Diversity & Cohesion manager
Born in Blackburn, Imran has worked for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for nine years. He began his career as a Youth and Community Worker completing a degree in youth and community work during this time. Blackburn with Darwen’s 0-19 age group is the largest in England and Wales and Imran’s experience gave him a ‘grass roots’ understanding of the importance of community cohesion.
Four years ago he moved to the Council’s Policy Department within the Research and Citizen Engagement Team and earlier this year was promoted to his current position. Imran also lectures part-time at the University of Cumbria on modules focused on youth and community and cohesion.
Anjum Anwar MBE
Dialogue Development Officer & Chair of Woman's Voice
Anjum Anwar, a teacher, has a unique job as a Muslim member of the staff of a cathedral. She was appointed as a Dialogue Development Officer at Blackburn Cathedral in April 2007, working on its community cohesion, education, outreach and interfaith development agency programme. Her main role at the Cathedral is to promote inter-faith understanding and dialogue, though she notes, that “we are very distinct in our worship here, not diluting each other’ faith. Interfaith worship couldn’t possibly work...” Anjum Anwar works with Canon Chancellor Chris Chivers and both have contributed to dialogue work in UK and abroad. She is also chair of Woman’s Voice – a grass root organisation for women which has branches in Pendle, Burnley, Blackburn and Hyndburn.
BBC Asian Network North West
Rahila is a senior broadcast journalist who has achieved international recognition for her work. She has among her groundbreaking work reported on terrorist attacks and shadowed world leaders such as Benazir Bhutto. Her investigative work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She is well-known throughout the region and has previously worked for BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Manchester and Northwest Tonight. She can also be heard occasionally on BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Rahila also finds time in her hectic schedule to comper regional and national business and social functions.
Editor Asian News website
Shelina Begum joined Asian News in 1999 at the age of 19 with no formal journalistic training. A combination of day release training and intensive on the job training at the Rochdale Observer enabled her skills to develop rapidly. She was soon promoted to senior reporter and by 2007 and only at the age of 27 she was editor of the website. She has travelled to both Kashmir and Palestine on exclusive assignments. Shelina is also the first female member on the executive board of the Rochdale based Bangladeshi Association Community Project and Secretary of their Megna women's group.
Councillor Mike Calvert
Lancashire County Council
County Councillor Calvert represents Pendle East and has recently retired to concentrate on his role as the Cabinet Member for Adult & Community Services which has a budget of £450million, and is the largest of the County Councils Directorates.
The areas of responsibility in this post are: Adult Social Services. Further, Higher and Adult Education. Community Safety. Customer Access Strategy. Lancashire Shared Customer Service Centre, Locality Focus, Devolution, Social Inclusion, Equality & Diversity, Community Cohesion, Cultural Services and Health Equality & Health improvement. Councillor Calvert is a Board Member at Nelson & Colne College and a member of Skipton East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership. He also supports the Royal British Legion and several Wildlife Protection Agencies.