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Poppy Jaman CBE scoops Asian Achievers Award 2018

Top honours for inspirational Asian role models were presented in London on Friday, 14 September

British Bengali mental health campaigner Poppy Jaman has received the 2018 Asian Achievers Award for her services to the community during a glittering ceremony held in London.

The awards celebrate outstanding British Asian talent across the arts and media, sports, community service, the professions, uniformed services and the world of business and were hosted by Eastenders actor Nitin Ganatra and KissFM’s Neev Spencer.

Poppy Jaman, who was raised in a Bangladeshi family in Portsmouth and now lives in Lewes, was awarded an OBE for her services to people with mental health issues and her work to change public perceptions of mental illness and mental health.

Her own experience of post-natal depression helped Jaman to develop an understanding of the challenges facing people with mental health issues, particularly among diverse groups.

She has over 20 years’ experience of influencing and leading change in public mental health. Since October 2015 she has been Programme Director for the City Mental Health Alliance- a well knit team of London-based organisations focussed on improving and raising awareness of mental health in the workplace.

Jaman sits on the board of Public Health England as a non-executive Director and advises on public mental health and community development. She is also the PHE lead on Diversity and Staff Inclusion and acts as a mental health advocate to prioritise mental health for both public and private sector employers.

The British-Bangladeshi has extended her boundaries beyond England and contributed to mental health globally. This includes her support of the development of Mental Health First Aid in Bangladesh, and training orphanage workers in mental health literacy in Goa, India.

This year’s award ceremony, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, was attended by some 800 guests including Indian-born British billionaire GP Hinduja, Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal and an array of celebrities, entrepreneurs, MPs, industry leaders, senior professionals, titled dignitaries and members of the uniformed services.

Other winners at the Asian Achievers Awards, which are now in their eighteenth year, included Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu and BBC News presenter Babita Sharma.

The awards, which first launched in 2000, are well known as the premier event within the BAME community. They are hosted by Asian Business Publications Ltd., (ABPL), the owners of the 45-year-old print and online news weeklies Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar.

Speaking at the awards last night, ABPL Chairman CB Patel said: “Our awards recognise all those unsung heroes within the Asian community – many of whom arrived here as migrants. They have made great strides, not just within their communities and professional sectors but have made huge contributions to British society and the UK economy.”

Hundreds of entries were submitted this year to the two publications by individuals across the UK for consideration in 12 categories, making it the biggest awards competition of its kind in the UK.

The Asian Achievers Awards has helped to raise £1.5million for various charities since launching. This year it is raising vital funds for Oracle Cancer – a leading charity funding research into head and neck cancer. At last night’s ceremony, £100,000 was raised through donations and an auction hosted by Jeffrey Archer. Over the past ten years, Oracle has invested over £5million in world-class research programmes discovering new and improved treatments for patients suffering from head and neck cancer.

The full list of 2018 winners are:

Professional of the year

Dr Anil Kumar Ohri – healthcare entrepreneur and CEO of Regent’s Park Healthcare

Sports personality of the year

Anoushé Husain – paraclimber and public speaker

Achievement in media, arts and culture

Babita Sharma – BBC News anchor and documentarian

Achievement in community service

Poppy Jaman OBE – CEO and co-founder of Mental Health First Aid England

Uniformed and civil services

Neil Basu – National Head of Counter Terrorism and Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner

Entrepreneur of the year

Adarsh Radia – founder of Indian restaurant chain Dishoom and eyewear startup KITE

Woman of the year

Trishna Bharadia – multiple sclerosis and disability awareness campaigner

Business person of the year

Rishi Khosla – entrepreneur and CEO of unicorn start-up OakNorth digital bank

Lifetime achievement

Dr Hasmukh Shah BEM – the honorary secretary of the Welsh Division of British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO).

Business of the year

Atul Lakhani – Managing Director and CEO of Sanjay Foods

Editor’s Choice Award

Joginder Sanger – entrepreneur and hotelier

Pre-eminent personality of the year

Vraj Pankhania – property developer

This year’s event was sponsored by EY, Edwardian Hotels London, Axiom Stone Solicitors, SBI UK, Sow and Reap, DDO Solicitors, Starling Bank and Education specialists, Regent Group. The media partner was Colors TV.