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About us

We are Equality Action from February 2017 (formerly known as Human Rights & Equalities Charnwood (HR&EC). Until 9 September 2008 we were Charnwood Racial Equality Council. We were first established as the Charnwood Community Relations Council in the Borough of Charnwood in May 1969 (then known as "The Garden”).

We are a registered Charity number 1088411 and a Company Limited by Guarantee Number 4198889.  We have a board of 10 trustees who oversee the work of the organisation.  We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) for our immigration work.

We have been working in our locality delivering work and projects to meet the needs of the community. This has included campaigning, lobbying, delivering long and short term projects.

Big Lottery Fund

  • Employment Advice Project (1997-2000)
  • Employment Rights Project (2002-2007)
  • Chances For All Project (2012-2018)
  • Improving Lives Project (2016-2021)
  • Positive Minds Project (2018-2023)

Equality & Human Rights Commission

  • Hate Crime Project (2009-2012)

Charnwood Borough Council

  • Government’s Prevent Agenda Project (2011-2012)
  • Debt & Money Advice (2014-2017)

Leicestershire County Council

  • Advice work (1975-2014)
  • Forced Marriages Project (2011)
  • Learning Disability Project (2006)

Lloyds Bank Foundation

  • South Asian Women’s Project (2010-2012)

Erasmus Plus

  • Training events with people across Europe(2006-2018)

Skills Funding Agency

  • Stepping into Work (2014-2015)

The Good Things Foundation

  • English My Way Big Lottery Funded (2017-2018)

Meet Our Team

Meet the people behind Equality Action.

Varsha Parmar

Varsha Parmar

Executive Officer

Minara Rahman

Minara Rahman

Positive Minds Project Officer

Yesmin Choudhury

Yesmin Choudhury

Positive Minds Project Officer

Kazi Mashud

Kazi Mashud

Caseworker

Mehraj Alamgir

Mehraj Alamgir

Vita Minds Project Officer

Chayara Chowdhury

Chayara Chowdhury

Caseworker / Vita Minds Project Officer

Amina Wadud

Amina Wadud

Caseworker

Harvinder

Harvinder Poonian

Funding and Communications Officer

Mina

Mina Galliara

Administrative Assistant.

Taruna

Taruna Mistry

Vita Minds Project Officer

Anita Barrand

Anita Barrand

Vita Minds Project Officer

Equality Action's Board of Trustees
Lisa Vine

Lisa Vine

Chair

Lisa is an LGBT+ advocate, consultant and trainer, supporting those striving for LGBT+ inclusion. Lisa lives and runs her business in Loughborough and found herself back here after almost 10 years, since graduating from Loughborough University in 2009. Lisa was a previous Chair of Loughborough Student Union's LGBT+ Association as well as taking a flagship BBC Children in Need project supporting trans and non-binary youth, from concept to being an award winning, nationally recognised regional service in Leicestershire. Lisa is excited to be back in Loughborough, a place that she says sparked her passion for LGBT+ inclusion and is pleased to be able to offer her expertise and advice to Equality Action, in the hope it will make a positive difference for us too.

Yasmin Ali

Yasmin Ali

Vice-Chair

Yasmin studied LLB Law at University and has worked in the financial industry; specialising in sales, marketing and organisational growth. She grew up in Loughborough and after moving away for a number of years, moved back to Leicestershire in 2014. Yasmin has volunteered her time to charities in Loughborough, Leicester and Bangladesh since she was a teenager and this is something she has a great passion for. She became a Trustee for Equality Action so she could support an organisation who have helped some of the most needy individuals and families in Charnwood.

Trevor Shaw

Trevor Shaw

Company Secretary

Trevor is a retired local government officer. He has been with the organisation as treasurer since early 1990’s. Trevor is also a member of one of the local churches.

Abida Akram

Abida Akram

Abida Akram is a local resident. She has lived in Loughborough for the past 10 years and has over 30 years’ experience in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in various sectors, the latest being Higher Education. She left Loughborough University in 2019 and is now working as a consultant and trainer.
Abida is qualified as a trainer as well as having expertise in Equality legislation and Human Resources. She has been a trustee on various charity and community organisations over the years across England to support disadvantaged communities gain access to resources and various services.

