Posted: 7th November 2016
WiRE Member Bal Kaur is celebrating a recent spate of success with awards loads of associated press coverage
The first Suffolk BME Business Awards 2016 in partnership with the University of Suffolk and Bangladeshi Support Centre were launched to embrace the diversity of businesses and people that own and run them (originating in the BME communities in Suffolk). Over 40 businesses were nominated and many categories including Business of the Year and Community Business of the Year.
Bal attended the awards and to her complete surprise (shock actually), was awarded the Judges Special Award which wasn’t listed or talked about. The judges panel decided that they would like to award this to Bal because of her role as an advocate for the issues of BME women and men Domestic Abuse, Honour Violence, Forced Marriage, FGM crimes, etc. Bal also runs a successful training organisation and endlessly trains and educates professionals on these serious subjects injected with a sense of humour.
Later Bal have found out that she was sponsored by Healthwatch in Suffolk. As Bal says “I was truly shocked, deeply honoured and lost for words, in fact the only words that came out were “if I was white, I would be red!”
The East Anglia Daily Times Business Section ran a double page spread on the Awards which can be seen here
There is a full account of the awards here EADT.co.uk/business/suffolk_bme_business_awards_celebrate_enterprise_in_black_and_minority_ethnic_communities
About Bal BKH Training
Bal has been advocating on the issues of BME women and men on domestic violence, honour based crimes (Forced Marriage & Female Genital Mutilation) and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) since 2008.
She has developed and delivers training for front-line practitioners in Health, Social Care, Police, Education and the voluntary sector throughout England and Wales in the subjects of Domestic Abuse, Risk Assessment, Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Radicalisation / Extremism, Modern Day Slavery and Addiction.
Employed by Suffolk Constabulary for 7½ years as a Project & Performance Officer for Honour Based Violence (Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation) in a countywide Domestic Abuse Unit, Bal was responsible for developing policies, procedures and training for police officers and partner agencies to enhance the service to victims and potential victims. For 3 years she was based within the CSE / Child Investigation Abuse Unit.
She has 12 years of sales experience in various industry sectors, such as telecommunications, information technology, software, recruitment, commercial property and utilities. She also has, 10 years of experience in the Export/Import industry. She now has two Diplomas – one in Export Management and one in Business & Finance.
Bal was born in India and was brought to Britain aged one. She was forced into marriage at the age of 17 in Darlington and forced to sponsor her husband for permanent residency in the UK. She went back to education at the age of 26 after escaping from her forced marriage and subsequently has been disowned by her family for over 20 years.
Bal is keen to share her experiences, being the voice of the victims and survivors who experience crimes rooted in the name of honour, giving practical and emotional support. She raises awareness with agencies to reduce the isolation of victims and to increase reporting. In Bal’s words “I refuse to take my past into the future and regard myself to be an empowered survivor- my darkest past is now my greatest asset”.