Criminal justice campaigner appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire

27th Nov 2020
Criminal justice campaigner appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire

Nadine Osman

Leading criminal justice campaigner, Sofia Buncy, has been appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire. The prestigious ceremonial role was created to assist the Lord-Lieutenant in carrying out his role as the Queen’s representative.

Buncy is the national coordinator of the pioneering Muslim Women in Prison Project, based at Bradford’s Khidmat Centre to support Muslim women returning to the community.

Buncy is renowned for her rehabilitation work with Muslim women prisoners, carrying out crucial work to support Muslim women in the prison.

Working closely with young women and their parents, she successfully pioneered a leadership programme to support young Muslim women to raise their educational and career aspirations.

Her efforts have helped hundreds of young women back into education and careers ranging from medicine to youth work. Buncy researched and co-authored the first ever report into Muslim women in British prisons.

She has provided evidence to MP David Lammy’s review of the BAME community’s treatment in the British criminal justice system and the Prison Reform Trust’s report on BAME women in the criminal justice.

Buncy has received several national awards in her line of work, including the coveted Butler Trust Award for best practice in the prisons, the Asian Women of Achievement Award, a Criminal Justice Alliance Award and the Howard League Community Champion Award. She was also shortlisted for The Muslim News Uthman Dan Fodio Award for Excellence in Community Development in 2018.

Reacting to her appointment, Buncy said, “I feel honoured to be trusted with the position of Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire. I am looking forward to representing the office with relish. Women from BAME communities of right and merit must have presence at all levels of our diverse society. If this appointment helps to take this forward then it would be extremely worthwhile.

Having worked within communities for 15 years it is encouraging that I have a further opportunity to carry on making difference. I pray and hope that my appointment will serve to open up further opportunities for women and will motivate them to take public roles.”

Yousaf Sidat, Chair of Khidmat Centres, said, “We are thrilled for Sofia. She is a high achiever who believes in leading by example. Sofia is an inspirational mentor for others. Her’s is a good appointment for the City. We congratulate her and her family for this honour.”

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