A REDDITCH Paralympian and a TV businesswoman delivered powerful speeches about hate crime at a special event last week.
Both guests were asked to speak about their experiences as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Paralympic gold medallist Claire Cashmore MBE was the first to step up to the podium.
Claire who was born with most of her forearm and hand missing, said: “Living with a disability is hard because you have to deal with hate crime throughout your entire life.
“When I was younger there was a girl in my class who said I wouldn’t be able to swim very fast because I had a hand missing.
“That girl is the reason I became a professional swimmer, I wanted to prove her wrong.”
Claire went on to win gold and silver at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
“It’s important to concentrate on making yourself the best person you can possibly be and to try to avoid listening to people who want to put you down.”
Bushra Shaikh was a candidate in ‘The Apprentice 2017’ with Lord Alan Sugar.
She said: “I had never experienced any hate crime in my life but then it happened to me twice in the matter of weeks.”
The first incident involved a man spitting on Bushra’s car and shouting racial slurs at her as she was parked up outside her children’s school.
“It was horrifying and what made it even worse was my two children were in the back.
“I froze, I couldn’t move.”
A few weeks later she was targeted again by two men who tried ramming Bushra’s car off the road and again were shouting racist comments at her.
“I consider myself a strong woman but when things like that happen it can really get you down,” she said.
The event was hosted by North Worcestershire Hate Incident Partnership (NWHIP) and took place on October 19 in Parkside Suite, Bromsgrove.
Head to www.unitedagainsthate.co.uk for more information.
To report a hate crime call 999 in an emergency, 101 in a non-emergency, report it to your local police station or online to True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk.