Kirklees community project highly commended for top award

Last night Kirklees Council were highly commended in the Community Project of the Year category at the British Diversity Awards in London.

Leigh Anne-Pinnock from Little Mix edged past Marcus Rashford to the Media Champion in the Public Eye prize for her ground-breaking documentary, Race, Pop and Power.

The council in partnership with the Black African and Caribbean community in Kirklees, and diversity and inclusion specialists Amber and Greene, were nominated for the award for their work on the Iroko project.

The Iroko project was an innovative eight-month community-led initiative that aimed to uncover inequalities that the Black African and Caribbean community experience.

The project has been delivered in partnership with the Black community who have described their lived experiences, their challenges, and their strengths and identified the steps and actions they feel will bring about impactful change.

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:

“I’m so proud that the Iroko project was highly commended for this award. There were some other excellent nominations for this category, and to be nominated alongside them is a huge achievement.  

“Iroko is one of the finest examples of collaborative work between the council and Kirklees communities I have seen during my time in local government. From the very beginning, Kirklees communities have been at the heart of the project be that through becoming project ambassadors, sharing their lived experiences or contributing to the action plan.

“Iroko is an excellent example of the work we are doing to address the inequalities in society, but we’ve still got plenty of work to do. We must now continue to ensure we provide a pandemic recovery that leaves no one behind.”

The Iroko project is led by ten Iroko ambassadors who use their local knowledge, lived experiences, and relationships to direct, guide, and facilitate community engagement. They are supported by Kirklees Council and Amber and Greene.

The ten project ambassadors chose to name the project after the Iroko tree, a symbol of growth and healing found throughout West Africa.

Tom Daley OBE, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Cerrie Burnell and Denise Welch were some of the other nominations in the category.