What makes a winner?

Theresa Maunganidze

Emma Drasar – Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Ally of the Year

Dr Emma Drašar was appointed a Haematology Consultant at The Whittington Hospital and University College Hospitals London (UCLH) in 2016.

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She completed her haematology training at King’s College Hospital, where she was appointed Clinical Lecturer in Sickle Cell Disease in 2009 – 2013. During that time, she was awarded her PhD based on research into markers of severity and predictors of organ dysfunction in sickle cell disease, including non-invasive methods of investigating liver fibrosis.

In 2013, the British Society of Haematology awarded her the Early Stage Investigator Prize. She is the North Central London Haemoglobinopathy Network Lead and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL. She is a Primary Investigator for the BELIEVE trial (Celgene) and a Subinvestigator for the La Jolla, RUDY, and IMR-687 studies at the Whittington Hospital.

Ariel Lanada

BRAG: the Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Research Advisory Group – Vocal, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Community Initiative of the Year

BRAG promotes equity and inclusion in health research in Greater Manchester.

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It works through partnership, advising on inclusive research practice, and supporting community engagement.

BRAG members are community leaders in Greater Manchester:

– Circle Steele – CEO of Wai Yin Society

– Ehinor Otaigbe-Amedu – CEO of Wonderfully Made Woman

– Grace McCorkle – CEO of Collaborative Women

– Naheed Akhtar – Director of We Matter CIC

– Stephen Tony Wright – Managing Director of Socio-Economic Regeneration CIC

– Tikhala Chimpango – Director of Woman Arise

Established in 2019, the group was formed following the Community Sandpit event, a collaboration between Vocal and the Greater Manchester Black and Minority Ethnic Network.

For more information about BRAG, contact vocal@mft.nhs.uk.

Bamidele Farinre – Whittington Health NHS

Compassionate and Inclusive Leader of the Year

Barmidele is passionate about advancing the STEM industry through the lens of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).

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Her journey in healthcare is a testament to her unwavering dedication to innovation, leadership, and advocacy in biomedical science.

Over the years, she has amassed many accolades and accomplishments that have allowed her to emerge as a trailblazer, leaving an indelible mark on her profession and the broader STEM landscape.

As a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), her influence spans various domains, shaping the industry’s trajectory and setting benchmarks for excellence.

Her commitment to mentorship extends across various platforms. As a dedicated WISE campaign role model and Freedom to Speak Up Ambassador, she actively encourages open communication and safety within the workplace, fostering a fair and inclusive environment.

Theresa Maunganidze

Danielle Haddon – Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Clinical AHP Champion of the Year

Danielle is a Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapist at Nottinghamshire Healthcare.

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Danielle, alongside Dietitian Harvir Purawal, plays a pivotal role in leading the Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Race Diversity Group. This group has been a significant pillar of support for AHPs of B.A.M.E background, offering a platform to discuss the developments across the Trust / AHP Professional Advisory Group (PAGs) in recent years.

The AHP Race Diversity Group has not only been a platform for discussion but has also made a tangible impact on various aspects of the Trust. It has influenced policies and interview questions and even fostered innovation, showcasing its effectiveness and relevance.

The AHP Race Diversity Group is dedicated to fostering a culture of inclusion, celebrating diversity, and promoting Allyship among all AHPs. It is equally committed to enhancing career opportunities for the Trust’s AHP B.A.M.E colleagues and sharing good practices that raise awareness of AHP diversity and improve the experience of B.A.M.E colleagues.

Ariel Lanada

Michio Schuck – Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Educator of the Year

Michio is dedicated to improving the learning and education of Internationally…

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Educated Nurses in navigating the NHS system and making it easy for them to understand it. She created programs that improve the nurses’ journey and pastoral support.

Her passion and experience led the nurses to conquer their fear and anxiety, settling into a new environment, culture and language that they needed to adjust to. Mentoring them in their transition within clinical practice supported the new nurses in becoming safe practitioners and unlocking their potential for career progression.

