Nominated by Catalyst, Sulaiman Iqbal, a 22-year-old resident of Havelock in Southall, has been awarded the prestigious Diana Award for his exceptional ability to inspire his community.

The Diana Award recognises young people aged 9-25 for going above and beyond in their daily lives to create and sustain positive change in their own generation across their communities.

Named after Diana, Princess of Wales, the international award was established in 1999 and is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.

Sulaiman was born and grew up on the Havelock estate in Ealing where housing association Catalyst, a subsidiary of the Peabody Group, manages a number of homes. In 2019 Sulaiman founded Team UPside, a youth-driven community initiative that provides free of charge academic and career support to young people from less privileged backgrounds in the area.

With a small team of dedicated committee members and a growing group of volunteers, Sulaiman has provided support to thousands of young people through summer drop-in clinics, online learning schools, an email helpdesk and a bi-weekly newsletter.

Sulaiman officially received the award at a virtual ceremony, introduced by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, that brought together award recipients from around the world. Sulaiman spoke to the audience about the mission and purpose of Team Upside to support young people from less-advantaged socio-economic backgrounds to achieve their full potential.

You can watch the full ceremony, and Sulaiman at 11 mins 26 seconds, here.

Nicola Wheeler, Head of Community Investment – Community Programmes and Services, at Catalyst said:

‘It was an absolute honour to nominate Sulaiman for The Diana Award for his work and achievements in the Havelock community and we’re thrilled he’s received this amazing recognition.

‘Sulaiman has tirelessly dedicated thousands of hours to community cohesion and social mobility, consciously giving back and creating positive social change for communities rooted in his upbringing. In addition, he has been instrumental in several legacy projects at the University of Cambridge where he studied history, founding initiatives that champion access within the Islamic Society.’

Sulaiman was also shortlisted for the Young Leader Award at this year’s Young Ealing Foundation Awards for Team UPside, and our Communities team member Megan Fahy won the Community Champion Award. More here.

For out more about The Diana Award.