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On Her Majesty’s social service

HONOURED: Jamal Edwards

ONE OF the co-creators of the BBC’s iPlayer projects features on an accomplished list of high-achievers and community
stalwarts named in the Queen’s New Year Honours List last week.

Tony Ageh, who also launched Guide – the Guardian’s flagship listings and event magazine – and an early incarnation
of Wired magazine where he worked as creative director, will receive an OBE for services to digital media.

The low-profi le controller of the BBC’s archives who grew up in Walthamstow, east London, joined the broadcaster in 2002. He has been praised by colleagues for his “passion for public service and talent for longterm thinking”.


He is currently overseeing a project called Digital Public Space, which seeks to make the BBC’s archive material – including one million hours of footage and ten million stills – accessible to the public.

Earlier this year, he was named one of Britain’s most influential black people in the media and publishing industry by the
2015 Powerlist.

Dr Rob Berkeley, the recently-departed director of race equality think tank, Runnymede Trust, has been made an MBE for
services to equality.

The Oxford graduate, whose doctoral thesis was on school exclusions, was appointed to the post in 2009.

He stepped down in February 2014 after 12 years at the organisation responsible for crucial research into racial discrimination in the UK.

Berkeley told The Voice: “It is a great honour to be recognised for services to equality; recognition that equality is crucial to our national success, and recognition of all the people that I’ve worked with at Runnymede and beyond who continue to struggle for a fairer society in which we all can thrive.”

In total, 1,164 have received an award, 74 per cent of whom have undertaken “outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity”.

EQUALITY: Rob Berkeley

While women represent exactly half of the list, ethnic minorities represent only six per cent – a fi gure that has remained
constant for eight years – despite representing between 12 to 14 per cent of the population.

In an interview with Sky News, outgoing head of the civil service, Sir Bob Kerslake, said ensuring the honours system reflects the country’s ethnic diversity remains a priority.

He said: “Anybody can nominate anybody for an honour and we see that as crucially important, we want the honours system to represent this country.

“We’ve done really well increasing the proportion of women, in 2014 they exceeded the number of men, but we’ve still got work to do in terms of the other communities in this country."


A MAN who gives free maths lessons to primary school pupils received an MBE for services to education in east London.

Gbolahan Bright, who has run the Bright Academy for nearly two decades, said “words couldn’t describe” the feeling of being recognised for his efforts. The 57-year-old, who is part-time lecturer at Barking and Dagenham College and a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, said that it was a privilege to be able to teach young minds. He added:

“I love teaching, it comes naturally to me and I am highly fulfi lled when I am doing it.” Bright arrived in the UK in 1990 with his wife Afolasade, a former Mayor of Hackney. In fact, he credited his wife’s career in politics for inspiring him to become a more active citizen.

He said: “Through my wife’s involvement in politics, I got to understand what community involvement was really about. Like the Bible says, there is more joy in giving than receiving. I don’t like to sit on the bench. I like to get involved. I realised that there were many children who lacked parental support or involvement and that was stopping them from achieving their potential.”

The father-of-three has passed his passion for maths on to his son Joshua who was the youngest ever student to study a degree at Queen Mary’s University and graduated with a fi rst class honours degree in maths and fi nance at the age of just 17. When asked to reveal his secret, Bright laughed: “Our education philosophy is you have to be the best. In
Nigeria, where the population is so large and the facilities are so few, it is survival of the fi ttest. Parents know a good education can put your child in an advantageous position. It is a cultural thing. Our children have their own paths but we supported them to discover their potential and nurture it, but we also taught them that who can read, must lead.”

It is this belief in the right motivation that Bright believes has made his maths lessons a positive experience for young people who go on to do remarkably well academically.

“Every child is gifted. I don’t like to see children classifi ed,” said Bright. “Every child can do well with support and encouragement. This is what keeps me motivated. There is more to life than money, what we deal with is the destiny of children.”


Jamal Edwards: The world at his feet
Young entrepreneur and founder of youth broadcasting channel SB.TV Jamal Edwards was awarded with an MBE

The 24-year-old Londoner, known for revolutionising the UK music scene and discovering some of the biggest talent, including singer Ed Sheeran, will pick up the medal for his services to music.

In a statement posted on Facebook, he said: “I’m honoured to be one of the youngest people awarded with an MBE...
Never in a million years did I ever think I would receive such an accolade. For me this is about us - the youth.

“With so much negativity around us it’s hard sometimes to stay positive and fi ght for your dreams. When I started my
YouTube channel I was working at Topman, I worked there for four years investing in myself. The world won’t help you,
I learnt that early, you have to help yourself, you have to invest [in] yourself to better your life.

“This too, means that we, the youth, actually can change the world, you just have to be proactive then the world will notice you when the time is right. I am over the moon to be honoured for my contributions to music. Honestly, people, anything is possible if you stay dedicated. I was forced to carve my own path, taking an untraditional route, part of a digital culture rewriting the rules [and] breaking down barriers.”

Dubbed the ‘Simon Cowell of grime music’, Edwards founded SB.TV, named after his rapping moniker Smokey Barz, in 2006 as a platform to push the UK grime scene, aged just 16.

The online channel, which also hosts lifestyle interviews and event coverage, now boasts over 150 million YouTube
hits and over 215,000 channel subscribers.

The self-made multimillionaire, who grew up on an Acton council estate in west London, is also an ambassador for
MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation.

Talking to Young Voices editor Dionne Grant last year about his success, Edwards claimed “self-belief is the main ingredient”.

He added: “I’m a rebel at heart. When people say ‘no’ I do it anyway because I know I can. That’s why self-belief is so

“Of course I get worried when I launch something new. I wonder if it will connect with my audience, but it’s important
not to dwell on that and go full steam ahead.”


