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Public Service Award 2015
Harrow United Deaf Club
President of Harrow United Deaf Club
BA (Hon) Deaf Studies and Education Studies, University of Central Lancashire
CACDP BSL Stage 3, University of Central Lancashire
Access to Higher Education; Black Studies, Women Studies, Health and Social Studies, Environment Studies, Sociology, Lens Media, Mackworth College, Derby
Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Level 5 Award in Leadership and Management
Conflict of Management Training
Deaf Managers – Facing the Challenge How Deaf People Can Succeed in Management, Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
About Time Public Leaders (Advanced)
Understanding Modern GOV
Project Management, Kent County Council
Introduction to Management, Kent County Council
Stress Management, Kent County Council
Adult Protection Training, Kent County Council
Managing Diversity Training, Kent County Council
FYD Community Ambassadors Training
FYD Projects Ambassadors Training
Asif and his MBE…On a personal level, for the accumulation of his personal achievements over the last 20 years, he was awarded with MBE in recognition for his public services to deaf and disabled people.
Asif on top 10 of The most Influential Disabled People list (Public Services)… Asif in top 10 most influential disabled people in Public services include Baroness Jane Campbell, Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson and Lord Chris Holmes. The list is a powerful way to demonstrate and reinforce the message that disabled people can achieve/ aim higher and break the glass ceiling. Asif explained: “I have known so many people named on the list and many more not listed, they are all inspirational.” He added: “It’s good to be recognised as a key figure in public services and encourage people to contribute/ influence for better change, making a difference to the local or national communities.”
The Influential Disabled People list can be found on Disability News website: www.disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/07/the-list
Asif Iqbal MBE Independent Candidate for the Marlborough Ward: http://www.asif-iqbal.co.uk/
Prime Minister David Cameron thanks Harrow community champion at Downing Street reception:
Deaf Learners National Conference Speaker Asif Iqbal: Breaking Down Barriers:
UCLAN CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE AND DEAF STUDIES EDUCATION
Asif took part of 'Jail & Bail' event, fundraising money for St. Luke Hospices Charity. Here the press coverage:
Asif Iqbal MBE bailed in raising money for St.Luke Hospice: http://hudc.org.uk/asif-iqbal-mbe-bailed-in-raising-money-for-st-luke-hospice/
Community champions, councillors and MP to get locked up in Pinner police cell in aid of St Luke’s Hospice: http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/11811992.Councillors_and_MP_to_be_locked_up_in_police_cell/?ref=mr
Get west London: Pinner locals locked up for charity: http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/pinner-locals-locked-up-charity-8916021
Conservative MP set to go to jail...in support of a Kenton charity: http://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/news/conservative_mp_set_to_go_to_jail_in_support_of_a_kenton_charity_1_397340
Asif is Deaf and is a well-known public figure in the Deaf, Black and Minorities Ethnic (BME) and Disability World; and in the Public Services as an effective networker; PR/ Media Project manager - using effective communication using social media, and campaigner throughout his career. In 2005, he worked at Parent line Plus (now Families Lives) for two years as a Project Manager and one of his roles was to develop and manage four pilot projects from scratch nationally in partnership with organisations who work with excluded communities before moving onto Deaf Parenting UK as Media/Project Manager in 2007 until 2014, raising profile of the charity on local, national and international level.
Asif Iqbal is extremely dedicated to his work with the community by working extremely hard with many charities and voluntary organisation aswell as his public services including local and central government. Over the years, Asif is passionate and committed to empowering diverse communities and enabling local deaf people across London to have a voice on local and national issues and participate in changes.
His first major achievement was when…Asif was at a tender age of 18yrs old, he invited HRH Duchess of York to Derby school for the deaf to celebrate their centenary anniversary where the children were excited to meet Duchess of York with a BSL interpreter.
