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Anniversary awards recognise local BME heroes

Local heroes have been celebrated at this year’s 10th annual Tees Valley BME Achievement Awards.

The Awards are a celebration of the area’s 43,000-strong Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic communities, who make an invaluable contribution to the economic, social and cultural mix of the Tees Valley region.

It’s a chance to say thank you to the individuals, organisations and businesses that make a positive contribution to equality of opportunity, advance race relations and promote community harmony.

The 2018 Awards event took place at Middlesbrough’s Jurys Inn hotel, once again chaired by charismatic former Chief Crown Prosecutor Nazir Afzal.

A diverse guest list of 320 people, including community members and service providers, gathered to hear tributes to the winners, ranging from inspiring personal achievements to collective success for organisations.

Local people put forward the names of individuals and groups who they felt had made the biggest contribution over the last year, in a wide range of categories including Youth, Community, Business, Education, Community Safety and a new Health & Wellbeing category.

Presentations were also made to a BME Woman of the Year, while the Lifetime Achievement Award recognised sustained commitment to and support for BME communities.

This year’s event was sponsored by Tees Valley Combined Authority, Middlesbrough College and Middlesbrough Environment City with support from Middlesbrough Council, Teesside University and Cleveland Police.

A number of organisations and individuals supported the BME Network and the Halo Project Charity to organise the 10th Anniversary celebration event.

Halo Project Director Yasmin Khan said: “The BME awards are now recognised as an important platform and a highlight of the year for many in the community. A celebration of equality, diversity and inclusion, something the event sponsors, supporters and attendees demonstrate consistently.

“It is a great opportunity to recognise some of the amazing people who year in, year out devote so much time and energy to helping make our communities better places for everyone.”

BME Network Partnership Manager Idrees Rashid added: “The 10th anniversary awards had an amazing atmosphere, and once again we’ve put the individual and collective achievements of the diverse communities that play such an important part in the life of the Tees Valley firmly in the spotlight.

“These awards are about inspiring individuals, recognising success and achievement, whilst promoting community cohesion in the Tees Valley.

“Congratulations to all the award recipients and nominees on their amazing work and achievements.”


BME Business Person of the Year Apollo Ouedraogo  //  Asma Shaffi, Deputy Principal of Prior Pursglove College, with Education Award Winner Uzma Kazmi


Lifetime Achievement Award winner Parveen Mughal  //  Middlesbrough Council Chief Executive Tony Parkinson with BME Woman of the Year Rabeener Sadiq


Youth Individual Award Winner Sheryaar Mazhar  //  Rashpal Singh from DRS Medispa, winners of the BME Business of the Year