MANISHA TAILOR has been rewarded for her work with people who have mental illnesses by being nominated for a Mind Wellbeing Award at this year’s Lycamobile BEDSAs.
Tailor, who set up the Wingate and Finchley Disabled Fans Forum – an initiative that uses football to help adults with mental illness develop social skills and an opportunity to feel included within society – was awarded an MBE for services to football and diversity in sport in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List.
She has worked to overcome the taboo of mental health for almost two decades, after becoming a young carer for her twin brother, who developed mental illness through severe bullying at school.
After initially self-funding the Disabled Fans Forum, in partnership with Wingate and Finchley, her efforts have recently been rewarded with funding, which assists with equipment and indoor facility hire during winter.
“To be nominated for something that is so personal to me is special. Becoming a carer for my twin who was diagnosed with mental illness at the age of 18 changed my life completely.
“I have to live with watching someone I love suffer every day of my life. But, being able to set up a provision which I self-funded and from scratch, as a vehicle for helping adults with mental illness is rewarding beyond words.
“I cannot change my situation – but through my football project Wingate and Finchley Disabled Fans Forum, I can help those like my twin feel included within our society.”
The BEDSAs, which are now in their third year, are organised by Sporting Equals, the expert partner of Sport England and advisors to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
Sponsored by Lycamobile, the world’s largest mobile virtual network operator, the awards are leading the way in recognising and celebrating sporting excellence within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
The awards will be taking place on March 18 at London Hilton Park Lane Hotel. Voting is now open and you can vote for your winner by calling 0871 244 0946.