From there, he continues to soar higher and broke through the glass ceiling as the first deaf person working at Buckingham Palace in 2000. It was also at the same time that Buckingham Palace had a special celebration for The Queen Mother’s 100th birthday. Not only it stopped there, he also appeared as a walk in extra for TV programmes including Emmerdale and Gracious Goodness Me and Orange Mobile TV Advert. Asif was also interviewed for BBC London news, London Tonight, and BBC radio for his work with Deaf community on London-wide issues.
In 2001, Asif was a London Campaign officer for a deaf national charity and worked closely with Mayor of London, London Assembly members, senior policy advisers to develop and improve access to Greater London Authority’s services to one million deaf Londoners and resulting in producing an BSL video about GLA and how it works; Successful Question Times events where Deaf people gave their voices and asked the Mayors questions.
In 2002, Asif was invited as a guest speaker for San Francisco Mayor Office, USA which he enjoyed immensely and was able to share model of good practices in London with San Francisco. He was actively involved in various projects in his spare times including advisory role on the Royal Collection Queen's Gallery Project Group at Buckingham Palace to improve access to the Palace and Gallery tour for deaf people. He was also involved in the fundraising drive and successfully raised money for charities including BBC Children in Needs, Comic Relief, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Lepra, Macmillan Cancer, HIV Aids and St Luke's Hospices.
In addition to Asif’s work, he enjoys the vast variety of roles on voluntary basis including Public Appointment Ambassador for Cabinet Office and Government Equalities Office; Vice President of Deafax; Deaf Parenting UK Ambassador; and President of Harrow United Deaf Club. He recently joined the Board of Runnymede Trust Advisory Group to support Black Minority and Ethnic communities. He was also a former Board member of Disability Employment Advisory Committee for Department for Work and Pensions for 6 years, Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee; Former Board member of RADAR (now renamed as Disability Right UK), sat on British Council’s Disability Advisory Panel; Member of the London Organising Committee Deaf Community Outreach Team of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games 2012.
Asif’s Touch of Fame, meeting Celebrities…Throughout his career, Asif taught British Sign Language (BSL) with VIP Guests include Mike Atherton, Former England Captain Cricket; David Moyes, Former Preston Football Manager together with his Football team; Bird of Feather TV stars - Pauline Quirke, Sharon Robinson and Lesley Joseph; Mel and Sue Perkins of Light Lunch TV Show aswell as to many local Mayors and Councillors.
Asif as President of Harrow United Deaf Club…Asif set Harrow United Deaf Club which grew from strength to strength after its demise in 2009 and was voted as President of Harrow Deaf Club for his efforts. He established and led on projects associated to the Harrow Deaf Club which has over 1,250 members and runs monthly evenings for deaf people and their families.
Formed in June 2009 by its now President Mr Asif Iqbal MBE.
The club has successfully grown as one of most popular deaf clubs in London because it opened its doors to other deaf communities as well as hearing people learning BSL. In consequence there is a great sense of pride in diversity and supporting each other. Members come from all over London, Slough, Bradford and Leicester.
Members of all ages and faiths meet in an informal and relaxed social environment. It is open to all deaf and hearing people and their families from across the ethnic and religious community. The club organises a range of social and educational events as well as providing help and support for its members. Importantly it acts as a lobbying and liaison group to ensure that deaf people can access local and national services.
Deaf children and hearing children of deaf adults enjoy a range of activities including art & craft, drama and games, and older people take advantage of the meetings to get out of their homes and reduce their social isolation.
Membership of over 1,250 members, together with 17 committee members, 12 Ambassador, 2 patrons and 20 volunteers, meet monthly, usually with activities based around a theme, e.g. H M The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, London Olympics, Chinese New Year, Valentines Day, Easter, Eid and Diwali, Christmas and Hanukkah.
Working in partnership with other organisations, the club provides educational programmes designed to empower and inform members. Invited speakers discuss local and national issues. The discussion groups enable members to have a voice on issues that affect their daily living, and ensure they have full access to information and services that they may otherwise not be aware of.
• Harrow Asian Deaf Club and Harrow Council at New Year London's Parade that wows the world
• Harrow Deaf Awareness Day involving Harrow Council and a wide range of local and national organisations.
