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New Year Honours list 2020: The people from Redbridge recognised for services to community

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 December 2019

Top, L-R: Yusuf Patel and Yashmin Harun. Bottom, L-R: Sudarshan Kapur and Joanna Abeyie.

Top, L-R: Yusuf Patel and Yashmin Harun. Bottom, L-R: Sudarshan Kapur and Joanna Abeyie.

Archant

A young man who works tirelessly to tackle extremism and a champion of female representation in sport are among four Redbridge residents recognised in the 2020 New Year Honours list.

Yoga teacher and retired GP Sudarshan Kapur has been recognised for her services to the community. Picture: Ellie HoskinsYoga teacher and retired GP Sudarshan Kapur has been recognised for her services to the community. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

The New Year Honours list recognises the achievements of extraordinary people across the UK.

Yashmin Harun, 40, from Ilford, has been honoured for services to female BAME representation in sport.

Yashmin is the chair and founder of the Muslimah Sports Association charity, whose aim is to strategically create new sporting opportunities for BAME women, and the charity has created opportunities for more than 700 women.

She has collaborated with Sporting Equals, London Sport and the Essex FA to launch an FA Level 1 coaching course aimed at getting more BAME women into coaching and this course is set to be adopted and replicated by the FA and British Fencing to launch in other ethnic diverse communities across the country.

She also played a key role in establishing free football sessions in partnership with Dagenham and Redbridge FC Community Trust which is accessible for women in the area.

Yusuf Patel. Picture: Yusuf PatelYusuf Patel. Picture: Yusuf Patel

"I feel extremely humbled and blessed to be receiving such an important honour and grateful for the recognition received for my dedication to increasing BAME female representation in sports," Yashmin said.
"This recognition would not have been possible without the inspiration I received from the MSA workforce and participants.

"A special thank you must be given to my trustees who have supported my vision, and the stakeholders who helped turn my vision into a reality.
"Like anything, to be successful takes time, dedication and commitment, and I would like to give recognition to my husband who has been my biggest supporter and really believed in me.
"This honour is not only about my individual success; it is much deeper than that.

"It shows what can be achieved when goal posts are moved and how important it is to have inclusiveness and representation, from the participants, to volunteers and more importantly coaches.
"Sports should be for all and it gives me great reward to see that by creating opportunities I have been able to have such an impact on BAME female participation."

Sudarshan Kapur, 80, who founded the Gants Hill branch of the Women's Interfaith Network, has been honoured for her lifelong services to "interfaith understanding" in east London.

Sudarshan was a GP, gynaecologist and obstetrician from 1969 to 1998 before turning her attention to fundraising for various medical charities and she has also raised funds for various India-based educational charities.

Yashmin Harun, 40, from Ilford, has been honoured for services to female BAME representation in sport. Picture: Yashmin HarunYashmin Harun, 40, from Ilford, has been honoured for services to female BAME representation in sport. Picture: Yashmin Harun

She lectures on healthcare on a monthly basis and she founded, and continues to be chairwoman of the Gants Hill Branch of the Women's Interfaith Network, which now has more than 200 members.●

She organises celebrations of religious festivals in communities across east London and for the last 50 years, she has been a leader and adviser on religious matters to the Hindu community in east London and Essex, improving social cohesion.

Sudarshan, who is also a yoga teacher, said: "I am very pleased and I am very thankful to everyone I have served and continue to serve.

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"I am thankful to my team who give me strength to do all this for the community, and my family for their support and cooperation, who do so much for me.

Joanna Tufuo Abeyie. Picture: Joanna Tufuo AbeyieJoanna Tufuo Abeyie. Picture: Joanna Tufuo Abeyie

"People are very supportive and that's why I will continue until my very last breath. I want to do more than ever."

Joanna Tufuo Abeyie, 32, from Woodford Green, who is an "amazing" role model to the black community and young people, has been honoured for services to diversity in the media and creative industries and professional services.

Joanna has helped place more than 3,000 people from diverse backgrounds in permanent and freelance jobs in the creative industries and as a campaigner for diversity within the publishing, TV, radio, digital and creative industries, she is regularly at the centre of the diversity agenda, leading conversations around inclusion and representation.

While working as a journalist, she utilised what little spare time she had to drive change through the creative industries by ensuring they became more diverse and inclusive.

She formed the diverse talent recruitment company, Shine Media in 2009, now Blue Moon, and before long the company was running workshops, lunch and learn sessions and advising major media owners on their diversity recruitment needs.

Joanna, who won the Rising Star Award in media and arts at the Black British Business Awards in 2014, said: "It's really lovely to be honored in this way for something I'm very passionate about - diversity, inclusion and equality.

"I'm proud of all we've achieved in this area and look forward to accomplishing much more."

Yusuf Patel, who works as a community engagement coordinator at Redbridge Council, has been honoured for his services to community cohesion and interfaith.

Yusuf, 25, has worked tirelessly to bring communities together and tackle extremism through grassroot initiatives.

He builds relationships with all groups to raise awareness of hate crime and hosts workshops around London.

He has worked relentlessly in the boroughs of Islington and Redbridge and reached more than 15,000 young people.

In the past year, he has organised various community events, including a groundbreaking exhibition on Muslim heroes of the Holocaust and a series of events commemorating the massacre of Bosnian Muslims during the Srebrenica Genocide.

Yusuf is a champion of women's rights and preventing violence against women and girls, and is serving as a White Ribbon ambassador.

He works with the most vulnerable communities to challenge violence against women and girls and empowering women from BAME backgrounds to become involved in public and civic life.

Councillor Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council, said: "I am thrilled, happy and proud that Yusuf Patel's immense work in community cohesion has been recognised.
"Being truly focussed on what is right takes courage and I know this has meant taking a stand against people from across the spectrum who do not wish to have a light shone on their own bigotry, but Yusuf has been unwavering in the face of hostility to ensure we have a more unified society.
"Yusuf is a true champion who goes beyond his role in bringing all communities together, because of him Redbridge is a better place."


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