News and Notices

Amo is shortlisted on the disability power list 2021!

Congratulations to DCHS associate non-exec director Amo Raju who has been named on the shortlist for the Shaw Trust's 2021 Disability Power 100 list.

Amo joined our Trust Board recently and is CEO of Midlands-based charity Disability Direct as well as a life-long champion for disability rights. The Disability Power 100 is an annual celebration of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK, working to break the stigma around disability, creating a more accessible and inclusive world for all. ​​​​​​​

A fifth of the UK’s population has a disability or impairment, however, there is very little recognition of successful and influential disabled people. Shaw Trust wants change the public perception of disability, to recognise strong, successful, influential people who are leaders in their field. Encouraging the talented leaders of tomorrow to connect with role models and see that aspiration and ambition can be fulfilled regardless of disability or impairment.

The Power 100 has the power to influence people from all walks of life and means something different to everyone on the list, Nikki Fox, BBC Disability Correspondent was announced as the 2020’s most influential disabled person in Britain and chaired the 2021 independent judging panel. This year there were more than 550 nominations for the 100 places on the list.

Amo Raju is the CEO of the biggest user-led disability group in the Midlands – Disability Direct. As a disabled person from a BAME background Amo has often faced twice the discrimination and fought against stereotypical societal expectations and then utilised his experience for the benefit and empowerment of his peers. Amo believes passionately in diverse services delivered by a diverse set of people and has a successful track record of encouraging a culture of opportunity around him.

With little to no entrepreneurial experience, Amo has created successful businesses which generate 95% of the income required to run the charity. To date, he has overseen income generation in excess of £25m.

Previously, a semi-successful Bhangra singer, Amo also broke down barriers for his peers who have an interest in music. His songs are still played regularly across UK radio stations and on the dance floor at social gatherings.

After 27 years in services, Amo also runs his own consultancy business which supports and mentors tomorrow’s leaders. His expertise is now extended to and utilised in the role of PilotLighter for the national charity Pilotlight UK and as an Associate Non-Exec Director for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust.

More recently, Amo has disclosed his life-long battle with depression across his social media platforms in an aim to encourage others to talk to someone about whatever their troubles are. Indeed, a semi-biographical book is in production which charters his journey from a disabled child to his modern-day success.

Amo Raju, said: "I’m delighted, honoured and humbled to be on the shortlist. I hope the Disability Power 100 List inspires others to play whatever part they can in becoming champions for social change. Many thanks to The Shaw Trust for recognising my efforts as an influencer."

The full Shaw Trust Disability Power List 100 can be found on www.disabilitypower100.com.