• 'How to set up your own business'
• Bowel cancer Awareness with a speaker from the Bowel Screening Programme
• 'How keep to Safe' with speakers from Harrow Police and Harrow Council Adult Safeguarding Unit
• Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transsexual (LBGT) Awareness
• 'Fight for your Rights', including British Sign Language Rights
• Understanding different religions with Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish speakers.
• Miss India Worldwide, who is deaf talking about her personal journey.
• Gerry Hughes, who is deaf talking about his sailing journey.
Special outings for members include successful annual trips to Holland, Paris, Brighton and Alton Towers.
This is an extremely active and vibrant club with an enthusiastic and competent committee leading a fully participative and growing membership. It has the full support of Harrow Borough Council and several of the councillors (including Past Mayors) are Ambassadors of the club.
Looking back in the year 2013, we have achieved so much in the last 12months with excellent programme of events, and the power of influences that Harrow United Deaf Club (HUDC) have managed to date. For example, HUDC took part of The Mayor’s New Year Parade in Central London (1st Jan 2013) and we were the first ever Deaf Club to participate in the parade and it was thrilling! We also organised our Harrow Deaf Awareness Day (13th May 2013) in partnership with Harrow Observer newspaper, together with local organisations including Harrow Police, Harrow Arts, Cinema, Education and Council services to promote awareness of their services to deaf people and their families. There was a special interview I had with the newspaper journalist on Deaf Awareness in the run up of the Harrow Deaf Awareness day. In addition the Day offered an excellent platform for local deaf residents to share their experiences and barriers they faced in accessing to basic services that many other hearing people takes for granted. In June, we had excellent speakers on ‘Stand Up for your Rights’ including a well-known Human Right Campaigner – Peter Tatchell – who shared his powerful stories of how he campaigned on LGBT issues, followed by speakers on British Sign Language (BSL) Act. We also had the pleasure of having Miss India Worldwide visiting us a number of times over the last two years and for July 2013 event, she shared her story of how she became successful as Miss India World. The last event of the year in Dec 2013 went out with a bang, a very poignant event, with Christmas party at HUDC, followed by an inspirational speaker - Gerry Hughes, first ever deaf sailor who circumnavigated solo across the world, who shared his story. The night then lit up with a large firework display as everyone said their byes to Bentley Day Centre, a venue that HUDC used in the last four years which is closing down as part of the Council’s Transformation review of Day Care centres.
The year 2014 bring us lots of excitement and opportunities as we recently gained our new brand name – Harrow United Deaf Club. Many of our members and the public welcomed our new name as it appeals to a wider community to come together and become our ‘big’ family. We are also excited at our move to the new Centre at The Bridge in Harrow and will be providing a fantastic ranges of event for 2014 including International Women Day (March 2014) with high profile speakers to promote awareness and celebrate women’s rights, bringing women together to inspire for changes. We also look forward to celebrating our HUDC’s 5th Anniversary in June 2014 with a special twist, bringing communities together.
Harrow United Deaf Club: www.hudc.org.uk
In the media:
• September 2014: Harrow United Deaf Club was pleased to welcome all members back to the Deaf Club with an energetic session on Health. We also has VIPs in attendance including Deputy Mayor, Councillor Krishna Suresh and his wife Councillor Sasikala Suresh ; Navin Shah, GLA Assembly Member and his wife Councillor Rekha Shah and key speakers - Councillor Anne Whitehead, Cabinet Member Portfolio holder of Health, Well-being and Equalities and a deaf motorcyclist paramedic Richard Webb Stevens, from London Ambulance Service.