Her vision has always been to elevate the profile of internationally educated nurses within the Trust, creating equal opportunities for them to access education services and upskill them.

Being named Educator of the Year in this prestigious award paved the way for her to be heard and seen by the stakeholders in making a difference in the lives of their nurses.

Ingrid Smith – University Hospital Birmingham

Educator of the Year


Theresa Maunganidze

Kathy Nelson – Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICS

Ground-breaking Researcher of the Year

Kathy Nelson is the Head of the Cancer Network for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System.

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Kathy has always worked in the NHS, starting in an administrative role and then working in patient engagement and complaints before moving into the commissioning field.

She won her award for her role in setting up an innovative research programme into cancer outcomes in Luton.

Knowing that 25% of deaths in Luton are caused by cancer, Kathy worked with other local NHS leaders to establish the Luton Cancer Outcomes study alongside representatives from a cancer patient forum, the East of England cancer patient participation group, Prostate Cancer UK and other charity and voluntary sector partners.

The study asked Luton residents about their experiences of cancer diagnosis and treatment to help identify the main factors—medical, behavioural, and social, among others—contributing to variations in cancer outcomes. This led to recommendations for improving services for the six cancers with the highest rates of premature deaths in the town.

Ariel Lanada

Feltham & Bedfont Primary Care Network – Feltham & Bedfont Primary Care Network

Health and Wellbeing Advocate of the Year

Feltham and Bedfont Primary Care Network (PCN) provide an innovative cardiovascular disease health check

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outreach service in their specially designed outreach ambulance across the London borough of Hounslow.

These health checks include cholesterol, sugar, and blood pressure checks, with the results sent directly to the patient’s G.P. surgeries. Using public health data, the ambulance conducts pop-up outreach clinics in areas of high deprivation and health inequality, especially targeting B.A.M.E. populations, which are recognised as having higher rates of cardiovascular disease.

In 2022, the Feltham and Bedfont PCN embarked on a transformative journey with their mobile clinic program.

Initially, the focus was on administering COVID-19 vaccinations, but the real impact was felt in the underserved B.A.M.E. patient demographics with the successful administration of nearly 3,000 vaccinations.

The program’s assessment revealed that crucial individuals from the B.A.M.E. community, who had low COVID-19 vaccination rates, were also less likely to access regular primary healthcare services. This underscores the importance of the PCN team’s work in bridging healthcare disparities.

The success of the mobile clinics was just the beginning. It laid the foundation for a more comprehensive healthcare service, Healthy Hounslow Community N.H.S. Health Check. This service, officially launched in April 2023, is a testament to the PCN team’s commitment to improving healthcare access and outcomes.

Hannah Chandisingh – Head of Equality. Diversity and Inclusion Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion Lead of the Year


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Hannah was awarded for her work as Head of Inclusion and Engagement at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

There, she spent three years supporting all of UHMBT’s hospital and community teams in Morecambe Bay in addressing race inequalities and racism, improving the experience of both colleagues and patients.

Theresa Maunganidze

Rachel Ashitey – Outcomes First Group

Mental Health Initiative of the Year

Rachel is the Head of Therapies and a dedicated psychotherapist whose journey in this field has been defined by a relentless pursuit of equitable mental health support for marginalised communities, particularly within the B.A.M.E spectrum.

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Her passion for supporting B.A.M.E mental health blossomed from recognising the unique challenges individuals face within these communities. She has spearheaded initiatives within schools that provide tailored support to B.A.M.E students, ensuring they have the tools and resources necessary to navigate their emotional and academic landscapes successfully.

Her educational journey led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Mental Health and Psychological Therapies, where she delved into research aimed at understanding and addressing the complexities of mental health treatment and diagnosis among BAME individuals. This research has served as a guiding light in shaping more inclusive and effective interventions that resonate with diverse cultural backgrounds.

