This is a list that Suffolk should be proud of – 100 women who are positive role models for future generations, women who have achieved success in a diverse range of fields from business, the arts, sport and education to the third sector.
The list was put together by a panel of judges this summer following nominations from East Anglian Daily Times readers.
From the 100
Shayra Begum, Bangladeshi Support Centre, Ipswich: Shayra, manager of Ipswich’s Bangladeshi Support Centre, came to England in 1975, aged six, from Bangladesh with her mother to join her father who had settled in Ipswich. Shayra, now mother to four grown-up children herself, has always lived in the town and says nowhere else compares. By the age of seven or eight she says she was already involved in helping the Bangladeshi community by interpreting at GP surgeries, hospitals, Inland Revenue, and the Benefits Office as only a handful spoke English at the time. Shayra says she has had various roles supporting the local Bangladeshi community and she has worked for the BSC since 2004 in various roles. BSC is a voluntary organisation supporting people of around 40 different nationalities. “I have worked on various projects over the years,” Shayra says, “as well as a general adviser providing advice, support and guidance on a whole range of issues including domestic violence issues, benefits, housing, and Immigration. I also deliver various training such as in cultural awareness to service providers.“I enjoy the challenges of event management and manage events for BSC such as the Suffolk Pita Festival and the One Big Multicultural Festival that brings in thousands of people from Suffolk and beyond to enjoy music and food from around the world, with an aim to create a better understanding between the diverse communities of Suffolk. “I am a trustee for the Disabled Advice Bureau and also volunteer for the Ipswich and Suffolk Muslim Council where I help to put on events to create better understanding of the Muslim faith and help out at its monthly Feed the Homeless project.”