Harrow United Deaf Club members learn life saving skills’ appeared on the Harrow Times Newspaper on 7th September 2014:http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/11458992.Deaf_club_members_learn_life_saving_skills/#commentsList
‘Deaf paramedic live-saving advice’ which appeared on the getwestlondon - online news on 7th September 2014: http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/deaf-paramedic-gives-live-saving-advice-7736836
• 7th June 2014: Harrow United Deaf Club’s 5th Anniversary Celebration:
• 6th April 2014: Easter Party: Spring was in the air for Harrow United Deaf Club as deaf people and families came together to celebrate Easter. The event was opened by the Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Nana Asante who explained the importance of respecting each other faiths and celebrating each festivals, bringing peaces to all communities - "there are so many conflicts across the world around faiths and it is important to learn and respect each other's faith" she said.
From there, the messages of respect and peaces were shared by two keys speakers - Reverend Anne Richardson, a Deaf Chaplin who explained the meaning of Easter, the tradition of Christianity to celebrate Easter. She shared story of Jesus and the resurrection and the meaning of Easter eggs and hot cross buns. Rev'd Ann added that it is important to seek forgiveness from other people aswell as from God. Another guest - Eva Fielding Jackson, Deaf Jewish speaker explained about how Jewish festivals are celebrated especially around Easter with Sabbath and Passover. She gave an interactive demonstration of how Jewish faith and customs are practiced, including specific clothings and items in the Jewish home, which each have specific meaning and messages of God's commands and the 613 rules of do and don't. Eva also shared the special wine; non-alcoholic grape juices; Challah bread and Matzah (flat cracker bread) used by Jewish people during Shabbat aswell as sharing the historical stories behind Challah loaves and the Matzah (half baked bread that was made thin layers, patted onto the back of the Jewish people who toiled for hours under the sun when building Pyramids during Egyptian King ruling. The Matzah was cooked and became the foods of the Jewish people who had no means of baking at the time. Eva added each foods signified the suffering of Jews in the biblical times and every days we empathise those pains and by performing the rituals/ customs, we shared the freedom when Jews were freed from the Egyptian rules. Challah is a loaf of yeast-risen egg bread that is traditionally eaten by Jews on Shabbat, on ceremonial occasions and during festival holidays and the braids of the bread represent unity. Also the theme from all speakers on peace, Eva explained that Jewish believes that to bring peace, people must seek forgiveness from other people so God can forgive the individual. It was certainly an eye-opener for everyone in the audiences who learned so much more about both faiths and enjoying the drink and breads. Each speakers were presented with Large Chocolate Easter egg and a framed certificate.
Children of Deaf parents were kept busy with the creativity of art and craft activities including making their own Easter eggs, and everyone enjoyed the smell and tastes of Hot Cross Buns and samosas.
Asif Iqbal MBE, President of Harrow United Deaf Club explained the importance of celebrating Easter, bringing people together and to raise awareness of different faith. Most importantly, it was fully interactive and accessible for all and everyone came away with better awareness and knowledge. HUDC believes in promoting unity and community cohesion.
Harrow United Deaf Club: http://hudc.org.uk/portfolio/easter-party-2014/
Harrow United Deaf Club holds Easter party appeared on the Harrow Times Newspaper on 8th April 2014
• 1st March 2014: International Women Day 2014 Mayoress Miss Awula Serwah; Emma Richards, Chief Inspector Operations of Harrow Borough); the Mayor Councillor Nana Asante; Margaret Purnell wife of Deputy Lieutenant of Harrow (Patron of HUDC); Susan Hall, Leader of Harrow Council; Sabina Iqbal, Chair of Deaf Parenting UK, Mei Sim OBE DL, Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of Brent and Councillor Kareema Marikar, HUDC Ambassador.
Also our HUDC’s International Women Day: Inspiring Changes, 1 March 2014, which appeared on iharrow website:
Harrow Times website on 6th March : Deaf club celebrates international Women’s Day
Get West London Website on 7th March 2014
• 4th January 2014: Harrow Chinese New Year & New Year Celebration 2014The event was welcomed by the Mayor of Harrow, Councilor Nana Asante and Mayoress Miss Awula Serwah.
