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Chairman's Update - 29th October 2023

Including: ABC Awards 2023, Health and Life Science Pledge, Advance Northumberland Session, Progression Forum, planning for our next Curry Club and our Winners/Finalists event.

In the past few weeks, our Chairman has been actively involved in fostering regional economic prosperity and international growth. Currently, he's in Saudi Arabia, engaging in productive discussions concerning bilateral trade connections with the North East.

  • Last week, we held our 2023 Annual Awards at The Grand Hotel Gosforth Park in Newcastle, bringing together a vibrant assembly of over 300 attendees. This esteemed event not only celebrated the remarkable achievements of the Asian community in the North East over the past year but also underscored the importance of community, inclusion, and unity. The evening was skilfully hosted by Tommy Sandhu, who added a delightful blend of celebration and inspiration. The event was marked by a charity fundraiser game for the PIE Project and a captivating Asian classical dance performance. Samantha Allen, the NHS Chief Executive for the North East and North Cumbria, delivered a compelling keynote, emphasising equitable health and care services for all. The highlight of the night was, of course, the awards presentation, which shone a spotlight on exceptional talent within the Asian Community in the North East. This year's winners truly represent the region's diverse talent, and a standout moment was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Robin Sengupta. The success of the ABC Awards is a testament to the unwavering support of its sponsors and partners, all of whom champion the cause of inclusivity and community empowerment. See our award highlights and photos in the gallery below.

  • This week started with Ammar playing a pivotal role in opening the the Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, Health and Life Sciences Pledge event. During the event, he emphasised the importance of communication, collaboration, and celebration while thanking speakers and partners. The highlight was the CEO of Bayer, Dr. Antonio, commending the Power of 3 - Communicate, Collaborate, and Celebrate - as a potential global exemplar. The round table with Bayer underscored the significant opportunity for all Pledge Partners to make a difference. Several regional, national, and international partners, including us (Asian Business Connexions) and Pfizer, came together to sign the pledge. Bayer, one of the first pharmaceutical companies to join, expressed its commitment to the pledge's themes of communication, collaboration, and celebration, aligning with the North East and North Cumbria's mission to enhance the wellbeing of the population.

  • Following on, the week progressed to the Advance Northumberland Small Business Service event where planning took place with Lucy Evermore (Advance Northumberland Programme Manager) and Heather Newton (Enterprise Coordinator). The event is centred around enhancing Enterprise and Startup Support for the Northumberland region, aligning with the mission to provide transformative educational experiences tailored for diverse entrepreneurial audiences. This collaboration, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, aims to bolster the entrepreneurial landscape and foster innovation in the area. As a strategic partner, SME Centre of Excellence are excited to contribute to the success of this initiative and support start-ups and SMEs in Northumberland.

  • Then, Ammar attended a Progression Forum meeting with Newcastle City Council and Mark Patton, the Assistant Director of Education and Skills. The primary objective of this meeting is to establish partnerships that empower children and young people by providing them with a comprehensive understanding of available opportunities. The collaborative efforts aim to enhance the 'My Future, My Choice' event in 2024. Additionally, plans are in motion to work closely with employers to develop and deliver a service to schools, aligning employer engagement activities with curriculum input opportunities, especially for younger children in first, middle, and primary schools. Mark Patton, a long-time supporter of ABC, has been instrumental in our mission and has even been featured on our weekly radio show from the studio. This partnership continues to thrive, making a positive impact on the education and future prospects of the younger generation.

  • Behind the scenes, Ammar and the ABC team are already hard at work planning for the 2024 Annual Awards. Additionally, we are gearing up for our November Curry Club event, and a special celebration event to acknowledge the remarkable work and accomplishments of our winners, finalists, and stakeholders due to take place in early December.

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