She firmly believes in the transformative power of culturally sensitive therapeutic approaches in building trust and fostering understanding within B.A.M.E communities. Through her work, she strives to dismantle barriers and advocate for equitable access to mental health support for individuals from all walks of life.

Ariel Lanada

Olalekan Odedeyi – Save The Woman

Outstanding Contribution to Social Care

Olalekan is a social entrepreneur, visionary leader, and people’s advocate. He is passionate about fairness, gender equality, and women’s empowerment. 

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Living in the UK, he had to focus more on Race Equality issues because of the Structural and Institutional Racism facing his client group.

Olalekan is the brainchild of Save The Woman, and the organisation’s exceptional work has been recognised, especially in promoting and enhancing the African community and families through Africentric intervention parenting education programs.

Many recognitions and awards have been bestowed on Save The Woman and its team members in recognition of their outstanding contributions to society. The feedback forms completed by the beneficiaries clearly show the difference this programme has made in the lives of families. Save The Woman is a member of the IDPAD Coalition UK.

Save The Woman is also working with universities to improve graduate employment outcomes, a new partnership offering 12-week project-based Master’s Degree Internships (Sept & Jan Cohorts). Save the Woman is passionate about advocacy and empowerment support, and the team is experienced in handling child protection and safeguarding matters.

Active Bystander Programme – Leicester Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care

Outstanding Corporate Achievement of the Year

The Active Bystander Programme provides an opportunity to change cultures through safe and constructive challenge, empowering people to be active bystanders and make positive transformational changes.

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The programme enables delegates to become Active Bystanders who feel confident and have the skills to intervene and de-escalate harmful behaviour incidents, promote prosocial behaviours and support global majority staff to thrive in their workplace.

The ‘Outstanding Corporate Achievement of the Year’ was awarded to the LLR ICB Active Bystander programme on the strength of the programme’s vision, intent, content and depth of community of practice, bringing staff from a range of backgrounds, roles and grades or bands across LLR Integrated Care organisations to work together.

The programme role modelled dual leadership, with the ICB working closely with Local Authority Leadership at the Senior Responsible Officer level. This integrated systemwide approach was consistently exhibited by senior leaders at the executive leadership level, internal sponsors, and the staff engaging with the programme as Active Bystanders on the frontline.

Theresa Maunganidze

Riyaz Patel, Halima Dagia and Shohail Shaikh – Co-Chairs, National NHS Muslim Network

Outstanding Achievement of the Year

Riyaz Patel, Co-Chair of the National NHS Muslim Network

Riyaz is the Implementation Lead (Analytics) for the national Workforce Race Equality Standards team.

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He has worked in the NHS for 18 years, the last five spent with NHS England. Riyaz started working in the commercial team, focusing on travel and external conferencing spending. He also did a stretch assignment that improved the demographic data on the ESR system for NHSE/I. Riyaz also worked on the COVID-19 supply and demand team.

Riyaz is also the Co-Chair of the National NHS Muslim network and has been involved since its inception.

Halima Dagia (Associate CIPD), Co-Chair of the National NHS Muslim Network

Halima started her journey in the NHS 15 years ago. She began as a Medical Records Clerk and is now the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Manager at a London ICB.

She holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management and is CIPD-qualified. Halima has always had a passion for EDI and feels lucky to work in this profession.

Halima became a Co-Chair of the National NHS Muslim Network as she believes in her purpose of helping people and has a natural passion and drive for inclusion within the NHS.

Shohail Shaikh (Chartered FCIPD) (Pronounced So-hail), Co-Chair of the National NHS Muslim Network

Shohail is a passionate HR professional, specialising in Talent Management, Organisation Design, and Organisational Development. Shohail has over 18 years of experience within the healthcare sector, predominantly working in the NHS, and has international experience.

