Last month’s event in Bedford provided the opportunity for delegates to celebrate black pioneers including ex England international footballer Luther Blissett and ground-breaking colleagues from policing – Sandra Smith and Samantha Alexander – who launched Women of Colour in Policing earlier this year. Lou Taylor, South Lead for Black History Month, championed black activists and pioneers who had made waves centuries previously and have shown the way for integration and embracing diversity in forgotten eras.

Above all, it was an opportunity to celebrate pioneers of colour from the Fire and Rescue Service, not least the Asian Fire Service Association founders and former principal officer Wayne McCollin. Current Deputy Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown also gave a stirring address on current challenges given that ten years ago there were six principal officers of colour, now down to two.


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