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HOT Inclusion & Integration Manager wins prestigious BBC ‘Make A Difference Award’

Inclusive Integration

Surraya Bibi receives ‘Together Award’ which recognises her work with migrants and refugees at Halifax Opportunities Trust

Surraya Bibi, HOT’s Inclusive Integration Project Manager has surpassed over 11,000 nationwide nominees and three other finalists in the BBC Leeds ‘Make A Difference Awards’, to win the ‘Together Award’ at a ceremony held at the Leeds Royal Armouries, on 30th September 2023.

The ‘Together Award’ was presented to Surraya, who inspires diverse communities to come together. For over 20 years she has created real change and broken-down barriers, bringing together people from different walks of life and guiding them through their new lives in the UK.

Of the news, Surraya says: “I feel proud as a Halifax Opportunities Trust employee and that the work of the Inclusive Integration team has been recognised at a national level. The award is dedicated to Halifax Opportunities Trust and the migrants and refugees we work with.”

Surraya’s work within Inclusive Integration at HOT involves supporting migrants and refugees with citizenship, ESOL qualifications and integration within their new community. She has led the delivery of many high-profile projects supporting migrants and refugees to overcome barriers such as digital exclusion, English language, loneliness and isolation.

The award is a well-deserved acknowledgement of the hard work Surraya commits to migrant and refugee communities throughout Calderdale. A role model to many of her female learners, Surraya mentors many beyond her scope of employment, where she has supported individuals to show entrepreneurship and has created opportunities for them to launch their own business, as well as working towards the completion of relevant vocational courses.

Winning the award has come at a significant time for Surraya, as the Inclusive Integration provision has recently grown beyond measure. This year Surraya and her team are delivering 13 classes per week, almost doubling the number of learners she works with compared to previous years. 

Abrar Hussain, HOT Projects Lead, celebrates: “I am delighted Surraya has been recognised for the ‘Together Award’, which commends her hard work and efforts in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Calderdale”.  

The ‘Together Award’ category itself had over 500 nominations, making the win even more momentous. But this isn’t the first time Surraya’s hard work has been recognised, this Award follows recent local accolades, such as a West Yorkshire High Sheriff Award in November 2022.

Learn more about Surraya’s work with refugees and migrants

Surraya’s Story

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