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis

I'm a retired lecturer in English & Drama at Loughborough University. Former CBC Councillor and Cabinet Member for Communities. Now also retired County Councillor, former County Chairman and am now a County Hon. Alderman. Special interests included SEN and disabilities, inter-faith issues, health and wellbeing of all age groups. Previous HR-EC Chair. Currently Chair of Leicestershire Equalities Challenge Group through Age UK. LECG is made up of a wide range of voluntary groups across the County who independently assess the County's strategic initiatives and raise community issues which require addressing across our local government.
I'm actively involved in NHS health concerns through Patient Participation Groups and the Care Quality Commission for Leicestershire and Rutland. Currently heavily engaged in encouraging the wider public in an awareness of all the Equalities, understanding the challenges we face with growing hate crime, and I'm totally committed to fostering the wider involvement of our diverse communities and all of us as individuals in consultations, debates and the decision making process at every level.
"Despite this, I try to retain a sense of humour!"

Charles Dobbin

Charles Dobbin

Charles was a parish priest working in this area before moving to be a Team Rector in Leeds in 2000, where he also became Chair of Leeds Faiths Forum. He retired in 2016 to Loughborough, to be near family, and has been a Trustee of Equality Action now for a year. He loves gardening; and leads contemplative prayer at Emmanuel Church.

Alea Hanif

Alea Hanif

Alea is a primary school teacher and has been a teacher for 7 years. She is a member of the local community and has actively been involved with the community from a young age working as a home school liaison officer, a family learning support tutor and most recently promoting and leading a dementia support group. She has previously worked for equality action and strives for equality and diversity.

Emily Keightly

Emily Keightly

Emily Keightley moved to from St Ives in Cornwall to Loughborough in 1999 as an undergraduate student. She now lives here permanently with her partner and their children. Emily is Professor of a Media and Memory Studies in the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture at Loughborough University. She teaches and writes about memory, time and their mediation in everyday life. A lot of her research has involved engaging with the local community and she was delighted to be invited to join the board of Equality Action this in summer 2018.

Jill Vincent

Jill Vincent

Jill has lived and worked in Loughborough for many years. She was a researcher in Social Policy at Loughborough University and a Borough Councillor. She continues to be involved in local voluntary and community activities, in particular with Equality Action and Charnwood Arts and the Generator arts and culture centre project.

Geetha Bala

Geetha Bala

Geetha has a background in Health and Nutrition having graduated with a PhD from the Ohio State University. She worked in the US for the federal government’s Women, Infants and Childrens’ food programme. Aim of the national initiative was to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in deprived areas of the US. On moving to the UK, Geetha worked for the BBC and had many roles from presenting, producing and training. While at the BBC, Geetha was involved in a number equal opportunities initiatives. Her final role was Organisation Development Adviser. Geetha left the BBC to set up her own consultancy to provide leadership and management training and development. She also trained and works as an executive coach and workplace mediator. Geetha has worked with people from a variety of cultures and from different countries such as Hungary, Slovakia, France, India, Indonesia and Cambodia. She is a Trustee of Glebe House, an organisation in Loughborough, providing services for people with learning difficulties and autism and a Non-Executive Director of Lantern Health CIC, provider of Medical Services to the NHS based in the London Borough of Newham. Geetha believes that when we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and create a more cohesive world.

Monica Sharman

Monica Sharman

Monica grew up in Loughborough and graduated from Norwich Medical School in 2019. She has since been working as a junior doctor based in Yorkshire and has particular interest in tackling inequalities in health. Since being a medical student, she has been involved in volunteering for grassroots organisations that support those who are homeless, refugees and asylum seekers. She is actively involved in campaigning with other health workers for fairer and more inclusive economic and social policies to address widening gaps in health. She joined as a Trustee for Equality Action and believes 'the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members'.

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