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UK government wants more black honours nominees

HONOURS: A special event was held to promote awareness of the honours nomination system

THE CABINET Office has called for more people from the African-Caribbean community to be nominated for honours.

At a special event held last week Wednesday, black honours recipients from a range of industries and professions gathered to promote awareness about the nomination process and encourage people to recommend those of African and Caribbean heritage.

Ade Hassan MBE, founder of Nubian Skin, a hosiery and lingerie brand for women of colour, said: “I think it’s really important for people to see people who look like them achieving things, because then you can see it and you go: ‘Oh right, I can do that too.”

In a statement the Cabinet Office said: “Every year incredible people from ethnic minority backgrounds remain underrepresented when it comes to the honours system.”

Sonia Evans MBE, a foster carer at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Chi-Chi Nwanoku OBE, principal double bassist and co-founder of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and professor of double bass historical studies at the Royal Academy of Music and Lucy Njomo BEM, who was recognised for her work with the African Youth Development Association to provide services to young people on the dangers of female genital mutilation were among the attendees.

Kofi Anie MBE, an honorary clinical senior lecturer at Imperial College London, was honoured for services to people with Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassaemia.

He said: “It’s important to encourage more people and have more diversity in terms of people that are nominated for the recognition of the work that they’re doing because a lot of the stuff that people are doing is very important but it’s not known and I think this is one way of giving them that sort of recognition.”

The New Year’s honours List 2018 saw a decrease of Birthday Honours recipients from ethnic minority backgrounds to 9.3% from 10% in 2017.

The honours system recognises people who have made achievements in public life or committed themselves to serving and helping Britain.

Anyone can nominate someone for an honour by completing an online form. To nominate someone visit www.gov.uk/honours

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