Multicultural Carlisle Conference 2018

Thursday 18th October
5.30pm – 6pm – Welcome and registration To reserve free tickets
6pm – 8pm – Conference Time   Speakers at MCC Conference 2018

Programme for MCC Conference 2018
Conference Host – Amyn Fazal (MCC Chair)

Saj Ghafoor – Chief Officer
Multicultural Carlisle (MCC) is proud to be hosting our first conference.  It offers the opportunity to see how MCC has progressed over the year and how partnerships, collaboration and volunteer engagement is working to empower Black Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in Cumbria. This conference invites policymakers, leaders,  dignitaries, sponsors, funders, partners,  young people, collaborators, community groups, volunteer groups and BAME individuals to come together and share knowledge and experience through what we do best.  Food and the arts.  Our glass half full approach is about looking forward and being proud of our identity to increase the feel good factor that also improves our health and well being. We aim to fill the missing grass roots gap and be the organisation to contact for project engagement for BAME and for signposting to relevant organisations, language solutions & raise awareness of the BAME diversity in Cumbria. It offers an opportunity to hear about the needs of others to develop solutions.  Together we are stronger.

No preaching, just talking, breaking down barriers and being the change we want to see! If there are any questions, please forward to [email protected] in advance please.

If you feel generous then please feel free to donate at the time of booking.  

I look forward to seeing you there on behalf of all the team at Multicultural Carlisle.


Abdur Rashid – Carlisle Islamic Centre

Abdur was born and brought up in Carlisle till the age of thirteen. His pursuit of Islamic Studies led him to London to develop secular studies till GCSE. He was fortunate to experience exposure and an impressive introduction to Islamic studies. He furthered his zeal of Islamic studies in Yorkshire. As the Imam of Carlisle Islamic Centre, he finds himself in a position of influence to a diverse range of people; whether that diversity is found in race, age or even religion. He endeavours to clear misconceptions and bridge the evident gaps engraved in our small society.

Priya Sundar – Classic Indian Dance performer and choreographer

Priya Sundar is a south Asian dance practitioner with more than 2 decades of performing experience. She got trained under eminent Gurus from the tender age of five in India and specialised in dance form called Bharatanatyam. She believes that the fulfilment of an artist lies not only in learning art for oneself but also seeing the art flourish. She passionately uses dance as the medium of communication. She is a strong and dedicated performer, devoted dance teacher, passionate choreographer and a brilliant workshop leader.

Amyn Fazal – HOST & Chair of Trustees of Multicultural Carlisle

Amyn recently retired as CEO of Penrith Building Society and wanted to continue to invest in the community to strengthen and empower them. As chair of Multicultural Carlisle and his specialism in leadership, strategy and governance, Amyn is supporting and guiding the trustees to develop a strong and stable organisation to develop grass roots engagement and projects for Black, Asian and ethnic minorities (BAME) living and working in Cumbria.

Saj Ghafoor – Chief Officer of Multicultural Carlisle

Saj is a partner in HDM Spice Shop, which was a catalyst for the activities of Multicultural Carlisle. A mother of four and grandmother of three, Her love for Carlisle and Cumbria is stronger than ever. With thirteen years of experience and developing community links as a volunteer to promote BAME diversity through cultural awareness events, the arts, food and social events. A voice of experience, understanding and cultural awareness of the issues affecting BAME in Carlisle and Cumbria. A compassionate friend. The message is simple. Let’s share our similarities and celebrate our differences.

Claire Hensman – Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria

Claire Hensman was brought up in Somerset; both parents were GPs. She read Law at LSE and followed that with a short career in investment departments of M&G and NM Rothschild before moving with Peter, her husband, and young family to Cumbria in 1980. She became involved in various local organisations: Non-Exec Director of Westmorland Hospital’s Trust, Member of the Council of Lancaster University becoming Deputy Pro-Chancellor and Hon. Fellow and trustee of various local charities mainly focusing on helping young and disadvantaged people. She was appointed High Sheriff of Cumbria for 2007/8 and became Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria in 2013.She is now involved in public and voluntary organisations all around Cumbria.

Jarek Jakubiak – Vistula Polish Community Association in Cumbria

Jarek came to England in 2005. In 2012 he started engaging with Multicultural Carlisle and was a part of the management team that delivered Culture Bazaar in 2013. It was in 2012 when he founded the Polish Saturday School that now has a pupil roll of over 100 children.He is a Member of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) at Cumbria Police. A gentle giant with a passion to retain and share his heritage and culture. Husband and father of two boys. He describes himself as a friendly, community worker. His life motto quote is: “Success Is Going from Failure to Failure Without Losing Your Enthusiasm”      

Andy Beeforth – CEO of Cumbria Community Foundation

Andy Beeforth has led the Cumbria Community Foundation since its inception in 1999. The Community Foundation is an independent charity that makes grants to address disadvantage and strengthen communities. It does this by encouraging new philanthropic giving. It has to date distributed grants in excess of £41m and built endowed funds of over £17m. In 2017 the Foundation created the ‘Welcome Fund’ to receive donations from people who wanted to support refugees who were making Cumbria their new home.”

