UPDATE: Watch the YAYAs Virtual Awards online – see below for details of how to do it… 

SUCCESSFUL young people from across Yorkshire will be vying for the first Yorkshire Asian Young Achievers awards on Wednesday (November 11, 2020).

Thirty-eight candidates have been shortlisted for the 13 awards – dubbed the YAYAs – after a huge number of entries from across the county.

The winners will be announced during a virtual online event which starts at 7pm.

It is open to anyone to view via this link:

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, founder and chief executive of the QED Foundation, which launched the awards scheme to mark its 30th anniversary, said: “It’s a great shame that the pandemic put paid to our plans to stage a lavish awards dinner but we have worked extremely hard to ensure that this online broadcast will be a fabulous event and a worthy showcase for the brilliant candidates.

“There are many truly humbling stories of young people overcoming difficult circumstances to carve out a future for themselves and I can promise you the webcast event will be the perfect antidote to a dark and gloomy lockdown evening!

“I am sure viewers will come away feeling inspired and uplifted by these remarkable young people who offer a beacon of hope for a brighter post-Covid future.”

The event will be hosted by the award-winning BBC TV and Radio presenter and stand-up comedian Noreen Khan.



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, is 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.