Former Camden Mayor Councillor Abdul Quadir Abseiled His Way into Award Nomination


Councillor Abdul Quadir

Councillor Abdul Quadir

Former Mayor of Camden Councillor Abdul Quadir has been shortlisted under the Social Driver category for the 2nd Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises UK-based politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. The Councillor is nominated for his tireless campaign in raising awareness and funds for his chosen charity, Action on Hearing Loss.

According to the Councillor, there are approximately 32,500 residents in Camden who are deaf or hard of hearing, and 1 in 6 of the population are deaf, hard of hearing or have tinnitus. Cllr Quadir understands this disability very well, having partially lost his hearing more than 30 years ago.

The Councillor gradually lost his hearing after the BT Tower close to his residence was attacked by the IRA in 1971. His apparent loss of hearing wasn’t apparent to him until 1979 after a failed participation at a job interview. When he became Mayor in 2011, Cllr Quadir dedicated his mayoral theme to promote Camden as an accessible and welcoming borough for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

In April 2012, Cllr Quadir descended from the top of the Town Hall by rope during an 85ft abseil to raise money for Action on Hearing Loss to set up the ‘Hear to Help’ service, offering individuals with the latest hearing aid gadgets in a shop-like environment. The Hear to Help service initially required £20,000 to train volunteers, and carry out home visits for one in six people who have hearing problems in the borough - this was the Councillor’s fundraising target.

Through his fundraising activities, Cllr Quadir smashed through his £20,000 target and obtained a cheque of £27,000 which went towards vital hearing services in Camden. Camden has now agreed to become a pilot borough for Action on Hearing Loss to introduce hearing checks for all staff and continues to support the charity in his own capacity.

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “The award illustrates that we do have government representatives that actively work on meeting the people’s needs and we must focus on bringing more positive role models into society and diminish negative news - that is the grassroot diplomacy way”.  

Join Cllr Abdul Quadir and other government nominees at The Mayfair Hotel, London on Thursday 15th May 2014 where the awards ceremony will be hosted by TV Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos.