City Sikh Ambassadors
City Sikh Ambassadors play a very important role in raising the awareness of the City Sikhs Network and its work within the UK and are key to its successful growth. So if you are interested in becoming an Ambassador and perhaps even joining the Exec Board please read more about applying for an ambassador position.
Raisa Kimberly Cheema
Having completed her A-Levels at Gravesend Grammar School for Girls summer 2009, Raisa was reading Physics at the University of Kent in 2010. However decided to step away from Studying and take a gap year to see and experience the world. After modeling for various companies such as Asiana, Next and competing in Miss Universe GB, Raisa decided to go back to London although this time to take up Economics. She has always been a remarkably dedicated student and was even granted the post of Science College Official during her final year at secondary school. Aside from her flair for the sciences, Raisa also appreciates fine art, in particular the watercolour landscapes of William Turner. During previous years at school, she also completed the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to both Bronze and Silver level, which involved volunteering within the community, honing personal fitness and proving her mental and physical strength in expeditions.
Moreover, Raisa has shown exceptional charisma and fortitude outside of her academic life. For example, after six arduous years of campainging to the local authorities with another young person, traffic lights were installed at a dangerous junction in her local area. This was a great success for Raisa, who is always eager to campaign for meaningful issues at local, national and global scales and is also motivated by a strong sense of civic duty. To which end, she has volunteered as a carer for those with life-threatening illnesses at The Ellenor Lions Hospice, Northfleet, for several years. Improving women’s rights and freedoms is also of great importance to Raisa and, as she advances she would use her status to contribute positively towards.
Raisa now dedicates her time to her website and YouTube channel to help others to make the best out of their situation. She gives advice about anything from relationships to food to beauty to interior design.
1st Class Hons Graphic Design, Cranfield University
Sandie Panesar is the Creator of Mango Joose, an online magazine that keeps it real. Mango Joose takes a fresh and fruity approach to life, honouring inspiring personalities who have gone through life with passion and dedication, showcasing creative talents and how their originality is used to express their inner-selves, these moments are captured through sensational photography, funky design and of course the fabulous interviews. Mango Joose also continues to highlight hidden talents / achievements through the ‘weekly talent alert’ which is launched every Friday.
Sandie believes “It is important to believe in yourself to express your hidden talents and take them to the next level.”
Sandie is also a Graphic Designer, currently involved in the creative design for the British Sikh Report and has her fingers dipped into a baking business, IScream Cakes.
You can connect with Sandie via twitter @MangoJoose1 and Facebook https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Mango-Joose/154991211325753
Dilraj Kaur Paul
After completing her Undergraduate degree at Royal Holloway University, Dilraj volunteered in India to teach English and Maths to children in Indian slums. This reinforced her passion to teach and inspire young children. Dilraj went on to complete her PGCE in London. Dilraj is a Secondary School Teacher in Hertfordshire. In her first year of teaching Dilraj’s passion was recognised across the School as she was promoted to Director of Aspiration and Achievement.
Aside from teaching Dilraj enjoys meditation, yoga and singing. Dilraj has an ambition to inspire the youth of today and takes part in organising Sikh events and retreats. Dilraj feels it is important to be successful by being true to your inner consciousness thus inspiring young children to believe in themselves.
Chayya Syal is currently a final year university student who works as a part time freelance writer and blogger. She is also the founder and writer of her upcoming blog: “Musings of a Scribbler” which is based on her observations of the world around her, being a Londoner and various encounters with people. Chayya’s style of writing ranges from witty social commentary to humorous and creative pieces. As a freelance writer and speaker, the topics that Chayya specialises in are: women’s issues, race and the British youth.
Born and raised in inner city south London, Chayya grew up amongst a multitude of people from different ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. She believes that this environment has played a crucial role in her development as a young person and formed the backbone of her writing with regards to British youth and ideas of race. Chayya has been writing, painting and expressing herself in various creative mediums for as long as she can remember. It is something that she has always enjoyed and considered to be her passion in life.
In her spare time she enjoys Pilates, going for walks, dancing, travelling, writing about Fashion and beauty, learning languages and cooking.
