Halifax Inclusion & Integration Manager shortlisted for prestigious BBC ‘Make a Difference Award’.

Surraya Bibi, Inclusion & Integration Manager at Halifax Opportunities Trust (HOT) has been shortlisted as a finalist for the BBC’s Make a Difference Awards 2023, surpassing over 11,000 national nominees for her dedicated work in supporting and empowering female refugees and migrants.

The ‘Together Award’ is awarded to an individual or group of people who inspire diverse communities to come together. They do this by creating real change and breaking down barriers, bringing together people from different walks of life for a common cause.

Surraya was nominated by a fellow colleague for being a role model to female refugees and migrants, mentoring many beyond her scope of employment. 

She has supported many new migrants and refugees to show entrepreneurship, some of which have now successfully launched their own businesses, as well as working towards the completion of relevant vocational courses, after recognising skills and interests.

Upon receiving the news, Surraya said:

“I feel proud as a Halifax Opportunities Trust employee and that the work of the Inclusive Integration team has been recognised at a national level.”

Surraya’s work within Inclusive Integration at HOT involves supporting migrants and refugees with things such as citizenship, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) qualifications and integration within their new community here in Calderdale.

She has over 20 years of experience delivering high-profile projects supporting migrants and refugees to overcome barriers such as digital exclusion, the English language, loneliness and isolation.

However, this isn’t the first time Surraya’s hard work has been recognised, her many years of dedication and commitment were also acknowledged in November 2022 when she was awarded the West Yorkshire High Sheriff’s Award.

The BBC Make a Difference Award winners will be revealed at a ceremony held at The Dock Hall, Royal Armouries in Leeds on Saturday 30th of September 2023.

We wish Surraya, and all other nominees all the best for the upcoming finals.


Do you or your organisation have inspiring stories that need to be heard? If so, the Community Journalist is eager to listen and share your stories!

Contact Jordan at jordan.baker@cvac.org.uk