‘I am delighted to support this year’s annual PRECIOUS Awards, marking 10 years. It is essential for our economy that we unlock the potential of all our entrepreneurs. It is also essential for our society that no matter what your gender or background is, you have a chance of succeeding in the UK. These awards are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the substantial contribution of Black and Asian entrepreneurs. I am pleased to know of the support you give to women of colour in the business and work environment, and your work to create and celebrate vital role models through your awards. I would like to congratulate all the finalists, and wish you all continued success.’
Theresa May, The Prime Minister
Trishna Bharadia from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, has been awarded the PRECIOUS Leadership Award at the 10th Annual PRECIOUS Awards, which took place on 27th October 2016 at the Royal Institute for British Architects.
Trishna was nominated for the work she has done to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic illness and disability. Trishna, a full-time Spanish language translator, was diagnosed with MS in 2008 at the age of 28.
Since then, she has used her spare time to work with various organisations in order to educate people about the condition and the issues faced by people living with chronic illness and disability. She is an Ambassador for MS Society UK and Sue Ryder, a Patron for the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association UK and the Cambridge MS Therapy centre, and also collaborates with many other organisations, including Asian MS, the MS Trust, MS-UK, Shift.ms, the European MS Platform and Bart’s neurology group, to name but a few.
She writes, vlogs, blogs, speaks publicly at events, campaigns, fundraises and speaks in the media about MS, chronic illness and disability, as well as encouraging everyone to get involved in charity/voluntary work in some way. In 2015 she spoke about the future of volunteering at an MS Society reception at 10 Downing Street that was hosted by Samantha Cameron.
Trishna comments, “Winning this award is incredible, particularly as I’ve never seen myself as a leader. It really does show that anything can be achieved if you have the passion and drive. The evening was filled with amazing stories and inspirational women of colour and I was proud to be a part of it. Hopefully this will help to further raise the awareness of MS, disability and chronic illness within black and minority ethnic communities and in the business environment”
Trishna has become a leading role model and example of living positively with chronic illness. She was seen on our TV screens in 2015 smashing stereotypes of MS when she was chosen to take part in “The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief” on BBC1, as a result of the charity work she does. She was named the MS Society Volunteer of the Year in 2013, Woman of the Year 2015 and was given a Sue Ryder Southern Women of Achievement Award for Volunteering in 2015.
Foluke Akinlose MBE, founder of the PRECIOUS Awards says:
“I created the Awards 10 years ago to increase the visibility of the incredibly talented women of colour running business and making an impact across the UK.
I am so delighted that the awards have played such a vital role in influencing not just the wider business community, but also the women that we have been able to give a platform to. It’s about creating role models, raising the profile of female entrepreneurs and encouraging other women to start their own businesses. It’s an honour and privilege to acknowledge and celebrate the significant contribution that women of colour make to the British economy.”
Michelle Mendelsson, Head of EMEA Diversity and Inclusion at Credit Suisse adds:
“Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of the Precious Awards! Credit Suisse is proud to support these awards again in 2016. The awards showcase the impressive achievements of individuals and transform award winners into important role models both among their peer group and to young women aspiring to similar career paths.”
Significant women of colour who have been celebrated or lent their support to the awards in the past include: India Gary Martin, former COO of Investment Banking Technology & Operations at JP Morgan, Charlene White, journalist and ITV News presenter and Geeta Patel, co-founder and director of Stargate Capital.
This year’s sponsors and supporters include Credit Suisse and the British Library.