‘Harrow United Deaf Club celebrate Chinese New Year at their new home’; which appeared on the ‘Get West London’ website on 6th January 2013: http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/incoming/harrow-united-deaf-club-celebrate-6471424
• 21st December 2013: Asif Iqbal, Harrow Arts Centre Ambassador & President of Harrow United Deaf Club - Harrow Arts Centre's Successful BSL interpreted performance of 'The Sleeping Beauty' - It was the first time that the show was performed with BSL interpreter. It was fantastic! Everyone enjoyed it so much. I love it that the BSL interpreter was part of the show by wearing costumes and was also part of the songs and synced so well with the overall show. All the atmosphere was excellent, we can see everyone laughing especially the kids. http://www.netmums.com/harrow/whats-on/view/the-sleeping-beauty-community-pantomime
• 12th December 2013 HUDC Winner Ammaar Hussein (15) was presented with a trophy for his fundraising efforts at last Saturday event hosted by Harrow United Deaf Club (HUDC). http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/10880045.Charity_volunteer_recognised_for_fundraising_work/
• 7th December 2013: Harrow United Deaf Club is proud to host Gerry Hughes as our special guest speaker for Christmas. He will share his inspiring story as the first ever Deaf person to sail around the world Christmas party entitled: ‘Festive farewell to Harrow United Deaf Club’ which appeared on Get London News’ website:
Gerry Hughes, first deaf sailor sailed around the world, mentioned about his trip to Harrow United Deaf Club where he was invited to give a presentation and it is now on his website: http://www.gerrysmhughes.com/videos.php?action=view&news_id=331
• 2nd November 2013: Eid & Diwali Celebration The event was welcomed by the Mayor of Harrow, Councilor Nana Asante and Mayoress Miss Awula Serwah and they were greeted by two young sisters - Samaira (7) and Rubi (3) with a beautiful bouquet of flowers each. Both the Mayor and Mayoress were pleased to meet the members of the Deaf Club and joined them for a festive feast of Indian delights and enjoyed a special display of Diwali, with decorative candles to celebrate both Eid and Diwali (Festival of Lights). Other guests joined the event including Councillor Navin Shah, Councillor Krishna Suresh, Councillor Sasikala Suresh, Councillor Kareema Marikar, Councillor Husain Akhtar, Councillor Vina Mithani, Councillor Manji Kara, John and Margaret Purnell (Patrons of HDUC). Sidika Mustafa Dewji, who spoke about the meaning of Eid and why we celebrate it. She also explained about the right of Muslim women and empowering them, resulting in a huge applause from our audiences who admired her speech. Then we moved onto another fantastic speaker, Radha Mohan Das from Krisma Temple, he explained the importance of Diwali as Festival of Light and shared the story behind it too which was fascinating. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCk8aIM1s6s
• 8 Nov 2013 – Radha Mohan das and Prema Pradip das were awarded a certificate of thanks by Deputy Lieutenant of London Mr John Purnell. It was for their dramatic presentation about Diwali and the story of the Ramayan during Harrow United Deaf Club's Eid & Diwali Celebration
• 5th October 2013: Halloween Party and AGM with Councillor Kareema Marikar (Deaf Club’s Ambassador) and John Purnell QPM GM DL (Patron of Deaf club) in attendance. Following the AGM, it was announced after unanimous votes, HADC is now changed their name to Harrow United Deaf Club
• 7th Sept 2013: Davina Bapiste, Speaker on Bowel Cancer from St. Marks Hospital’s Bowel Screening programme.
• 23 August 2013: Premi Pushpalingham and Mandy Tobin, Deaf footballers from Harrow win bronze with Great Britain Deaf Women’s Football Team http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/10632001.Deaf_footballers_win_bronze_with_Great_Britain_Deaf_Women___s_Football_Team/
• 6th July 2013: Successful Summer BBQ, with speakers from Terra Consultancy and Sandra Duguid of BSLworks on ‘Want to be like Sir Alan Sugar - Setting up your own business’ The event was opened by Negal Bhogaita, Miss India Worldwide and The Mayor’s representative – Cllr Lurline Champagne OBE.