Dinner held at Southsea restaurant Akash to mark university of Portsmouth's recent award win for work with Bangladesh community

A CELEBRATORY dinner was held at a Southsea Indian restaurants to mark the University of Portsmouth winning an award for its engagement.

By Kimberley Barber
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:54 am
Celebratory dinner hosted at The Akash

Picture: Habibur Rahman
Celebratory dinner hosted at The Akash Picture: Habibur Rahman

The university was awarded silver in the Best Business Engagement Campaign category at the recent Heist Awards for its work with the Bangladesh community in the city.

The awards, run by Havas Education, recognise national excellence in the education sector.

A group from the university was joined by guests to mark the occasion with a meal at the family-run Akash in Albert Road, which has been serving curry for more than 40 years.

Celebratory dinner hosted at The Akash Picture: Habibur Rahman

Portsmouth Football Club CEO Andrew Cullen, along with the leader of the council Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor of global engagement Chris Chang, and the Lord Mayor Frank Jonas, were among the guests.

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The award came after the Portsmouth Bangladesh Business Association (PBBA) – a not-for-profit organisation mission that works to establish ties between Portsmouth and Bangladesh – led a trade mission to Bangladesh in November 2019.

The focus was on improving trade routes from the Solent region to Bangladeshi businesses.

Celebratory dinner hosted at The Akash Picture: Habibur Rahman

The success of this excursion was emphasised by trade mission participant Mabs Noor at the dinner.

He said: ‘This is a passion that is rarely seen – the university, council and community all working together.’

Mr Cullen expressed hope that the group could go on to achieve integration of that community into the football club, which he believes has ‘accountability’ to ‘inspire and bring communities together.’

Following the speeches, the PBBA and other guests sat down to enjoy a meal.

Faz Ahmed, co-owner of the restaurant, was delighted to hold the event.

He said: ‘Due to Covid this was our first event in a couple of years.

‘It was great to host something again; it really feels like things are getting back to normality.’

Mr Chang also announced plans to work with the council again to on establish links with other cities across the world.

PBBA chairman Raj Alli said: ‘Imagine what we could have achieved by now if it weren’t for Covid. This is just the beginning.’