As a Talent Leader for over a decade, Shohail fully believes in the power of compassionate, inclusive, and collective leadership. He is the Head of OD and Talent at a major London Trust.

As Co-Chair of the National NHS Muslim Network, Shohail is driven by the importance of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

Ariel Lanada

Dede Thorpe – East and North Herts NHS Trust

B.A.M.E Midwife of the Year

Dede won for her work as a Specialist Pre-term Birth Midwife at East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, where she helped pregnant women identify those at risk of preterm birth and offered appropriate surveillance during pregnancy.

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She also works supporting clinical staff in providing care to women attending preterm labour.

Waqas Akhtar – Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust

Junior Doctor of the Year

Dr Waqas Akhtar is a cardiology and intensive care registrar at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust.

He also won the Clinician of the Year and Junior Doctor of the Year at the National B.A.M.E HCA Awards 2023.

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He studied medicine at Oxford and is interested in cardiogenic shock, mechanical circulatory support, and heart transplantation.

He is chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Trainee Doctors’ Committee, lead national trainee representative for the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, trainee representative in organ donation at NHS Blood & Transplant and on the critical care section council at the Royal Society of Medicine.

The Mechanical Life Support programme developed at Harefield with colleagues focusing on emergency resuscitation with mechanical circulatory support won the Quality Improvement Initiative of the Year and the Patient Safety Education & Training Award at the Health Service Journal Awards 2023.

Theresa Maunganidze

Marsha Jones – Society of African and Caribbean Midwives

B.A.M.E Nurse of the Year

Marsha, Director of Quality Governance and Assurance at NHS South West London, won for her voluntary role supporting international nurses and midwives. 

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She is the Chair of the Society of African and Caribbean Midwives, a member of the Nursing Association of Jamaica, and a co-founder of the Caribbean Nursing and Midwives Association.

She also collaborates with other diaspora organisations.

She has been a Mary Seacole Scholar, a Darzi Fellow, a Nye Bevan graduate, and a Nurse Fellow in NHS England’s Chief Nursing Officer team.

She became Deputy Chief Nurse at Epsom and St Helier Hospital before working at NHS South West London as a Director of Quality, supporting oversight and improvement at the system level to improve patient outcomes and experiences.

Ariel Lanada

Professor Rotimi Jaiyesimi – Mid and South Essex University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Rotimi Jaiyesimi is a distinguished and accomplished consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at The Brook Suite, Nash Basildon, The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre.


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With extensive expertise in treating a wide range of obstetric and gynaecological disorders, including menorrhagia, pelvic pain, endometriosis, fibroids, and menopause, Professor Jaiyesimi is a trusted expert in his field.

His qualifications include master’s degrees in business administration and medical law. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal Society of Public Health.

As an accredited RCOG Medical Educator, he has significantly contributed to medical research and education.

Recognised for his innovative contributions to medicine, including developing the Electronic Mortality Review tool (MARS), Professor Jaiyesimi has received prestigious awards, including the Health Service Journal National Award for Innovative Development.

His commitment to excellence in medicine and his groundbreaking achievements have earned him the esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award from The University of Ibadan in 2018.

Waqas Akhtar – Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust

Clinician of the Year

Dr Waqas Akhtar is a cardiology and intensive care registrar at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust.

He also won the Junior Doctor of the Year and Junior Doctor of the Year at the National B.A.M.E HCA Awards 2023.

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He studied medicine at Oxford and is interested in cardiogenic shock,

mechanical circulatory support, and heart transplantation.

He is chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Trainee Doctors’ Committee, lead national trainee representative for the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, trainee representative in organ donation at NHS Blood & Transplant and on the critical care section council at the Royal Society of Medicine.

The Mechanical Life Support programme developed at Harefield with colleagues focusing on emergency resuscitation with mechanical circulatory support won the Quality Improvement Initiative of the Year and the Patient Safety Education & Training Award at the Health Service Journal Awards 2023.