Mike Bradley, Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands
The amount of money per capita that the BBC spends in the Midlands is less than other regions and miniscule compared to London. Mike Bradley intends to change that. Despite a quarter of all licence fee payers living in the Midlands, the region gets precious little in return. Mr Bradley is chairman of the Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands which is aiming to ensure that the BBC Charter enshrines the principle of money which is raised in a region should be substantially spent in that region, with more prime time productions and general content being made in the Midlands. His campaign is backed by Julie Walters and Tracey Briggs among other show business names. The Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail have supported his campaign.
Andy Foote, The Brain Tumour Charity
Andy Foote founded and ran the Joseph Foote Trust for ten years, named after his son who suffered from a brain tumour and died in 2007. The trust merged with Brain Tumour UK and subsequently became The Brain Tumour Charity in 2012. Mr Foote, who is a trustee, has raised more than £2.4 million to fund research at the University of Nottingham's Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre. A former professional footballer who lives in Solihull, he was an Olympic torch bearer in 2012. The charity works with a number of organisations including Cancer Research UK and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Julie Hambleton, Justice4the21
Julie Hambleton is the public face of the campaign to seek justice for the 21 victims of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings. Her sister Maxine was killed in the Tavern in the Town bombing - aged 18. She and her brother Brian set up the Justice4the21 campaign to support and fight for the families of the victims and establish the truth around the bombings. Their tireless campaign has achieved slow but significant success since it began in 2009. They successfully campaigned to have the inquests into the victims resumed and battle to get proper legal aid funding on the same basis as the Hillsborough inquests. They have challenged the coroner's decision to exclude the identification of the perpetrators from the inquest.
Saidul Haque Saeed, Citizens UK Birmingham
Saidul Haque Saeed is the lead organiser at Citizens UK in Birmingham, a position he has held since 2012. He also co-chairs Lozells Neighbourhood Forum and is a director at Lozells-based Urban Archive community interest company. His background is in the health service and he was a patient and public involvement officer at Heart of England Teaching PCT before moving on to a similar role with Birmingham and Solihull NHS Cluster. Citizens UK is aimed at building a broad-based civil society alliance for social justice in Birmingham. In particular, the organisation created welcome packs and offered housing and support to Syrian refugees arriving in the city.
Errol Lawson, author/life coach
A visit to the Aston Christian Centre while he was on community service turned the life of ex-gangster around. A former member of Handsworth's Inner Crew gang, his life was built around drugs and violence. He has written a book about his battle to break free of gang culture and, through his mentoring coaching and consultancy organisations, he helps young people with leadership and entrepreneurial skills. He has studied leadership at Aston Business School and for two years ran Bible study sessions with inmates at HMP Birmingham. He is on the board of trustees at Equitas Academies Trust.
Gavin Orton, Birmingham Civic Society
Gavin Orton is chairman and chairman of the planning committee of Birmingham Civic Society, the organisation which celebrates the city's heritage, promotes citizenship and recognises the people and places which contribute to the life of the city. The society was formed just after the First World War. An architect who works at BPN Architects, Mr Orton has been a trustee of BCS since 2013. He is a former West Midlands regional chairman of the Royal Institute of British Architects and president of Birmingham Architectural Association. He studied at the Birmingham School of Architecture and is a visiting lecturer there.
Abdullah Rehman MBE, Balsall Heath Forum
Abdullah Rehman, chief executive of the Balsall Heath Forum, received an MBE in the 2016 New Year's Honours in recognition of his services to the community. The forum, inspired by Mr Rehman's father, works towards cohesion among all communities in Balsall Heath and holds annual awards ceremonies. The Dynamic Youth awards recognise youngsters excelling in education, sport or citizenship, while the Heart of Gold awards recognise adults who are good citizens and who work to improve their neighbourhoods. Mr Rehman has been chief executive of the forum since 2002 and is committed to empowering residents.
Marcia Shakespeare, Anti-Gun Campaigner
Marcia Shakespeare has been a vociferous anti-gun campaigner since her daughter Letisha, aged 17, and her best friend Charlene Ellis, 18, were the innocent victims of a drive-by shooting in January 2003. Ms Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis's mother Beverley Thomas have campaigned ceaselessly to try to rid the city of guns and gangs. They have created a peace garden and have worked with successive governments to raise awareness of the dangers of gang culture. Ms Shakespeare has worked with schools as part of a programme to raise awareness of the issues surrounding violent crime. She is founder and director of The Precious Trust set up in dedication to her daughter to young women affected by abuse. She has a Masters degree in secondary education from Birmingham City University.
Paul Slatter, Chamberlain Forum
The Chamberlain Forum is a neighbourhood organisation aimed at improving Birmingham through community leadership. Inspired by the success of similar organisations in Balsall Heath and Castle Vale, the forum aims to empower people for the good of the city. Paul Slatter is its director, having previously been manager for the Birmingham Community Empowerment Network and head of policy at People for Action.