Finalist at GG2 Leadership Awards 2019
I’m truly delighted to be a finalist for this years' GG2 Leadership Awards 2019. The awards were founded in 1988 by Asian Media Group, Britain's biggest Asian publishing house, to shine a spotlight on Britain’s most enterprising and talented black, Asian and minority ethnic high achievers.
The award judges have recognised me for my professional achievements by overcoming adversity in my personal life. In particular, these awards have shortlisted me for looking after a vulnerable parent with significant health problems as a young carer. This began when I was just eleven years old and I continue to honour and care for my elderly parent, while also forging a successful career for myself in the arts and media sector.
In fact, here is a photo of me as the eleven year old girl.
In 2018, I shared my story on social media and I was surprised to see the tweet go viral. Friends, colleagues and strangers reached out to me and wanted to share their stories but also wanted to know more about what happened to me. At that moment, I decided I would do something positive to inspire others by sharing my journey as a young carer, adult carer and balancing this against building my professional career in mainstream British arts and media industry.
This year I was asked to open the national Arts Marketing Association conference and my speech was called 'The Art of Care'. I explained how being a carer enabled me to exercise my empathy muscle on a daily basis and how this directly feeds into me working with diverse communities and vulnerable people in my artistic work.
I believe good art is emotive. It makes you think and see something differently. We all want to feel something when we experience art and empathy is a huge part of this.
More recently I presented a talk for the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA). Here I shared my story of being a young carer, my passion for stories, the arts and creative world. I also highlighted that being a carer at such a young age shaped my life and personality. Carers, by nature are selfless and often put the needs of others ahead of their own. This is certainly true for me and it has helped me to regularly exercise my empathy muscle. Having empathy and kindness is what has led to the success of my artistic work, especially when working with diverse and hard to reach communities in the UK.
My story is one of tragedy and triumph. I believe that being honest about our most difficult life challenges is important. Sharing such stories with wider society can help us to understand others, build resilience, strength and kindness in ourselves, our immediate social circles and therefore our communities. It helps us to exercise our empathy muscles.
I am currently engaging with secondary schools about what it’s like to be young, vulnerable and feel like the worlds problems and fears are on such small shoulders. The teachers I have liaised with are very impressed with how much I have achieved despite my difficult circumstances.
I will finish this post by thanking the team and judges at GG2 Leadership Awards for selecting me as a finalist. I feel greatly honoured to be one of the finalists amongst some great and diverse talent across the UK.
The GG2 Awards, now in their 21st year, were instituted to celebrate the very best of ethnic minority talent in Britain. The awards dinner attracts a diverse and influential audience of over 800 guests from all walks of life, from leaders of the armed forces, CEOs, business leaders and entrepreneurs to community leaders, creatives and sporting talent.
This year, the GG2 Leadership Awards will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, reflecting upon his enduring values and significance in today’s modern world.
More information about GG2 Leadership Awards, please see the website: www.gg2leadershipawards.co.uk.