Jas Jassal is Director and Founder of Inventive Sports, a social enterprise aiming to increase Asian representation in sport. He is also a Director at the Asian Football Awards which recognises the outstanding South Asian contribution to both the professional game and grassroots initiatives by individuals and groups across the UK.
Jas recently developed coaching sessions for girls and the mentally disabled in partnership with the Mayor’s office (FreeSport), Hillingdon Council and the Guru Nanak Faith School in Southall. He has seen there is a lack of participation in this area and wants to provide more opportunity.
As Vice-Chairman, Coach and Mentor at Concorde Rangers FC, a multi-cultural grass roots football club, Jas was instrumental in developing a partnership in 2010 with QPR to provide closer association of grass roots football to professional clubs. The benefit to Concorde was attendance at QPR tournaments, guard of honour duties during league matches and coach-to-coach sessions with QPR’s youth academy and first team coaches.
- Olympic Torchbearer 2012.
- Football Association Volunteer of the year 2012 for Middlesex and London.
- British Airways Flying Start Volunteer of the year 2012.
- Asian Media Group GG2 leadership Spirit in the Community 2012 finalist.
- British Airways Community award winner 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
- Pride of Our People “Community Champion” finalist (result May 2013)
- British Indian Awards finalist “Indians in the Community” (result May 2013)
- Attendance Downing Street 2013 (Vaisakhi event) as leading community figure.
Jai Singh Bhaker
BA (Cantab), Solicitor
Jai was admitted as a solicitor in 2010 and is currently practicing at SJ Berwin LLP. Jai works on a wide range of corporate finance law matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate real estate transactions. Prior to practicing as a solicitor, Jai read Land Economy at Clare College, the University of Cambridge. Following the completion of his degree Jai undertook the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School in London.
Jai is a member of the managing committee of his local Sikh Gurdwara in East London. Jai assists the management of the Gurdwara to ensure the efficient running of the Gurdwara. From his academic studies and professional interests Jai has developed a deep interest in the real estate sector. He is also a member of several real estate associations.
In his spare time Jai enjoys a wide range of sports and outdoor pursuits, including hiking and running. He has also travelled extensively across Asia and Europe.
Kiran Singh was born and brought up in Norway and has been living in London for nearly 5 years with her lively 8 year old daughter. She is a Mumpreneur (Mum & Entrepreneur), Residential & Hospitality Interior Designer & Wedding & Event Designer by profession.
She teaches Interior Design for Adult & Community Learning in various boroughs in London. Her background is in running various courses such as ‘Public Relations & Marketing’, ‘Parenting’, ‘Social Media’, ‘Basic Twitter’, ‘What do you really want for business’, ‘Confidence building’, ‘Introduction to Interior Design’, ‘Start your own Interior Design Business’ and language courses in Punjabi & Norwegian. Kiran is also Editor-in-Chief of Vivacious Mum Magazine and My Unique Home Magazine.
In her spare time she runs a local support group for single parents; is a Parent Governor at her daughter’s school and is working towards opening a resource centre for single Mums.
While she currently lives in London, she has been lucky enough to live abroad; Norway as well as travel extensively throughout Europe and Asia.
She was recently short-listed for Women’s Empowering Awards 2012 and believes: “Each and every step leads you to the next, and every person in your life leads you to the next as well… look how far you have come, not how far you have to go… you are not who you were… you are who you’ve become. Stay positive, stay determined, and you will keep being a better version of you.”
Dr Kamal Singh Missan
BDS (Shef), MFDS RCS (Edin), DipImplantDent RCS (Eng) Adv Cert, FFGDP (UK)
Kamal read Dentistry at the University of Sheffield, qualifying with honours in Human Diseases and General Pathology. After his vocational training, Kamal undertook an SHO position in Maxillofacial Surgery at the Manchester Royal Infirmary where he was involved in the treatment of facial trauma & reconstruction, complicated Oral Surgery and Head/Neck Cancer. He successfully gained his surgical fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh at this time.
Kamal then undertook a three year training programme in Implant Reconstructive Dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. Kamal successfully completed his training in 2009, and was further awarded with an advanced certificate in Implant Surgery in recognition of his bone grafting and Maxillary Sinus grafting surgical skills. At 28 years of age, Kamal was the youngest ever clinician to have received these qualifications from the RCS.
