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Anita Bhalla OBE named ‘Brummie of the Year’ at the 5th Birmingham Awards

On Saturday 9th November the Library of Birmingham was sparkling with red & blue – the brand colours of Birmingham Awards.

This was the 5th Birmingham Awards and the organisers felt such a milestone should be marked by celebrating in one of Birmingham most iconic buildings the Library of Birmingham.

The logistics involved to transform a place of reading and learning to a place of recognition and celebration in just under two hours felt almost impossible to comprehend but the organisers Ifraz Ahmed & Anita Chumber succeeded to deliver a magnificent evening of celebrations.

The night kicked off with a sparkling drinks reception hosted by Bottega Birmingham, in the Rotunda of the library.

5 years ago, the organisers set out with a vision to create a platform to bring together the various sectors of the city to collectively celebrate and further unite Birmingham to allow for a dialogue of opportunity and growth.  The organisers were proud to see so many new organisations and individuals which is a testament to their original vision.

The founders Ifraz and Anita said the following:

Anita said: “We created the awards because we believe that a city of ambitious, vibrant & inspirational people & organisations needs a platform to highlight & celebrate the incredible work being done.”

Ifraz said: “We are passionate about ensuring that we all come together collectively to celebrate each other. We want to identify & acknowledge the unsung hero, using their stories to inspire others to do the same. Recognition, support, collaboration & celebration are key to our city & region to grow & prosper.”

Hosted by Heart FM’s Ed James who did a magnificent job of keeping the evening proceedings in order with plenty of entertainment.

Keynote speaker was Midlands Metro Mayor, Andy Street with an engaging and inspiring opening speech heaping praise on the city and saying “the future of Birmingham has never looked so optimistic”.

Live entertainment on the night was provided by Aston Performing Arts Academy who had the whole room on their feet.  No matter how many times you may have seen them perform, it always feels like the first time, they are an amazing act and know how to energise a room.

There was a nice touch when an impromptu pause saw the Birmingham Awards team bring out a cake for one of Birmingham’s most loved individuals, Steve Brittan to congratulate him and his wife Cindy on their 50th Wedding Anniversary, which was well received with applause and a standing ovation.

This year’s Brummie of the year was awarded to chair of Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Anita Bhalla OBE who has transformed Birmingham and beyond.

The lifetime Achievement award was awarded to UK’s first lady of soul Jaki Graham who said “Thank you so much for my Lifetime Achievement award! To get this recognition from my very own hometown makes this that much more special!  It makes me proud to be a Brummie. Congratulations to all the well deserved winners”.

The big winners on the night:-

 

Finally, Birmingham Awards would like to thank the headline sponsor Love Your Postcode. Supporting sponsors Bootcamp Media, F5 Foster Care, Falcon Insurance, Heylus Recruitment, Oxbridge, Squibble, Thorns Group and United Carpets.

Drinks sponsors Bottega Prosecco Bar and Swallow Drinks.

Supporting partners Asaysi, Baked in Brick, Glimpse, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Hollywood Monster, Purely, Subway, Town Hall Symphony Hall, Vibrant Networks and Unique Venues Birmingham.

Media partners Dluxe Magazine, Birmingham Updates and PR Partner It Is PR.

A big thanks to the generous donations to help raise money for the charity partner Love Brum.

We’ll look forward to what Birmingham Awards brings to us next year.

Check out all the photos from the big night:

Pictures by Jas Sansi
Picture by Mr Ladd Media