Two West Yorkshire Police employees have been nominated in the national Control Room Awards 2019.

The awards are due to take place this Thursday (7 March) at the De Vere Orchard Hotel in Nottingham.

Chief Inspector Nick Rook has been nominated for the award for Services to the Public and police staff member Eddie McEvoy is nominated in the Special Recognition for Bravery and Courage category.

Chief Inspector Rook is one of only a handful of registered sight impaired officers in the UK and has previously been nominated in the National Diversity Awards and European Diversity Awards for his work as a role model for other disabled police employees.

He has been a serving police officer for 20 years but four years ago suffered health complications which resulted in him losing nearly all his sight in his right eye. Since then he has suffered complications with his left eye, also affecting his vision. He was determined to retain his current position in the Force Communications Department and is now using specialist equipment to ensure he can still work effectively.

Chief Inspector Rook returned to work as soon as he could after losing sight in his right eye and since then has assisted with rebranding and setting up the first operations centre for the National Police Air Service, designed a new shift pattern which reduced sickness levels and brought in a replacement command and control system which saved the Force thousands of pounds.

He is also an executive member of the West Yorkshire Police Disability Association, a role in which he engages with others and tries to break down disability barriers.

Chief Inspector Rook said: “It is humbling to receive such recognitions. What I am really pleased about, especially taking into account Eddie’s nomination, is that these awards shine the spotlight on the hard work my colleagues in Contact Management do every day behind the scenes.”

Police staff member Eddie McEvoy, who works as an Initial Contact Officer in the Force Communications Department, has been nominated for talking a potentially suicidal male off a bridge. He was off-duty at the time of the incident in January 2018.

Being an experienced call handler, Eddie was aware of the potential risks to himself of approaching an individual with mental health issues who was in crisis. However, he took the decision to stop at the scene, talked the male away from the barrier and walked with him off the bridge.

This is the second year in a row that Eddie has been nominated for a Control Room Award.

Senior Contact manager Tom Donohoe said: “The APD Control Room awards are an important way to recognise those staff who work tirelessly and with dedication and commitment, but are not always in the public eye.

“I am delighted that for the second year running West Yorkshire Police have been nominated. It’s great to be in company with unsung heroes from other police forces, the fire service and smbulance service.

“These awards are a great way to recognise all the work that these staff do, day in and day out.”

Source – West Yorkshire Police

Sajid Rashid BEM has won the ‘One to Watch’ award at the seventh annual British Muslim Awards.

A Burton-on-Trent philanthropist has won the ‘One to Watch’ award at the seventh annual British Muslim Awards.

Sajid Rashid BEM is regarded as one of Britain’s most inspirational figures scooping many of the UK’s top national accolades including The National Diversity Awards & JCI UK’s Ten Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) awards.

“It’s an honour and privilege to accept this award. Firstly I would like to thank the Lord almighty for

everything he has blessed me with and congratulations to all the finalists and winners, win or lose, in my eyes you are all winners. It people such as yourselves that put the ‘Great’ back into Great Britain,” said Sajid.

The awards were held at the Bradford Hotel with more than 300 of the most remarkable British Muslims shortlisted as finalists.

The awards were held to recognise a wide range of achievements from outstanding Muslim individuals across the UK who positively impact business, charity, sport, arts, culture, religious advocacy, education and medicine among others, and simultaneously and unknowingly battle negative stereotypes every day.

The awards endeavour to showcase the strength of the British Muslim community, the impact it has on culture and its achievements over the last year as well as highlighting the significant role Muslims play in contributing to a better Britain.

Irfan Younis, CEO of Oceanic Consulting said: “I’d like to congratulate all the winners and every finalist from the seventh British Muslim Awards 2019. Every year I think we’ve seen the best the British Muslim community has to offer but every year I’m blown away by just how special the talent is and just how hard people work to service their communities. I already look forward to seeing what next year has to offer; I have no doubt that the Muslim community will continue to thrive and act as leaders for future generations to come.”

Source – www . Derby Telegraph . co . uk

 

Even if young LGBT+ people can’t see themselves represented in history, they will see themselves in the people fighting for their rights now. Their efforts should be celebrated.

For the youth of today to see young transgender characters on shows like Butterfly, a mainstream TV show with famous actors, is monumental. Not only does it serve as a powerful representation for trans youth fighting against the hostility towards their identities, but it also works as an important source of knowledge for the general public who might be unfamiliar with the trials and tribulations of the LGBT+ community.

It’s easy to forget that it’s taken years of campaigners working for better representation to bring a story like Butterfly to mainstream television.

Up until the 1990s and mid-2000s, transgender issues weren’t often seen on screen, and when they were, it was through portrayals by straight, cisgender actors like Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, or Felicity Huffman in Transamerica. It wasnˆt until Netflix’s Orange is the New Black launched in 2013 that we saw a real breakthrough for transgender culture, with Laverne Cox in the role of transgender prisoner Sophia Burset.

It’s important for minority communities such as ours to reflect on those breakthrough moments to appreciate how far we’ve come – and how much further we still need to go; because it’s only by looking back at our history that we can pave the way forward.

