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Asad Fazil, CEO of Al-Hurraya

Queen pays tribute to Nottingham community stalwarts

Community stalwarts in Nottingham who have dedicated their lives to helping others have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021. 

Among them is Asad Fazil (pictured right), the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Al-Hurraya, who has received an MBE for his services to education.

Al-Hurraya was founded, with support from Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service (NCVS), in 2014 after Asad recognised that there was an emerging need for a service which works directly to support Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) communities in the city.

The Lenton based organisation now works in Nottingham and Derby to reduce crime within minority communities by enhancing community cohesion. Al-Hurraya focuses on tackling underlying issues in communities and providing early intervention strategies and solutions. It also has a strong focus on supporting people's mental health and wellbeing. You can find out more about the organisation here.

Asad, who was also recently appointed a Community Ambassador on behalf of Nottinghamshire’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), said, “I am delighted and overwhelmed to be awarded an MBE, I have been inundated with messages of support and encouragement from well wishers. I would like to say a very special thank you to NCVS, especially Group Development Officer David Saunders and former NCVS employee Richard Bacon, as well as their teams. They supported us from the very start of the Al-Hurraya journey, providing valuable advice, information and support and helping us to gain Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) status.”

British Empire Medal (BEM) recipients

Nottingham resident Maria Shakespeare has also been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List with a British Empire Medal for her voluntary service.

She has been the chair of the local tenants' group for the 4,000 homes on the Crabtree estate in Bulwell for four years. And prior to her involvement, the Crabtree Farm Community Centre on the estate was at risk of closure. She managed to turn the fortune of the centre around, working with partners and the community to recruit volunteers.

Graham Moran, Nottingham Forest Community Trust Chief Executive Officer is also among those to have been honoured with a British Empire Medal.

A message from NCVS

David Saunders, NCVS Group Development Officer said, "I'm delighted to have noted the award given to Asad in recognition of his tremendous work in advancing education for Al-Hurraya and BAMER communities in Nottingham and Notts. Since supporting Asad to register Al-Hurraya as a charity in 2016, I have followed his work with great interest.  He is a wonderful role model, great leader and tremendous champion of improving lives for all in the community. The award could not have possibly gone to anyone more deserving.

"I am also absolutely thrilled to see that Maria Shakespeare of Crabtree Farm Community Association was recognised in the awards. I have supported Maria for many years. She is passionate about her community and works tirelessly on their behalf.

"Congratulations to Asad and Maria and to their respective communities."

A ceremony will take place later in the year and all recipients will be invited to Buckingham Palace to have their titles officially presented to them by a member of the Royal Family.

A full list of Queen's Birthday Honour 2021 recipients in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire can be found on the Nottinghamshire Live website.


Date Posted: 
Tuesday, 15 June, 2021

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