As Black History Month enters its final week, 14 more Basingstoke Achievers have been recognised by a coalition of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups in Basingstoke.

Among the achievers are teenagers including youth advocate for Black History Month Nana Aba, writer Kamara Hamilton, who has authored a novella titled ‘Youth Club’ and Year 10 Council student of Brighton Hill School, Paris Masona-Akinfaye.

Other awardees include:

Paul Hamilton – Former Chair of North Hampshire Caribbean and African Network (NHCAN), Co-Founder of Black Success Initiative (BSI), member of the Basingstoke Caribbean Society and Friends, as well as Basingstoke Multicultural Forum.

Effie Grant – a businesswoman, school governor, co-founder of Basingstoke Unite Against Racism, lead coordinator for Black History Month Basingstoke, motivational speaker and ambassador and fundraiser for Cancer Research UK.

Toju Ogbe – community leader who works with various BAME groups across Basingstoke to bring people of different faiths and cultural backgrounds together to understand each other’s worldview and foster community cohesion.

Jojo Blankson – a school governor and co-founder of Basingstoke Unites Against Racism (BUAR) and drycleaning business who served NHS workers offering discounts with free collection and delivery during the Covid 19 lockdown.

Kishor Patel – community leader, family man and business owner with his wife. He is also co-founder and Chair of Basingstoke Hindu Society, a school Governor for the past 10 years and a volunteer at Carnival Hall Community Centre.

Avanelle Hosking – a business owner who has built a warm, welcoming and homely hair salon serving not only the African-Caribbean community in Basingstoke but all from near and afar.

Lekan Oluyemi – a personal fitness trainer who offers free or discounted training sessions to people with limited abilities.

Cllr Dan Putty – former Mayor, and long serving councillor, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

Islam Jalaita – Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Helped to set up the Black History Month 2020 consortium, volunteer Governor for Queen Mary College and adviser for the Institute of Community Studies.

Faith Ruto – an author and resilience coach who helps entrepreneurs, individuals, teams and leaders adapt quickly to change.

Sarah Watts – an inspirational who pushed herself to academic excellence as an adult learner gaining a Master’s degree.

Anthony Williams – local businessman who owns Hummingbird barber shop has been serving the community for many years and has helped many young people acquire skills of the business.

In a message to celebrate Black History Month, Cllr Simon Bound said: “People of Black and Caribbean descent have made a significant contribution to our cultural life, helping to make Britain and our borough a better place to be. It is the contribution of black British people that we are celebrating with Black History Month.

He added: "This is also a time to look forward. Our collective ambition for the borough is a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and we all need to work together to purposefully dismantle any barriers that currently exist to stop that from happening.”

To mark the final week of Black History Month, a virtual stakeholder event is being organised from 6pm on Thursday, October 29, 2020. The event titled Basingstoke Big Chat (BBC) is aimed at spotlighting some of the key issues around race and inequalities in Basingstoke. Maria Miller, and other stakeholders drawn from education, police and faith groups across Basingstoke and Deane will meet to discuss the role of local politics, national politics and the media has on handling racism.