The Volunteer Network Centre, Newham
GURDIAL SINGH BHAMRA (MSC) - OUR DIRECTOR
Gurdial was born in Punjab, India in August 1943 and enjoyed the comforts of being the youngest child of a large well to do family until the age of 13 when he joined his father in Kenya, where he was schooled and trained as a teacher. In 1965 he was appointed head of a large secondary school in Kenya at the ripe age of 22, making him the youngest headmaster in the country. In 1966 he arrived in the UK where he worked as a storekeeper and then as an operator for Ford Motor Company before joining the Metropolitan Police Service in 1970.
He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 1976, being the first from the BME community in the UK, and became the first BME Police Inspector in 1983, attracting a lot of media attention and receiving worldwide publicity. He was the founder member and the first chairman of the Metropolitan Police Sikh Association and played a major role in establishing equal opportunities and fair treatment for all in the police service.
Gurdial received his Master's Degree from London Guildhall University in 1993 and a Supervisory Diploma in Management in 1992. He is also a qualified facilitator and trainer.
Upon retiring in 2001 he was attracted to the voluntary sector where he saw his role as enabling others to make a difference. He headed the Minority Ethnic Community Voice in Slough and managed to persuade communities to come together to improve their lives.
He is now the director of the Volunteer Network Centre in Newham and is in the process of building the organisation to provide a comprehensive service to all communities in East London. He is also an active director/trustee of Race On The Agenda (ROTA) and chairs the local Labour Party in Redbridge. He believes that BME organisations need to work in partnership with statutory and mainstream organisation to succeed.