Top citizen for devotion to community: Yasmin Khan named Middlesbrough’s Citizen of the Year 2013
A woman who has gone the extra mile for her community has been named Middlesbrough’s Citizen of the Year 2013.
Yasmin Khan received the prestigious award from Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon at a special ceremony at Middlesbrough Town Hall last night.
“I’m really surprised but delighted,” said Yasmin, who lives in Acklam with her husband, Yusuf, a graphic designer, 18-year-old daughter, Larayb, and son Ameer, 16.
The accolade marks the 45-year-old’s contribution to a wide range of organisations and community groups and follows a Middlesbrough Mayor’s Award earlier in the year.
“I’m from London originally and I came to Middlesbrough just over 17 years ago,” said Yasmin, an equality and diversity manager at Vela Group.
“I come from a banking background but when I came to the North-east I started doing some community teaching with different BME groups.
“It was a complete career change.”
Working with Middlesbrough Council, Yasmin helped to establish the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Network to give individuals and minority groups a voice and influence over the way services are delivered.
She established Ojalah, the first BME older women’s group, in 1999, the first BME group to get funding from Age UK in the Middlesbrough area.
Recent projects have included a European programme which provided employment opportunities for more than 49 individuals from the BME community, one of the top three performing projects of its kind in the country.
Currently Yasmin is involved with a number of community and voluntary sector organisations focusing on improving cohesion and diversity, including helping women and those suffering disadvantage as well as the Crown Prosecution Service’s race and scrutiny panel.
Middlesbrough’s Citizen of the Year award was set up to honour members of the local community who go above and beyond the call of duty to improve the lives of others.
Mr Mallon said: “Over the past decade, Yasmin Khan has made a significant contribution to the community of Middlesbrough through her involvement in many projects and initiatives concerning a whole host of issues, but the promotion of the harmony and diversity agenda is what she is best known for.
“Her work has affected the whole town as well as the Teesside area, and due to her drive and determination she has been able to change countless lives through a desire to ensure a fair an equal society exists for all.”
He added: “This award is richly deserved by Yasmin and, if anything, it should have been awarded years ago.”