A campaigner and a dedicated volunteer was honoured with the Lifetime Community Achievement Award.

Volunteers and community cohesion campaigners joined entrepreneurs and sporting talent at the 2018 Fusion Awards held in the Concert Hall at King George’s Hall Blackburn.

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He was presented the award in front of hundreds of guests by Mick Gradwell former Police Superintendent and Kailash Parekh, Fusion Judging panel member.

Clinton Smith, 67, is Chair of the Preston Black History Group and has been involved on a voluntary basis with culture, diversity and equality projects for many years.

Formed in 2002 the Preston Black History group largely existed to celebrate Black History Month. Since then, however, the group has looked to operate throughout the year and widened its remit to support racial tolerance and celebrate diversity in the city of Preston.

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He said, “Every so often in life out of the blue comes a really ‘feel good moment’, for me this is one of those moments.

“In life you choose to carry out certain actions because you have the ability to do so for the benefit of others and the community within which you live and work.  
“You carry out these tasks without thoughts of payment, fame, or reward, so when someone recognises your contributions and want to have it known to the wider audience, it is an amazing feeling.“

Clinton is presently employed by a private contractor doing maintenance work for the Prison Service and previously worked directly for the Prison Service for 19 years. Within the service he very soon became involved in race relations, equality, and diversity.

He said, “Preston has changed considerably over the years in terms of its communities and race relations.

“I am pleased to live in a city where we have such a large mix of nationalities and ethnicities all co-existing together in a small shared space.

“The positives for the future in my opinion are that so many of the groups are engaged in conversations together laying the foundation for future generations.”

Speaking of the award on the night he said, “I would like to firstly thank Zul from Fishwick Rangers who nominated me and I would also like to give a special thanks to those in my domestic situation for their unwavering support and encouragement for the things I do.  

“There is a long list of people who have all given me their time and advice.  They include, Professor Alan Rice, Lubaina Himid, David Knight, my employer, the Committee and members of Preston Black History Group, and a host of ordinary community members from various ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.

"Thank you to each and every one of you even if I have not mentioned you. I am delighted to receive this award.”