Paul Kasiera

Paul was born in Kenya. He has lived in America, educated in Scotland and has been settled in Carlisle since 1992.  He started working life in the Civil Service then went into Leisure working his way to Consultancy level. Paul was awarded a Mayor’s Civic Award in 2004 for Mood Nightclub’s part for regenerating Botchergate area of Carlisle. Paul is also a RFU Level 2 Rugby Coach. He coaches at Carlisle RUFC. He is also a Cumbria County Rugby Coach and a Development Player Programme Coach for Newcastle Falcons.  Paul lives in Dalston, married to Kirsty and they have 4 Children.

Aftab Khan – Development Manager at AWAZ Cumbria

Aftab specialises in community development, public policy advocacy and advancing racial equality. He is actively involved in and leads on a range of campaigns promoting equality, human rights, social justice and tackling the root causes of hate crime in Cumbria and further afield through advancing education, training, and enterprise solutions for all sectors.He is currently working as a Development Manager at AWAZ Cumbria, a community development social enterprise aiming to create strong and vibrant Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) communities, fully engaged in the decisions which affect their lives and livelihood.

Ramy Hassan – Manager of UK Opportunities Centre

Ramy provides interpreting service a alongside other services to support refugees and Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME). He is passionate about bringing communities together and helping people integrate within their new local community. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the university of Alexandria, Egypt, from where he was born and raised and has over 10 years’ experience in community development and supporting the delivery of a range of community integration and initiatives. Ramy was part of the team to welcome and support first cohort of refugee families to Cumbria

Mini Poothavelil – Obstetrician at Cumberland Infirmary

An obstetrician, born in Mumbai. trained in Indian classical and Bollywood dancing. I love cooking and baking. These traits and my very supportive husband got me initiated into getting together our little community for small events which later grew to larger fund raising Bollywood bashes. Our Bollywood nights have raised money

Jessica Riddle – Carlisle City Mayor

Cllr Riddle has called the city of Carlisle home since 1972. For 19 years she served as a Director at Age Concern Carlisle, from 1985-2004. During this period, she also brought her expertise to North Lakeland Healthcare NHS Trust, serving as a Non-Executive Director from 1993-1997 and Impact Housing Association, where she was a board member from 1984-2001 and Chair from 1992-1994. Cllr Riddle has also been a member of the Carlisle Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) for 20 years from 1985-2005, serving as Chair from forUNICEF, Save the Children and

Adrienne Gill – Carlisle One World Centre (COWC)

Adrienne is from Dublin and is the proud holder of Diverse Cumbria Positive Role Model award 2018. As the Development Officer at Carlisle One World Centre (COWC), a local charity raising awareness about global issues through local action. Since 2015 COWC has supported Carlisle Refugee Action Group (CRAG) by coordinating volunteers and donations to refugees in France, Greece and further afield.

Riya Jagota – Full Time Student

My name is Riya Jagota and I am 19. I was born in West London and moved to Carlisle when I was eight. I currently study psychology, history and fine art at William Howard School, where I also run a radio show. I plan to study Fine Art at university. I come from a Sikh/Hindu family that originate from Punjab, India. I combine my identity and love of different mediums by producing unique pieces centred round my culture. I joined MCC to voice out the relevant issues of today, whilst pronouncing my opinions on living in Cumbria as an ethnic minority. I strive to push forward necessary change and awareness regarding minorities in Carlisle, especially those who are very underrepresented, that being the youth. Social activities to support their integration into Cumbria. 

Catherine Coulthard – MCC Trustee

Catherine has worked as an arts development manager for 24 years in Cumbria and Carlisle.  She is committed to the idea that everyone should have opportunity to engage in the arts, so her current job at Prism Arts is a very good fit.  During her time at Prism Arts Catherine has had the privilege of engaging with diverse communities in Cumbria, this has been integral to the development of the charity as a successful and thriving organisation.  As such she is delighted to support Multicultural Cumbria in its work to develop opportunities for people from BAME communities to lead, develop opportunities and to share knowledge and good practice across our communities.  


Sally Abdalla

Sally moved to the UK from Egypt in 2015 with her husband and two young children.  She had worked in Egypt as a Pharmacist.  After
attending an Eid event organised in June 2017, she wanted to get involved in the community.  She volunteered with Multicultural Carlisle to help with Culture Bazaar (CB2018) during the planning and leaflet distribution, as well as delivering a food demo at CB2018.  She is creative, intelligent and passionate about learning about other cultures and sharing hers. She also part organised the Eid event in June 2018.  She volunteers to translate for the Arabic refugees.  Sally says “I believe that cuisine are cultural mirrors”.

Anna Smalley – Tullie House

Anna Smalley is a museum professional with ten years’ experience, and is passionate about community participation. Before joining Tullie House in 2011, Anna was an intern at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. Since starting as Learning Assistant at Tullie Anna has held various roles within the learning team and is now Head of Collections & Engagement, with responsibility for the strategic development of the curational, learning and visitor experience team.

Ali McCaw- Prism Arts

With a BA Hons in Theatre Design and 28 years of experience, Ali’s approach is to support workshop participants in developing their creative language and to facilitate the production of their own work. The process is key to the work. She creates as much time as the participants need to ensure that their voice is clear in their work and tries to ensure that the work is seen in as wide a public forum as possible. Ali runs Studio theatre Carlisle and Studio Theatre West Coast. She plans, organises and delivers the programmes for young people and adults with disabilities, covering all aspects of working as theatre practitioners.

Booking for this event has now closed.