NIGERIAN UK EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS ADVOCATE CONFERRED WITH HONORARY DOCTORATE DEGREE

Dr Akinoshun

inoshun was born in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State in the early 60’s. He attended famous Lagelu Grammar School in Ibadan before winning a scholarship in 1983 to study in Bulgaria. He graduated from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, where he bagged a Masters Degree in Social Psychology in 1993. Having spent over 6 years in Bulgaria, he speaks fluent Bulgarian language. He later attended King’s College where he obtained professional qualification in Mental Health Nursing in 1998. Prior to commencing his nursing career, he worked as a Track Cleaner for a sub-contractor to the London Underground Company, cleaning the track and tube stations at night. He later realised that the cleaning company was maltreating him and his African colleagues, having taught himself Employment Law, he took it upon himself to challenge the management to address the issues of concern but unfortunately he was sacked but his experience profoundly affected him that he single handily founded the self-funded organisation called “ Voluntary Employment Advisory Services for Ethnic Minorities [VEASEM] which offers free advice to people who face disciplinary hearing, racial discrimination, bullying, victimisation and harassment at work.

People were so touched with his community activities, that in 1999, he was presented with an award, by the then Deputy Commissioner of Police – Commander John Grieve, on behalf of the Metropolitan Police, for fighting discrimination in the workplace. In 2000, he was given an “Our Heroes Community Champion Award” by the South London Press, for his voluntary work to fight injustice and harassment in the workplace. He was also one of the 100 recipients of the Nigerian Centenary Awards UK 2014, the award he cherished so much. Abbey was also featured in the first black who’s who book of black achievers published in 1999.

Since 1996 Abbey has been representing hundreds of black workers at the  employment tribunals and disciplinary hearings who had no financial means of hiring lawyers to represent them. He gets motivated to fight for justice for other people, having gone through the same experience himself.

Abbey also worked for NHS Trusts for over 14 years at a managerial level in four different NHS Foundation Trusts within London. His last job in the NHS was a Clinical Service Manager. In 2006 Abbey got to the peak of his nursing career when he became the first Black African nurse to be elected by the majority of over 200,000 of the registered nurses in England to represent them in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC- the world’s largest regulatory body). He used his position to influence major changes in the nursing profession and to improve quality of care to the wider public. He served for nearly 10 years as a School Governor of Hawksmoor primary school in Thamesmead.

In 2013, Abbey resigned from his managerial post in the NHS in order to concentrate on his Consultancy business. [ERRAS –Employment Rights Representation and Advisory Services]. He has since been consulting in Employment Law and Regulatory Services on a full time basis in Woolwich supporting BME nurses and midwives all over UK. He was an active member of the Labour Party until about five years ago when he left the party.

During his time in Labour he served in various posts: as elected Ethnic Minorities Officer for Erith & Thamesmead Constituency Labour Party; Executive Committee Member of Erith & Thamesmead Labour Party; General Council Member of Erith & Thamesmead Labour Party and Member of Greenwich Local Government Committee of The Labour Party. He was even shortlisted by the party at the initial screening of the selection of MEPs in 2004.

DRA

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