cache/resized/fd8dd5d218dbbcf6230698f35dd6c097.jpg
Abbie experienced a difficult childhood and a strained relationship with her family growing up. This meant that from a young age, she had to become independent in the family home and take herself to and from school. At the age of 11, the family moved to a new area, which had serious crime and ...
cache/resized/6fea0211aac6e5fe0634a0c8f470ae34.jpg
Harry, of Wallsend, was just eight when, in 2015, he lost his uncle and godfather David, 36, to sudden cardiac death. Tragically a year later his dad Steve died just three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. Devastated by his family losses Harry decided to bring something positive out of ...
cache/resized/097b0d858ce8432f4aa0ec75fc852e91.jpg
Growing up in Chitagong, now in Bangladesh, then part of Pakistan, Ram Prasad Sengupta could hardly have imagined his life today as a world-renowned neurosurgeon, honoured by royalty for his incredible work. Professor Sengupta, 79, known to friends in Newcastle as Robin, was born into extreme ...
cache/resized/4babc52fe8e1a603f4d0198774b34e18.jpg
Devoted and defiant mum Lynn Lucas has raised more than £2 million for cancer research since the tragically early death of her son Chris aged 18 in 2000. Lynn’s son Chris died of a rare form of cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma – a cancer that resembles muscle tissue, leading to his dedicated mum ...
cache/resized/351f3b2ce7f0cc41ba4f41c7a6d59f2c.jpg
HenPower was set up by the charity Equal Arts in 2011 with the aim of using hen-keeping to tackle social isolation, reduce depression and improve people’s wellbeing. Equal Arts’ director, Douglas Hunter, tells us how the project began. “We had been working in a care home when a resident with ...
cache/resized/57ea1fe33253ee8a450dbbec1e600af6.jpg
Off-duty highways officer Peter Senior was having a coffee at a roadside coffee shop while Adam Tomlinson was driving home from work, when a motorcycle collided with a car on the A167 near Spennymoor, County Durham. The 52-year-old rider was thrown into the air and the female motorist was left ...
cache/resized/d8287f5ee38333d1c2ed242b6ea9094d.jpg
Born with half a heart and undergoing a record-breaking operation minutes after birth, Chanel Murrish is certainly a miracle; defying the odds and the predictions of doctors who feared she was unlikely to survive. But it’s her incredible mother, Fay Murrish who we are proud to honour with our ...
cache/resized/d47d0ff6204bd56203e14c37be94494d.jpg
Ultramarathon runner Dennis Potton got more than he bargained in the middle of a 60-mile endurance race when he stopped for a drink and heard a child screaming for help. Dennis was taking part in the Hardmoors 60, a 60-mile run along the North Yorkshire coast when he heard children crying for ...
cache/resized/a4f23b76b976d4840c03874622dd1a60.jpg
At 94, most people have given up working long ago - but not Harry Mercer! Harry, from North Shields, has been volunteering for over 70 years and says he’ll never stop working for others. For Harry, it all began in 1947, when his brother-in-law asked him to help raise funds to build a ...
cache/resized/3d1fb6090e544ec43bc8a7bdd24dbdc4.jpg
Mark Taylor is an inspirational teacher who has refused to let advanced Motor Neurone Disease (MND) prevent him from changing children’s lives. Mark has been living with a diagnosis of the devastating illness, which has eventually left him unable to walk, eat or even talk unaided, since 2010. A ...
cache/resized/93f61a5bd335115d75b92176b3d1bede.jpg
Last September PC Paul Canvin was on annual leave when an armed gang burst in and attempted to rob the newsagents that he was shopping in. Dressed in jeans and flip flops, PC Canvin sprung into action to help. The two masked men were armed with a 3ft metal bar and threatened staff whilst making ...
cache/resized/0bce779e6e651e80f42ee05e0b730f79.jpg
Eleven year old Katie Mitchelson was playing at the park with her friends when a dog suddenly started biting children at random all around her. Whilst some children might have panicked Katie remained calm and knew that she had to help. The first victim was seven year old Clara Villalard who was ...
cache/resized/56718086951cc57f9626e0e74121f727.jpg
Young Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma on the 7th of January 2013 at the age of just two. Given a 50-50 chance of survival, hospital staff nicknamed him “Resus Brad” after the many times they had to call the resuscitation trolley to his room to ...

Dr Paul Stephenson, OBE

Civil rights pioneer led a victorious boycott against racist bus company bosses in 1963, paving the way for Britain's first race laws

Paul was a young social worker in Bristol when he embarked on the campaign that would change not only his life, but the entire country.

He had been born to a British mother and West African father in Rochford, Essex in 1937 and was determined to confront the racism he’d encountered both growing up in east London, and since arriving in Bristol as a community development officer in 1962.

So when a Bristol bus firm refused to employ black or Asian people, Paul began a 60-day boycott of the company.

Paul says: “If you were a young black person living in Britain, you couldn’t be a policeman, an ambulanceman or fireman. You couldn’t go into pubs, hotels, swimming pools, and now you couldn’t drive on the buses. I had been watching the amazing things that Martin Luther King had been achieving in America, and now I thought something had to be done here too.”

His campaign directly resulted in the company revoking their ‘colour bar’. Its defeat was confirmed on 28 August 1963, on the very day that Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in Washington.

Paul then went on to achieve nationwide fame for refusing to leave a public house until he was served - in the face of their ‘no blacks’ policy. His resulting arrest and trial paved the way for the first Race Relations Act in 1965.

The Bristol bus boycott and Paul's own case helped to thrust race into the national limelight and change public opinion about the treatment of black people living in Britain.

Few doubt that without Paul's efforts it would have been difficult for Harold Wilson's Labour government to bring in Britain's first anti-discrimination laws. Wilson even sent Paul a personal telegram to say he would change the law following his victorious case.

In the Seventies, he struck up an enduring friendship with boxer Muhammad Ali, setting up the Muhammad Ali Sports Development Association. Together, they encouraged black and ethnic minority children to participate in sports they were not usually associated with, such as tennis and angling.

In the 1970s and 80s, Paul worked at the Commission for Racial Equality and the Press Council to ensure minorities were both working in newspapers and being covered fairly by them.

Now 80, and suffering from Parkinson’s disease, he continues to speak out against the effects of discrimination. He says: “Every generation has a duty to fight against racism, otherwise it will find its way into our country and into our homes. Addressing this challenge is our duty if we wish to seek a happy and prosperous existence”.

Thanks to Paul’s courage, principles and determination, Britain is a more open and tolerant place today. He has changed the way we all live for the better, and his story reminds us that the battle for civil rights was not confined to America.Pride of Britain judges

 

 

About us

The Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards in partnership with TSB celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.

Read more...

 

Contact Us

Pride of Britain
One Canada Square
London
E14 5AP 

Ruth Kosla
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Follow us @PrideOfBritain

Like us on Facebook