with Priya running around the house in a little black cape as a child, emulating a cross between some sort of heroine and a barrister.”

She has appeared in numerous productions including Grange Hill and at the Old Vic and Almeida theatres.

Putting acting on the back burner for now, she puts her legal expertise towards an exhaustive catalogue of voluntary activities to support the wider community.

She volunteers to advise the elderly for Age UK, and conducts an annual careers workshop at Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls.

Priya, in blue, at the school in India she volunteered at. Picture: supplied by Priya SejpalPriya, in blue, at the school in India she volunteered at. Picture: supplied by Priya Sejpal

She has recently signed up to take calls for humans rights charity Liberty, in which she will be able to advise people on their civil rights.

During religious holidays she volunteers in the kitchen at the Hare Krishna Temple, and at Christmas she visits Whipps Cross hospital to provide company for terminally ill patients.

She has raised £2,500 for Great Ormond Street hospital, and £1,000 for community charity Football Gambia.

The nominator said: “Overall, we don’t know anyone that puts the word ‘hard’ into ‘hard work’ the way Priya does and makes it look effortless at the same time.

Priya with schoolchildren in India. Picture: supplied by Priya SejpalPriya with schoolchildren in India. Picture: supplied by Priya Sejpal

“Her values and principles as a self-taught Hindu have meant that she takes an obligatory, not discretionary, role when it comes down to contributing something positive to society, even when it has felt like her circumstances were trying.”

When she heard about the nomination, Priya said:

“I’m beyond humbled to have been nominated for the Positive Role Model Award.

“From a young age I’ve always been taught to actively show positive change in things that I truly believe in, and I’m really quite taken back.

“It’s needless to say that I’m going to continue volunteering my time to charities and hopefully I get the chance to attend what sounds like an inspiring evening.”

The National Diversity Awards receives over 20,000 nominations annually.

Successful nominees will go through to a shortlist for the awards which will take place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on September 14.

To nominate Priya or anyone else in your community, visit: nominate.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk

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