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Honour for Bradford community leader, Charles Dacres


honorary graduate

Director of the Bradford Hate Crime Alliance, Charles Dacres, received an Outstanding Contribution Award at the University of Bradford yesterday (Tuesday 18th July). 

The honour was in recognition of his dedication to the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion. 

So it’s fitting then, that Bradford-born Charles’s advice to students was about working together. 

He said: “There is an old Caribbean saying, ‘One, one, cocoa, full basket.’ We use it in our work in the community. It means that if everyone plays their little part, together it amounts to a full basket.

"We shouldn’t think about our individual contribution, but who we can take on our journey with us.”

During his career, Charles has worked alongside local authorities, specialising in educational and learning approaches to equality, diversity, inclusion and community engagement. In his role with BHCA, he has established a robust partnership to address hate crime and hate crime reporting throughout the district.

Director Bradford Hate Alliance

Charles said he was overwhelmed to be given such an award by his former university, where he earned an MSc in Diversity Management. 

The dad-of-two said: “I was totally elated and immensely proud. I had my own graduation ceremony and I’ve been to my children’s, and it never crossed my mind that I would be part of another one.

“You get on with the work you do. I help where I can, that’s my philosophy - if I can help, I will. I never had any expectation in life other than to ‘do well,’ whatever that can be defined as. This shows you do something great and great things happen.”

The former ice hockey player and trustee of Bradford Ice Arena believes sport has taught him how to pick himself up after failures.

He said: “You learn that you’re not always going to win. So long as you’ve put your best effort in, then whatever the result, you know you’ve done your best.

“Whatever happens in life, don’t allow mistakes to define you. Use those mistakes or failures to drive you to the next point and use them as an opportunity to learn.

“Always have belief and follow your dreams.”


Sport is something Charles continues to be passionate about in his role as co-chair of Active Bradford, promoting physical activity and sports.

He is also chair of the Bradford Safe Task Force, in which he oversees effective resource management for evidence-based interventions, targeting the educational risk factors that can draw young people into organised crime. 

As if all that wasn’t enough, he is also Director and trustee of the Morrisons Foundation Trust, which is dedicated to supporting local charities that have a positive impact on communities.  Most recently, Charles organised the Windrush anniversary celebrations in Bradford and beyond. In fact, he helped ensure the Windrush flag - which was designed in Bradford - was raised in 30 cities, including at notable landmarks including the Home Office building and the Houses of Parliament. 

Wearing his Windrush tie, Charles even presented the university’s Chancellor, Anita Rani, with her own commemoration pin. 

He said: “My parents, Miriam and David, were part of the Windrush generation. I can’t think about what they would think of me getting this award from the university because I get too emotional.

“I was part of the team who came up with the Windrush slogan, ‘We are standing on their shoulders,’ and it’s true. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Charles attended the ceremony in the Great Hall with his son Myles, partner, Sharon Lambert,  and her mother, Anna Towler.