People

Dr. Qadir Bakhsh MBE
Chair

Dr. Qadir Bakhsh was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Years 2011 Honours List for his community services and community cohesion work. Formerly Head of the Race Relations Unit with London Borough of Waltham Forest during 1986-1998 and a former Director of Race Equality Council in Kent, he currently serves as Non Executive Director of North Essex PCT cluster and as Governor of the North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust (mental health); having served as Non Executive Director and Vice Chair of Redbridge PCT, previously.

He continues to advise and services on various voluntary groups e.g. as Chair of East London Community Law Services (ECLAS). He is also advisor to the Qalb Mental Health Centre and Trustee of Kanka-Gajendra Foundation. He is founder Executive Committee Member of the London East Three Faiths Forum. Throughout his over 40 years of public and voluntary sector career, he has attached a great significance to community engagement and involvement.

Yaser Mir
Founder and Director

Yaser Mir is the founder and director of Engage Communities CIC. He is an award-winning highly experienced researcher, manager and specialist on all aspects of community engagement. Yaser has developed successful community cohesion, drugs, gangs and youth violence prevention projects and services. He has taken leading roles in major community engagement programmes across England and also held senior national advisory roles working with government departments such as the Home Office.

Yaser currently works as an Independent Advisor to the Home Office Ending Gang and Youth Violence Team. He is also founder of the Round House project which helps young people in disadvantaged communities realise their value and potential as members of society through Taekwondo & boxing combined with education and mentoring. Yaser as well as strategic development and management responsibilities, maintains a good connection with disadvantaged young people and community members through involving himself in direct outreach work, mentoring and facilitating sports activities.

Nasreen Akhtar
Head of Health and Wellbeing

Nasreen works as a NHS commissioning manager in public health. She previously held senior roles within PCTs in Birmingham including working as a senior community development manager helping to deliver race equality in mental health and also as a health and wellbeing programme manager.

Nasreen has managed a number of national and regional community engagement programmes. Prior to this she was working for a University in the North West of England, supporting Department of Health and Home Office commissioned community engagement projects in the areas of mental health, drugs and criminal justice.

Mohammed Ali
Community Development

Ali has over 10 years of business and community development experience. Mohammed Ali got involved in Engage to voluntarily offer his social entrepreneurial and community development skills for the purposes of benefiting disaffected communities. He is also passionate about community development and mentoring to help raise aspirations of disadvantaged young people.

Naseeba Akthar
Youth Participation and Development

Naseeba has a joint honours degree in Sociology and Journalism and is currently completing her MA in Social Work at Keele University. She works in the health and social care field supporting young people with learning and physical disabilities and has also previously worked with victims of crime. Naseeba is the youngest director (by far), at the age of 21 on the Board. Her role is youth participation, ensuring the involvement and voice of young people is embedded in all the decision-making and delivery work of Engage.

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