Partners/Support

The OCHD Partners/Support page has as its main focus the Council of BAME Community Leads and Special Advisers: details are provided below. The Council of Advisers is at the heart of the OCHD philosophy of Serving our Communities, for our Communities, and for the inclusion, fellowship, equality and anti-discrimination values across all protected characteristics and gender, that are at the heart of the OCHD’s purpose.

The Council of Advisors includes the OCHD Founders and General Secretary, and the leaders, respected figures, experts listed below:

 

Harjap Singh:

OCHD Co-Founder.  Chair of the Council of Southampton Gurdwaras, businessman.  Mr Harjap Singh is a greatly respected figure across Southampton’s Sikh community and far beyond, for his humanity and profound wisdom expressed in gentle, humble yet authoritative ways in regard to furthering all that serves Community and all that unites Society.

 

Simon Hayes:

Simon Hayes is the former Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire. Since that time he has continued to play an active role in regard to policing, community issues and related topics at local, regional and national levels. He brings unique experience and expertise to the OCHD advisers team in these ever important areas that matter across our Hampshire and Dorset BAME communities.

Simon is the Founding Director of The Social Change Society CIC, established to tackle social problems and reduce the risk of offending through the use of an evidence based early intervention approach. He is committed to a process of social change by supporting young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health challenges with an emphasis on preventing crime, reducing re-offending and protecting the vulnerable.

Simon has an exceptional pedigree of working with and supporting our Hampshire BAME communities on important issues and needs. These are demonstrated instance when Simon was Hampshire PCC through the two following examples of engagement, support and action, with his work with our Southampton Sikh community and the Council of Southampton Gurdwaras:

Police order review after religious texts found among dirty underwear | Daily Echo: https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/11543865.police-order-review-after-religious-texts-found-among-dirty-underwear/

Hundreds enjoy Vaisakhi celebration. | Daily Echo: https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/11129563.hundreds-enjoy-vaisakhi-celebration/

 

Dr Ragasudha Vinjamuri:

Ragasudha Vinjamuri is an award-winning dancer, a University educator, cultural commentator and founder of Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence.

A Fellow of Royal Society of Arts, she has performed at various festivals and venues in Britain, Switzerland and Belgium, and has made substantial contributions to art and culture scene in the UK for the past twelve years. Her name entered into the prestigious Limca Book of World Records in 2018 in the Performing Arts chapter. She holds distinction in using dance and spoken word to highlight key subjects such as the importance of music and dance in mental health, water conservation, environmental advocacy and subjects of social and cultural importance.

Through Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence, she carries research and promotion of unique folk/tribal dances of India/South Asia for the audiences in Europe and also highlights linguistic diversity of India. She has been instrumental in presenting for the very first time the lesser-seen folk/tribal dance forms from Telangana, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha to name a few.

 

Laurence Jones — Strategic Adviser and Ambassador for Football Development and International Partnerships for One Community Hampshire and Dorset:

Laurence Jones is the Head of the National League System for the Football Association (England FA) which is a pyramid of football that is placed between the grassroots and professional game, comprising of 900 clubs and in excess of 10,000 grassroots teams the majority of whom play a significant role in their local communities.

Laurence is well respected across football and has extensive experience of all level the game having been Chief Executive of the Hampshire FA, The Leicestershire & Rutland County FA, AFC Bournemouth and in addition to his role at the FA he also undertakes a voluntary role as Chief Executive of Harborough Town FC, a community football club in Leicestershire comprising of 55 teams with over 1000 participants a week using the football hub that has been developed by the club over the last few years.

With over 45 years experience of being involved in football Laurence is passionately committed to using football to create positive community cohesion and removing barriers and discrimination to participation whilst at the same time using football to improve the health, wellbeing and personal development of people.

 

Dr Sanjukta Ghosh — Community Strategic Advisor for the Southampton Sikh Memorial project led by OCHD 2021-23:

Dr Ghosh is Artistic Director of SOAS’ South Asia Institute, and has been involved with partnerships, conceptual planning and production of numerous cultural events that have received national and international media coverage. She is a Commonwealth Scholarship-funded (ACU) doctorate in modern history from SOAS Department of History, Religion and Philosophy where she has been a Senior Teaching Fellow.

Among major research projects, she has worked on the Routledge series on Partition, the ERC project on Infrastructure Development in South Asia, the Heritage Lottery Fund project on the East India Company and recently completed the volume Memory, Identity and the Colonial Encounter — festschrift for Prof Peter Robb (SOAS) that was launched at the Royal Asiatic Society. Dr Sanjukta has been a research grant consultant to network and membership-based organisations in India, UK and Europe. She is a research network member of the European Social Science History Conference, EURHO, a Fellow of South Asia Democratic Forum and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

In the UK, she is the also the lead coordinator of the Society for the Promotion of Indian classical music among youth (SPICMACAY), General Secretary of Srajan the Spark UK, serves local government multicultural committees and as an invited speaker to faith forums. She has represented SOAS for developing international educational partnerships. Currently, she is involved with the AHRC funded project under the rubric Cultural Heritage, Migration and Indian Diasporas, a BAFTA-nominated South Asian film project, Kalakar Arts UK NED, and is a member of the International Students Mental Health project based from SOAS University of London.

