2001 – 2009: The Foundation Years
Founded in 2001 as the British Honours Awards, the organisation was established by Yasmin Sheikh MBE and The Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, as a means to highlight the success of British Muslims receiving awards from Her Majesty The Queen.
At this time, the British Muslim community was still struggling to define its place as an integral part of mainstream British Society. The awards dinner was designed to highlight the positive contribution the community was making to British Society, as well as the increasing acceptance of the community into mainstream British Society.
Each year, the number of British Muslims receiving awards from Her Majesty increased, and this reflected the steadily increasing contribution and integration of the community in cultural and economic life in the United Kingdom.
2010 – onwards: Community Integration
During the first decade of the 21st century, the position of the British Muslim community had continued to mature as an integral part of modern British society. In 2010, and marking the 10th anniversary of the annual events, the decision was made to shift emphasis of the organisation, in line with changing community needs. At this point, it became appropriate to rename the organisation as the British Community Honours Awards, to reflect the increasingly integral nature of the community within wider British society. With this change, there was a re-emphasis toward the Community Awards, to make greater recognition of the individuals who have worked to improve the welfare and inclusion of all minority communities within British Society, regardless of their own cultural background.
We continue to support these aims, and use the awards event itself, as well as providing speakers at public and private events, to further these aims towards an inclusive and harmonious society.
2013: Registered Charity
In May 2013, we were delighted to be granted Registered Charity status by the Charity Commission of England and Wales. This was a remarkable achievement marking a further milestone in the development of the organisation and its work towards making a better society.