NCA Chief Exec Raj Jain’s pic and story are part of a celebratory Black History Month art exhibition at the Lowry

raj jain still i rise
NCA Chief Exec Raj Jain’s pic and story are part of a celebratory Black History Month art exhibition at the Lowry
26 September 2019

An award-winning photographer is sharing the stories of Salford’s black, Asian and minority ethnic communities through an exhibition at The Lowry marking Black History Month.

Amongst the photos and stories on display are those of Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) Chief Executive, Raj Jain, and NCA Group Associate Director Inclusion & Engagement, Naheed Nazir.

Still I Rise celebrates black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) culture in Salford and tells the stories of some of those working in the city’s public and voluntary sectors.

The idea for the exhibition came from Salford’s BAME Mental Health Champions, a group of volunteers representing people in their communities – including African, Yemeni and Chinese – who work with NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group to act as links to mental health services in Salford.

Working with Salford’s Equality Partnership, the champions have co-produced Still I Rise with acclaimed photographer Allie Crewe, a University of Salford graduate and one of the winners of this year’s Portrait of Britain 2019 award.

Still I Rise will run throughout Black History Month (October) opening September 28 until November 3 at the famous Salford theatre and features 16 portraits including Raj Jain, Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance, which runs Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Councillor Wilson Nkurunziza of Salford City Council and members of the BAME Mental Health Champions.

Raj Jain, Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, said: “Black History Month offers us the chance to celebrate the impact black and ethnic minority staff have had at our hospitals in Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester. I am proud to display my picture at the Lowry and say a little bit about my own background and working in the NHS. I am from a humble family and my experiences growing up have driven me to work hard to achieve my career and aspirations in life. I am passionate about supporting fair opportunities for all, not just in the NHS, but in everything that we do.”

Michal Alfred-Kamara, BAME champion, said: “I took part in this exhibition as I think it is immensely valuable to be able to see BAME leaders portrayed in all their complexity. The portraits show us showing our strength, vulnerability and joy and I hope the exhibition will spark a conversation about what it means to be a BAME leader.”

Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the amazing people who bring so much to our public and voluntary sectors. Allie’s winning photo in the Portrait of Britain award was superb and I look forward to seeing the full exhibition when it opens to the public.”

Along with the exhibition, the champions are co-producing an event with Salford CCG and Salford City Council to bring together communities and key agencies to celebrate Black History Month. The event will be held at Eccles Town Hall on Sunday, 20 October.

Pendleton residents will also be celebrating Black History Month on Saturday October 26 from 1pm to 3pm at Langworthy Cornerstone, Liverpool Road, Langworthy.

It’s a chance for community organisations to get together for food, dancing and share information about what’s on locally as they celebrate different cultures. It has been organised by Salford City Council, Pendleton Together and the UK Unity group. For more information please contact Marie Shields, Neighbourhood Manager, by calling 0161 6034091.

Raj's story

"I have been lucky in my life and career. I have a loving family who have always encouraged me.  Friends, colleagues and bosses at work have given me opportunities and helped me succeed. So now here I am now a CEO of an organisation that I am hugely proud of.

"That is not all my story. I had parents who emigrated to the UK in the 1950’s, parents who did their best to give us kids a start. My dad was an ice cream seller, having never been given the opportunity to pursue his chosen career because back then he even struggled to get a roof over our heads because of the “colour bar” let alone get a job with prospects. Those experiences and my ethnicity gave me the opportunity to add something different, it motivated me to work even harder, it drives my passion to support fair opportunities for all. I am a better person because of my lived experiences. 

"I hope to continue to support individuals to be the best they can be and for our communities to thrive and be exemplars of fairness and achievement."

Pictured: Raj Jain, Chief Executive, and Naheed Nazir, Group Associate Director Inclusion & Engagement, Northern Care Alliance NHS Group




  • Still I Rise will open with an invite-only launch event on Thursday 26 September where the sitters will be able to see their portraits on display for the first time
  • The portraits are:




Abiodun Okunnu

BAME Mental Health Champion


Dr Deji Adeyeye


Pendleton Medical Centre

Delana Lawson

Chief Officer

Healthwatch Salford

Dionne Duffill

Workforce Development Officer

Salford City Council

Edward Vitalis

Governing Body Lay Member, (Finance and Governance)

Salford CCG

Eunice Ayodeji

Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nursing / Mental Health Practitioner (CAMHS) 

University of Salford

Hemlata Fletcher

Innovation Manager / Equalities Lead


Salford Primary Care Together

Hormoz Ahmadzadeh

BAME Mental Health Champion



Result CiC

Linval Smith

Clinical Practice Lead

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Michal Alfred-Kamara

BAME Mental Health Champion

Outreach and Development Worker


Salford Carers Service, Gaddum

Naheed Nazir

Group Associate Director Inclusion & Engagement

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group

Raj Jain

Chief Executive

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group

Shahnara Begum

Salford Safeguarding Children Partnership Workforce Development Manager

Salford City Council

Tara Leach

Head of Race Equality Charter / Inclusion and Diversity Officer

University of Salford

Tracy Tsikai

Infection Prevention and Control Nurse

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Cllr Wilson Nkurunziza


Salford City Council


  • The Salford equality partnership includes NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Salford City Council, The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA), Salford Primary Care Together (SPCT), Salford CVS, Greater Manchester Mental Health, Healthwatch Salford and the University of Salford.

The BAME Mental Health Champions formed as a group in April 2019 and meet monthly with Salford CCG. They have achieved accredited ‘Mental Health First Aid’ training as part of their training. Their role includes sharing important information with their community and signposting people to the appropriate services.