 

Bernadette MacDonald-Raggett:

Bernadette MacDonald-Raggett needs no introduction. UK’s Black Motivational Speaker can often be found volunteering to provide help for those imprisoned, giving aid and support to those within the BAME Community and combining that with her involvement with her two favourite charities, New Societe Organisation of Caribbean “Cultural” affairs (NSOCA), and The Footprints Project. The PCC in Dorset recognised her innovative work and had no hesitation in taking her onboard as one of their volunteers. She is indeed an inspiration and we are glad to have her as part of the team!

 

Dr Parvin Damani MBE:

Dr Parvin, Chair of Southampton Muslim Council, was Southampton’s first Muslim woman councillor and is a former Mayor of Southampton. In 2001 in recognition of her exceptional work for society Dr Damani was awarded an MBE.  Dr Parvin is a founding member of the Muslim Council of Southampton and the Southampton Council of Faiths and has played and continues to play a greatly respected role in helping to found and continuing to support the very important work of the Southampton Muslim Women Network.

 

Raja Ali:

The CEO of the IBD Partnership, Raja Ali worked in a prestigious international law firm in the City of London where he was responsible for corporate clients based in USA and Hong Kong. He was then appointed Consultant to a Coca Cola franchise holder, along with a top 4 international consulting company to help write their business model and to implement recommendations. He was responsible for the financial negotiations and identifying opportunities in the South East Asian market for Coca Cola. Raja was involved with a private venture capital initiative to look at renewable energy and was a consultant to the group who put a bid together for the first textile park for a national government to help supply the demand for clothing in the western world.

Raja is now the CEO of numerous international companies, also acts as consultant to many organisations all over the world. Raja has served a 2 year term as a Special Envoy to Bangladesh. He also has vast experience of dealing with projects funded by the European Union in 25 EU countries.

His hobbies include flying a 4-seater PA 28 Warrior airplane and has been learning the art of Krav Maga for nearly 7 years.

 

Hiradhan Rai:

Particulars areas of interest for the Council of BAME Community Leads and Special Advisers: Covid 19 related support, assistance to international students, and counteracting racist ASB

Hiradhan Rai Graduated from Anglia Ruskin University (UK) with an MA in Business Management.  Mr Rai is a respected community leader in the UK Nepali community and Nepal. Mr Rai 5th Degree Black Belt TKD (Tae Kwon Do). And independent businessman with many years’ experience and acquired expertise.

Mr Rai has in the UK and Nepal held a key leadership role in the Community and started including Business development, pricing, operational procedure development. Having worked for RojiHira LTD Company as a Managing Director for the last 6 years, Mr Rai has developed the skills necessary to become an immediate asset to any company or business initiative. Possessing substantial quality man- management skills, Mr Rai can direct, manage and supervise all planning and scheduling activities. Also, Mr Rai can identify issues and opportunities before others and have extensive knowledge of key issues.

Mr Rai always seeks new challenges and additional responsibilities to progress and contribute to the community and possesses a positive attitude and can manage varied workloads and relish the challenges and opportunity of new tasks. A highly experienced, hard-working and multi-skilled individual with a responsible and self-motivated attitude, Mr Rai also extremely fit and holds various qualifications in personal fitness and wellbeing.

With a substantial established background in the different communities with so many years business experience and administration, he is a highly motivated individual with good interpersonal communication, also passionate about personal development and contributes to the community and while making a meaningful difference to the communities.

INVOLVED WITH:

  1. Shareholder of Gurkha Saving & Credit Cooperation
  2. Shareholder of Global Capital Investment Limited
  3. Former Founder President of RojiHira Foundation.
  4. Managing Director of RojiHira LTD Company
  5. Chief Adviser of UKNFS (UK Nepal Friendship Society) 2020-
  6. Working with UK Companies House registered company Dhaaranaa Enterprises & Consultancy Ltd (DEC) General Secretary (GM) Since 2016 to date
  7. Worked with UKNFS (UK Nepal Friendship Society, whose official patron is H.E. the Ambassador of Nepal to the UK) as a General Secretary/Advisor (GM) 2015 – 2019 in regard to strategic development and related initiatives of relevance to Nepal development in trade & tourism
  8. Former Adviser Yeti Nepali Association UK 2017-2019
  9. Former Adviser NRNA UK 2017-2019
  10. Former Adviser UK Nepal Federation Bodybuilding League 2016-2018
  11. Former Vice President of NRNA UK 2015-2017
  12. Former Vice President of NRNA UK 2013-2015
  13. Founder General Secretary of E&W Nepal LTD Company 2001-2008
  14. Former General Manager of the RojiHira Foundation 2012

Overseas Service:

  1. Hong Kong,
  2. Brunei,
  3. The Falklands Islands,
  4. Belize,
  5. Iraq,
  6. Afghanistan,
  7. Kosovo,
  8. Sierra Leone,
  9. Macedonia,
  10. Germany,
  11. France. 
  12. Belize.
  13. Korea.
  14. Malaysia.
  15. Belgium.
  16. United Kingdom (U.K).
  17. New Zealand.
  18. Canada.
  19. Cyprus.
  20. United States of America (USA).