Brendon Batson

EQUALITY CAMPAIGNER and retired player Brendon Batson has been named in the Queen’s New Year honours list for
services to football.

The 61-year-old former West Bromwich Albion right-back, who has been an outspoken figure in the game pushing forward the equality agenda, received an OBE.

It is not the fi rst time the Grenadian-born Batson has been honoured by Queen – in 2000 he was awarded an MBE, also for services to the beautiful game.

Batson, who works an equality advisor for the FA and is chair of Sporting Equals, was highly critical of the game’s authorities for their perceived lack of leadership over getting more black and ethnic minority coaches and managers in work.

Speaking in October about the rarity of black managers in professional football, he said: “I don’t believe it’s good enough to say, ‘If you’re good enough, you’ll get there.’

“As black players, our talent could not be denied because it was out there, in your face.

“At the moment there is an exclusion; you can’t even get an interview. You are not seeing the numbers.”

He criticised the Premier League for not adopting something akin to American Football’s Rooney Rule, which requires
clubs to interview at least one BME candidate when hiring a new general manager or head coach.

Batson added: “There is another model out there and we should learn from that. We shouldn’t just dismiss [the Rooney Rule] and go, ‘It doesn’t suit us.’

“I’ll tell you what would be great, if [Premier League chief executive Richard] Scudamore and his 20 chairmen got up
and said, ‘We need to do something different.’

“They can’t keep going the same way year in, year out, going, ‘If you’re good enough, you’ll get there.’ Because there are
good people out there.”

Batson joined West Brom in 1978 following spells with Cambridge and Arsenal. He went on the make 172 appearances for the Midlands club over four years before hanging up his boots due to serious injury.

The retired pro is a cult hero at the Hawthorns where he formed one-third of the Three Degrees, which included footballing icons Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis.

Their integration into the English game helped normalise the sight of black players on pitches across the country at the
time when racism from the stands was rampant.


Linvoy Primus

CHRISTIAN CHARITY co-founder and ex-Portsmouth defender Linvoy Primus has spoken of his delight after being named in the Queen’s New Year honours.

The 41-year-old, who was born in east London and enjoyed a 17-year playing career, including nine years with Pompey,
received an MBE for services to football.

In 2002 Primus co-founded Faith & Football, along with fellow pro Darren Moore, in order to help young people in communities come together through football and Christianity.

Primus told his local paper The News: “Everything I’ve done has never been for awards, it’s been for people, especially
young people, to recognise there’s potential in them and realise that potential.

“I don’t think I can compare [my charity work to my football career]. In football you aim to win and succeed, but to
be recognised for work done away from football is something… really special… and I can’t compare to anything I’ve done in football.”

He added: “The community work I’ve been able to take part in while being at Pompey has been amazing – to know you can be a role model to so many people, young and old, is quite an achievement, but for my parents it’s something they never dreamt I’d see. Even for myself, I wouldn’t have dreamt I’d see anything like it.

“I take this not just for me but for everybody who supported me and the work of Faith and Football.”

Recounting how he found out about the good news, Primus said it came in “an envelope with offi cial writing”.

“You tend to think it’s the taxman,” he joked, “but to open it and see it was amazing. I’m still smiling now.”


Dr Pamela Ayewoh-Bernard

Dr Pamela Bernard, the recently-appointed director of the Nigerian Community Assocation Bedfordshire CIC, has been
awarded an MBE for services to the African and Caribbean community in Bedford over the past 18 years.

She also reactivated the Bedford African and Caribbean Forum, a charity which focuses on promoting the social and economic needs of those communities.

Dr Ayewoh-Bernard said when she got the letter announcing the honour, she started crying.

She recalled: “I was very emotional.“I gave up my career as a scientist to start working for the forum, and do something
for the community. “I was so happy to be recognised and now I have to really work hard to represent the Africans and Caribbeans of Bedford.

“I will build on this honour and do all the things we want to do.”

She added: “I give thanks to God. He has blessed me.”

Next year, Dr Ayewoh-Bernard hopes to further promote education through the Bernard-Ayewoh Foundation she set up
with her late husband, Carl Bernard.

She said she hopes to help more African and Caribbean children achieve good grades at GCSE and A- level in order to go
on to university.

She is also working with 10 senior Africans and Caribbeans living in Bedford to record their life stories to produce a book
to be kept in Bedford Library.


Professor Uduak Archibong

Uduak Archibong, Professor of Equality at the University of Bradford has been honoured with an MBE for services to higher education and equality. Archibong was recently made a fellow of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in recognition of her career-long contribution to the promotion of equality and diversity in the practice of nursing.

In 2004, she became the UK’s first Professor of Diversity at Bradford.

Her outstanding record of promoting and developing research has enhanced levels of competence among healthcare practitioners, staff and students alike. She is also a visiting professor at a number of African universities. Her research and teaching covers workforce diversity, leadership development, family-centred health, and cross-cultural negotiation of access to health and social services.

She is currently leading numerous large-scale collaborative research projects on diversity in health and education to advance knowledge.



• Tony McDowell, a nurse at Broadmoor Hospital for over 40 years, has been awarded an MBE for contributing to work that has had a real impact on improving mental health services for BME patients.

• Vivian Inez Archibald, deputy governor of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has been made a CBE in the diplomatic and overseas section of the honours list, for her contribution to public service in the BVI.

• Iva Guy Lambert, who received an MBE for services to the community, particularly the African Caribbean community in Sheffield. He is the founder of Syac Ltc, formerly known as the South Yorkshire African Caribbean Business and Enterprise Training Centre.

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