It’s been just over 50 years since same-sex activity between men was decriminalised in the UK, led by John Wolfenden; it’s been almost 50 years since the first Pride march in London, with campaigners like Peter Tatchell; 20 years since television shows with regular LGBT+ characters like Ellen, Friends and Will & Grace first appeared on our screens; 14 years since civil partnerships were introduced in the UK and six years since same-sex marriage became legal.

The UK is now one of the best countries in the world for LGBT+ equality.

However, despite our community’s progress and rich LGBT+ history, there are still many people who don’t see themselves represented in daily life.

Civil rights organisation The Human Rights Campaign recently awarded The Hunger Games’ actor Amandla Stenberg with a visibility award. Stenberg hit the nail on the head when she said in her acceptance speech that if she “had more representations of black gay women growing up” that she would have had more idea of what was possible and acceptable, and therefore would have “come to conclusions” around her sexuality earlier.

It’s clear that despite the many strides that have been made in the past, many young LGBT+ people are still struggling to come out today – especially people of colour, who are often marginalised from the mainstream discourses of LGBT+ equality.

That’s why celebrations like LGBT+ History Month, Pride Month, or queer-focused awards allow us to promote LGBT+ causes and raise awareness about the modern issues that affect the community, while celebrating our achievements and increasing the visibility of LGBT+ trailblazers who inspire the next generation of change-makers.

I’m proud that the nominees of the British LGBT Awards reflect that, with a wealth of intersectional role models to be found in this year’s shortlist for the 17 May ceremony.

Some of the diverse and groundbreaking stars nominated by the British public this year include: pansexual singer Janelle Monáe; gender fluid drag star Courtney Act; Amazon Prime series The Bold Type’s interracial lesbian couple featuring two women of colour; gender fluid model Cara Delevingne; “lesbian Jesus” singer Hayley Kiyoko; actress and political campaigner Cynthia Nixon; drag icon RuPaul; and trans activist Munroe Bergdorf.

While it’s clear that times are changing, it’s important that young LGBT+ people today and the generations to come know our community’s past, and use it as a foundation to give a voice to all of the beautiful intersectionalities within the LGBT+ community.

My hope is that even if LGBT+ youth can’t see themselves represented in history, they will see themselves in the people fighting for their rights today, and grow up knowing that they aren’t alone.

Source – The Independent . co . uk  

At age six, most young children are entering first grade, but not for the extraordinary Joshua Beckford.

Living with high-functioning autism, the child prodigy from Tottenham was, at the age of six, the youngest person ever to attend the prestigious Oxford University.

He received a certificate of excellence after getting distinctions in all his courses which were part of an online learning platform for gifted children.

Now 13 years, the young scholar who has dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon was recently listed in the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with Autism who have impacted society.

But he has his father to thank for this incredible feat. At just 10 months old, Beckford’s father, Knox Daniel, discovered his son’s unique learning capability while he was sitting on his lap in front of the computer.

With the keyboard being the child’s interest, Daniel said: “I started telling [Joshua] what the letters on the keyboard were and I realized that he was remembering and could understand.”

“So, if I told him to point to a letter, he could do it… Then we moved on to colours,” Daniel added.

At the age of three, Beckford could read fluently using phonics. He learned to speak Japanese and even taught himself to touch-type on a computer before he could learn to write.

“Since the age of four, I was on my dad’s laptop and it had a body simulator where I would pull out organs,” said Beckford.

In 2011, his father was aware of a programme at Oxford University that was specific to children between the age of eight and thirteen. To challenge his son, he wrote to Oxford with the hopes of getting admission for his child even though he was younger than the age prescribed for the programme.

Fortunately, Beckford was given the chance to enrol, becoming the youngest student ever accepted. The brilliant chap took a course in philosophy and history and passed both with distinction.

Beckford was too advanced for a standard curriculum; hence he was home-schooled, according to Spectacular Magazine.

Having a keen interest in the affairs of Egypt throughout his studies, the young genius is working on a children’s book about the historic and ancient nation.

Aside from his academic prowess, Beckford serves as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority campaign. Being one with high-functioning autism, the young child helps to highlight the challenges minority groups face in their attempt to acquire autism support and services.

Last month, the wonder child was appointed Low Income Families Education (L.I.F.E) Support Ambassador for Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and the United Kingdom.

BMAN Low Income Families Education (LIFE) Support was established to create educational opportunities for children from low-income families so that they have a hope of positively contributing to a thriving society.

Beckford will further hold a live mentoring session with teenagers and his father, Daniel, will facilitate a mentoring session with parents at the Father And Son Together [FAST] initiative event in Nigeria in August 2019.

In 2017, Beckford won The Positive Role Model Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards, an event which celebrates the excellent achievements of grass-root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society.

The young boy also raises funds for three autism charities (two in Africa and one in the U.K.) and is celebrated for his campaigns to save the environment. He recently wrote the poem Saving Mother Earth at the TEDx International Conference in Vienna.

Parenting a child with high-functioning autism comes with its own challenges, his father added.

“[Joshua] doesn’t like loud noises and always walks on his tip toes and he always eats from the same plate, using the same cutlery, and drinks from the same cup,” hesaid.

He is, however, proud of his son’s achievements and believes he has a bright future ahead.

“I want to save the earth. I want to change the world and change peoples’ ideas to doing the right things about earth,” Beckford once said of his future.

Source – Face 2 Face Africa . com

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