 

Ben Abubakar:

Chairman of the Ghana Association of Portsmouth. 

Mr Abubakar is also Executive Director at Sagacity Outcomes, and Performance Lead – NHS Portsmouth, and is unstinting in regard to his support on developing a fairer community cohesive society that values our Diverse – Multicultural Communities, and the strong contributions they bring to the country

 

Chung Yin Lim:

Mr Lim (FCCA) was born in Malaysia, and is a deeply respected figure and lead for Portsmouth’s Malaysian Chinese community, and was also the First Deputy Chair of Portsmouth Chinese Association. 

 

Ebi Sosseh:

Mr Sosseh is the Dorset Gambian Community lead, and lead of the Umoja Arts organisation (he is also a talented musician); he was in the 2019 – 2020 period the Equality Officer of Bournemouth and Poole Citizens Advice (BCP CA), and also has a wealth of experience of many years on BAME and other Diverse Communities engagement in NHS contexts, as Equality & Inclusion Lead at Dorset CCG (NHS). 

In regard to his 2019 – 2020 period as Equality Officer of BCP CA, this connected Mr Sosseh with OCHD and the UK Nepal Friendship Society, through OCHD and UKNFS work to support pan-Dorset and South Coast international students experiences of distress and related need for support in the 2020 period when hundreds to thousands of international students were affected by the Covid 19 pandemic in regard to support issues.

Ebi’s work in regard to this very important topic saw his successfully raising the profile of international students support, from the OCHD and UKNFS work, with national level Citizens Advice, and on a UKNFS with OCHD international students information support resource.

A highly versatile professional, with extensive skills and expertise bases including, but not limited to the following: Diversity, Inclusion, Project Management, Engagement and Stakeholder management skills acquired over many years, across a wide range of demanding roles in the UK and overseas.  Ebi is enthusiastic, innovative and proactive individual with a track record of encouraging organisational growth in addition to ensuring equality of opportunity and people development.

Recent Achievements include: being a Home Educator during the Covid-19 Lockdown, Dorset area Project Lead on Hate Crime.

Other achievements include:

  • Initiator of first Multicultural Centre in Bournemouth
  • Creator of Community Health Ambassadors Program (CHAP) in Dorset
  • Founder of ‘Africa Comes to Bournemouth’ an annual celebration event;
  • Black Men and Black Women talking groups;
  • Founder of the Southwest Dorset Multicultural Network
  • Founder of Dorset African Caribbean Society (now merged with Umoja Arts Network); Co-Creator of Unison Black Workers Self Organised Group (SOG); Creator of Black History Month Celebrations in Dorset

 

Roque Vaz: 

Mr Vaz is a Founding Member / President, Golden Goa Association, Southampton, representing the Goan Community in Southampton, and is also an FM Radio Host/Compère, and contributor to broadcasts at Awaaz Community Radio Southampton. He is very supportive of the work and approach to inclusion, equality and change that the OCHD is delivering, and looks forward to contribute to this on behalf of the Goan community.

 

Sukdev Singh:

Mr Sukhdev Singh is President of Gurdwara Nanaksar, Southampton

 

Tarsem Singh:

Mr Tarsem Singh, President Gurdwara Ravidas, Southampton

 

Barpoor Singh — OCHD Correspondence Secretary, and Sikh Memorial Secretary:

Mr Barpoor Singh, Gurdwara Nanaksar, Southampton

 

Raspal Singh:

Mr Raspal Singh , Vice President, Gurdwara Tegh Bahardur Sahib Gurdwara

 

Victoria Ugwoeme:

Mrs Victoria Ugwoeme is a social innovator who’s been carrying out positive social action within the local community.
She is a trustee and Project Lead for The United Voice of African Associations in Southampton.
Branch President for the GMB Southern Region in Southampton.
A respected community leader and activist in Southampton, who actively participates in various community volunteering roles.
Through these roles, she has shown commendable skills in project management, co-ordination, sourcing, counselling, and youth engagement.
She is passionate about upholding strong social values through the understanding of cultural diversity in our community, and have a strong desire for change.
Mrs Ugwoeme aspires to become a positive influencer in her community and wider society speaking up for the voiceless, and recently hosted the World UN anti-racism day online event in Southampton. 

 

Dr Abdoulie Sanneh:

Dr. Abdoulie Sanneh has a background in Public Health. He has a PhD in health education health promotion. Dr. Sanneh is the chair of The United Voice of African Association (TUVAA).  He is the founder of Bantaba4change CIC and IKAN.

Dr. Sanneh currently work for West Itchen Community Trust as the coordinator of Northam Local Conversation a program set up to address social inequalities in Southampton. Abdoulie is involved in a wide range of projects and programs in the city.