UPDATE: YAYA Gala Awards Dinner has been postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic

The inaugural YAYA awards will be presented at a glittering dinner at the Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford. However, the date on which the event was due to take place (April 2) has been postponed to prevent any risk of contributing to the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, chief executive of the QED Foundation, said: “The health and safety of all our candidates and guests must be our first priority and, with around 430 people from across the whole of Yorkshire, as well as up and down the country due to attend, we felt we had no option but to delay our celebrations until the potential risks have subsided.

“Obviously, we’re very sad at having to delay things – especially as the event was also a celebration of our 30th anniversary – but in these difficult times it is better to be safe than sorry.

“We hope to be able to stage the event in the Autumn and we will be announcing the new date as soon as it has been fixed.”

Dr Ali added: “We have had many amazing entries for the YAYAs and the shortlisted candidates are truly outstanding with some brilliant stories to tell.

“Yorkshire has more than 600,000 BME residents, the vast majority of whom are of South Asian origin. Statistics show young people of South Asian origin in Yorkshire continue to struggle to overcome disadvantages in making their way in the world, be that in education, employment or social mobility generally.

“But the YAYAs has shown there are many dynamic, hard-working young people achieving great things in the county – and we can’t wait to reveal their efforts as soon as the time is right.”



Noreen Khan, BBC Radio and TV Presenter and Comedian

Noreen Khan is an award-winning radio and TV presenter.  She currently presents her show on BBC Asian Network on weekdays and listening figures show she regularly has one of the most listened-to Asian radio shows in the UK.  Her warm and natural presenting style has made her an instant hit with the audience. Noreen is also a stand-up comedian and is currently touring her hugely successful ‘Ladies of Laughter (LOL) with Noreen Khan Tour.’ Noreen is also considered a social media influencer due to her large following and engaging videos and posts. She is an Ambassador for Prince Charles’s charity the British Asian Trust and recently was also appointed an Ambassador by the ICC for the Cricket World Cup.


Lord Bichard, Non-Executive Chairman, National Audit Office

Michael Bichard worked at senior levels in local government and was the chief executive at both Brent and Gloucestershire. He then moved into central government working as chief executive of the Benefits Agency and then as permanent secretary at the Department for Education and Employment. Since his retirement from the civil service 2001, he has held a variety of positions including vice chancellor of the University of the Arts London, chair of the Legal Services Commission, founder director of the Institute for Government, chair of Shakespeare’s Globe, chair of the Design Council and has recently retired as chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence. He also chaired an inquiry into the Soham murders in 2004. Michael is currently chair of Bristol Business School advisory board, non-executive director of The Key (an education support company), and trustee of the River and Rowing Museum. He received a knighthood in 1999 and became a cross-bench member of the House of Lords in 2010. He was for five years a deputy speaker of the House.


Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, Founder and Chief Executive, The QED Foundation

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, if the Founder and Chief Executive of the QED Foundation. Dr Ali has worked in ethnic minority community development for over 35 years in the UK and Europe. He is a social entrepreneur, pioneering and developing new ways of addressing the social and economic challenging facing ethnic minority communities. He worked in newly-created roles with Glaxo Pharmaceuticals, Bradford Community Relations Council, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council and Fullemploy, a London-based ethnic minority social and economic development agency, before setting up the QED Foundation in 1990. QED is a leading national charity which has directly supported 35,000 people and indirectly many more, by training and advising senior managers in the public, private and the third sectors in recruiting, retaining and developing an ethnically-diverse workforce. In three decades he has served on numerous public, private and voluntary sector boards and committees, including for the NHS, Home Office, DWP, IOD, EU, ACEVO, Bradford University and York St John University. He is chairman of the Poverty Alleviation Scholarships Foundation and the Network of Pakistani Voluntary Organisations (UK). He has won many accolades for his work including an honorary doctorate from the University of Bradford in 1997 and the OBE in 2001.


Professor Karen Bryan OBE, Vice-Chancellor, York St John University

Professor Karen Bryan is joining York St John University as Vice Chancellor in April 2020. She was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Greenwich. Prior to that she was Pro Vice Chancellor for Regional Engagement and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University. Professor Bryan qualified as a speech and language therapist from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and also gained her PhD there. Her research interests are in communication difficulties in young offenders and in forensic populations. Also the impact of communication difficulties on access to healthcare. She is involved in the development of Registered Intermediaries working for the Ministry of Justice, and was previously a member of the Health Professions Council. Professor Bryan is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Neuropsychology at the University of Warsaw, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. She was awarded an OBE for services to higher education in 2018. 


Hussnain Lahori, Singer and Songwriter

Born in Lahore, raised in Manchester, Hussnain was always surrounded by music.

His late grandfather, Akbar Lahori was a renowned poet and a composer. Some of his songs made their way to Bollywood.

Hussnain began his music career on YouTube in 2011 and today he receives millions of views from all over the world.

He has performed at many venues in the UK and abroad, including Wembley Arena (London) and the famous Giza Pyramids (Cairo).

Find out more about Hussnain here