Kamal owns his own private dental clinic in Nottingham, providing advanced surgical & Implant reconstructive Dentistry, and is involved in the Association of Dental Implantology (UK), teaching other Dentists on surgical technique relating to dental implant surgery. He was previously the president of the Sikh Soc at the University of Sheffield.
Dr Katy Pal Sian
BA, MA, PhD (University of Leeds)
Katy completed her Phd from the University of Leeds and her research explores the persistence of Sikh and Muslim conflict to examine the way in which Sikhs represent themselves as being subject to attack from Muslims in the context of postcolonial settlement in Britain. Her research interests include Inter-BrAsian Relations, Racism and Ethnicity, Postcolonialism, Sikh Studies and Diaspora and Identity.
Katy has taught students from a range of sociological and social science backgrounds at all undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has an emerging track record in publications including peer-reviewed journals, edited collections, policy influencing reports and is currently preparing a monograph for publication based upon her thesis. She has presented at various conferences both national and international and is keen to develop individual or collaborative research proposals that are relevant to developments in areas of Race and Ethnicity.
Katy is a member of the editorial board for the Centre of Ethnicity and Racism Studies, University of Leeds, and also co-founded their blog the culture craft which attempts to craft a series of interventions to disrupt the dominant ways of thinking about issues such as politics, culture and racism which have come to shape the world we live in today. Katy also participated in the Faith In Leadership programme 2008 and remains dedicated to anti-racism projects and interfaith communitiy work.
BSc (Hons), MSc
Mamta Saha is the Director of www.thinkspalondon.com. She has a BSC Psychology, MSC Occupational Psychology, Myers Briggs qualified, Level A & Level B Testing, qualified business coach. 10 years of Global experience with talent in organisations including: BP, KPMG, Tesco, Accenture, PWC, The Royal Oprah House, The Royal Mail, Deutsche Bank.
She is a regular featured expert and Media Psychologist: Print (The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, The Daily Mail); Radio (BBC, Talk sport and Talk Radio Europe) and TV (Sky News). Specialties include: Working to provide specific, bespoke workshops and sessions to build behavioral skills through end to end training design, delivery, measuring the effectiveness of training and evaluation throughout. Coaching at all levels and building capability. Long term International Experience: China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Turkey, Dubai, Czech Republic, Prague, Poland, Scotland. Fluent in: English, Hindi, Sindhi, Punjabi, Gujarati basic Mandarin
“I’ve worked within the “Square Mile” for many years. One of the things I’ve noticed is a real change in attitude towards Asians/Indians/Sikhs and a change in our attitudes towards each other. It’s that knowing nod or glance at the Singh as he walks by and the ability to immediately build a connection with total strangers based on our shared identity. We’re more comfortable in our own skin and more open to interacting with each other. This is the essence behind my support for City Sikhs.”
Randeep hails from Southall, an area familiar to most British Asians and known for, among other things, its rich multi-ethnic culture, numerous temples (it is home to the largest Gurdwara outside of India) and vibrant people.
“Growing up in Southall, you get to see the full spectrum of society. It is an area blighted by many unfortunate traits that you would expect from a rapidly developing part of London such as homelessness, drugs and crime. However, to its credit Southall has produced many success stories including numerous entrepreneurs, business men and women, academics and politicians as well as, traditional professionals. The drive and success of such individuals inspired me and enabled me to receive a very rich education.”
Randeep now lives in northwest London with his wife Gurbaksh.
He has forged a career as an independent consultant and has over 12 years’ experience covering the Financial Services, Legal, Oil & Gas, Healthcare and Government sectors. He runs a consultancy specialising in business strategy, change and capability design. He has also achieved numerous vocational qualifications relevant to the IT and Financial Services industries.
Beyond the realms of work, Randeep is a mentor to inner-city youths from disenfranchised backgrounds (ex-offenders and ex-substance abusers).
Randeep has a deep interest in Sikh principles, philosophy and history (religious, military and political). He is interested in the similarities and differences between Punjabi and Sikh cultures. He is also very keen on discussions and forums which outline the way forward for the Sikh “panth” and its on-going advancement (“Chardi Kala”) in the modern world.