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Harrow hero: Deaf Club President shortlisted for prestigious national diversity award

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FUNDRAISING PHENOMENON: Mr Iqbal has raised money for a whole host of charities; including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Comic Relief

FUNDRAISING PHENOMENON: Mr Iqbal has raised money for a whole host of charities; including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Comic Relief

A Harrow man has been shortlisted from more than 20,000 nominations for a prestigious award at the National Diversity Awards 2016.

Asif Iqbal, MBE, is head of the Harrow United Deaf Club.

This month, he has been shortlisted in the category for the 'Positive Role Model Award for Race, Faith and Religion' and will travel to Liverpool for the awards ceremony on 16th September.

Mr Iqbal was the first deaf person to work at Buckingham Palace in 2000 alongside a special celebration for The Queen Mother’s 100th birthday.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Asif Iqbal MBE is head of the Harrow United Deaf Club and was the first deaf person to work at Buckingham Palace

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Asif Iqbal MBE is head of the Harrow United Deaf Club and was the first deaf person to work at Buckingham Palace

He has been actively involved in various projects throughout his working life, and even took up an advisory role on the Royal Collection Queen's Gallery Project Group at Buckingham Palace to improve access to the Palace and Gallery tour for deaf people.

He has also been involved in various fundraising drives, successfully raising money for charities including BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Lepra, Macmillan Cancer, HIV Aids and St Luke's Hospices.

Mr Iqbal said: “I was extremely stunned to have received an email informing me that I have been shortlisted for The National Diversity Award 2016 for the category of 'Positive Role Model Award for Race, Faith and Religion'.

“I am thrilled and inspired by the quality of all nominations for me and all other shortlisted finalists.”

The awards are held to celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated their devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in today’s society.

Mr Iqbal continued: “In short, I am extremely honoured to be recognised for my passion and voluntary work, working closely with local diversity communities to make them life difference and to bring together the communities and respect their faith values.

“I hope this will inspire to you all who can achieve their dreams and break through the glass ceiling and inspiring others and young people, sharing messages that if I can do it, they can do it too."

ITV News Presenter Charlene White, and TV Presenter and Radio DJ Ortis Deley will take centre stage to host the iconic awards which will be taking place in the Anglican Church in Liverpool.

The prestigious black tie ceremony is a highly anticipated event in the calendar and provides recognition for excellence regardless of race, faith, religion, gender, identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture.

Paul Sesay, founder of The National Diversity Awards and the BEAM awards said: “The quality of nominations exceeds my expectations every year. This year was no exception with a host of inspirational role models and community organisations nominated across the country.”

He added: “Those shortlisted should be extremely proud, you truly are all winners and I wish each and every one of you the very best of luck.”

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