Imrana Niazi


Your Journey

I began volunteering in my community 9 years ago when my late father was diagnosed with cancer. The struggle to understand the illness and to tackle health care/services was an extremely stressful time. There was little support from health providers, and it was a continuous battle to get the right care. My frustration in trying to understand the rights of a patient at the time changed my views about public health and has led me to become extremely passionate about raising awareness around health and well-being in my unique community.

Accomplishments you are exceptionally proud of

I am very proud of the #iMatterWalsall project which began in May 2017 and focuses on hidden crimes within my community with the view of preventing crimes. The project aims to empower children and young people to stand up to any form of abuse through an education and awareness programme. Thus far, the project has focused on Child Sexual Exploitation, Knife crime, guns, gangs, and drug issues with local secondary schools, agencies, and the local community. Currently, I am focusing on my new social entrepreneur role, designing an innovative game to create awareness and educate a younger audience.

What inspires and motivates you?

I am motivated by my work with local people, which leads to developing creative ideas to make improvements within my community. I like empowering others, I like to listen to others, see others succeed, help to identify their strengths, and build on their ability to flourish – after all everyone is gifted in their own way?

I am inspired by Imran Khan, cricket legend and now PM of Pakistan – _his leadership, vision, passion for change for the betterment of his country and fight against corruption is admirable.

The obstacles you have faced to get to where you are today

Hmmm! Might need a day or two to answer that!

My journey from where began to where I am today has not been the easiest, some of the biggest obstacles I have faced and continue to face are:

– Getting a seat at the table: in my community men are the ‘expected’ role models, their views and opinions are considered important and given priority whereas women are having to prove their worth first before their concerns are heard or even considered.

– My fight for equality: My intention has always been to remain loyal to my community and contribute to local issues for the betterment of local residents.  This has not been easy and I have faced some challenging situations to get my voice heard and for changes to take place. I continue to rise above these challenges and address the ongoing obstacles to tackle micro-aggression directed at women who want to make a positive contribution within their communities.

What would you say to your younger self with the benefit of hindsight?

  • Believe in yourself
  • Self-care is a priority, not a luxury
  • Stand up for what you believe is right
  • Every challenge and obstacle faced are a lesson
  • Never lose sight of the bigger picture
  • It’s ok not to be ok
  • If you want to make everyone happy – sell ice cream!

A quote or saying that you live by

 “Everybody wants the best themselves, but the good person wants the best for others too”(My late Father)

“ You will be asked by your creator, I gave you skills, talent, and a creative mind, how did you utilize this?” (Mother)

“Never give up, no matter how hard life gets no matter how much pain you feel. Pain will eventually subside, nothing remains forever, so keep going and don’t give up.” (Imran Khan).

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