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National BAME award for ‘inspirational leader’

Friday, 30 April, 2021
National BAME award for ‘inspirational leader’

An ‘inspirational leader’ at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has landed a national award recognising him as a role model.

Estwar Sanichar, the Trust’s staff-side chair – who provides a key link between the trade unions and management, was named Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion Lead – Role Model at the National BAME Health and Care Awards 2021 last night (Thursday, April 29).

The awards scheme seeks to celebrate the outstanding achievements and positive contributions of black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) staff in the health and social care sector, against a backdrop of studies which show they are under-represented in senior roles and experience discrimination in their career.

Estwar has worked in healthcare in Northumberland since 2004, initially with young offenders in prison, before moving into the Trust’s patient and staff experience team in 2013. A representative of Unison, he was elected as staff-side chair in 2018.

The 60-year-old, who was born in Guyana and spent time in both Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, where he worked as a full-time Church Minister, before emigrating to the UK in 1987, was ‘touched’ to win the award.

“Winning highlights the progress made in recent years by Northumbria Healthcare towards greater equality, diversity and inclusion,” he said. “This would not have happened without the solid and strong support of our senior management.”

The modest project manager added: “Winning is not necessarily about coming first, but about an attitude and culture – that is, doing our best for the benefit of others and inspiring them to do the same. When one of us wins, we all win. It is a reflection not of me, but all of us at the Trust.”

The accolade for Estwar was announced at the latest in a series of virtual ceremonies, and follows Birju Bartoli, Northumbria Healthcare’s executive director of performance and improvement, being highly commended in the Compassionate and Inclusive Leader – Role Model category at the previous week’s event.

Patrick Price, the Trust’s lead for equality, diversity and inclusion, said: “Estwar has long been an inspirational leader in our trust both as staff-side lead and as a key member of our BAME Staff Network where he has played an integral part in developing and driving our actions in relation to our Workplace Race Equality Standard.

“His approach is always based on getting the best outcome for all concerned and he is a constant inspiration, always prepared to step up to represent the BAME network.

“I have yet to meet anyone who has anything other than respect for his commitment to equality and diversity. He truly is an asset to the Trust.”


Media contact: Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer,

Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk or 07833 046680.

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