A former Examiner Community Awards finalist has been honoured again.
Sofia Buncy, who works for an international aid agency, has won two national awards for co-authoring a pioneering report about Muslim women in prison.
Last week, she won the social and humanitarian category of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, which highlight the achievements of Asian women in Britain.
And in March she won a prestigious Butler Trust Award, which celebrates outstanding work across UK prisons and the probation service.
Sofia, prisoner rehabilitation and community development co-ordinator for Muslim Hands UK, said: “Winning two national awards within a few months of each other is just amazing.
“Working in the prison service is not the career of choice for Muslim women so I’ve had challenges, including in my own family, and faced a lot of stigma myself.”
Sofia, who lives in Greenhead, mingled with politicians, celebrities and royalty alike at the ceremonies – one of which was in St James’s Palace.
Legendary Malaysian shoe designer Jimmy Choo, Queen Rania of Jordan and Anne, Princess Royal were among those presenting the awards.
Sofia’s report revealed that female Muslims sentenced to prison are often isolated by their families and local communities despite family loyalty often leading them to crime in the first place.
‘Muslim Women in Prison’, which was published in 2015, used New Hall Prison near Flockton and Askham Grange near York as case studies.
The former youth worker was nominated in the category for helping to develop the Pakistani Youth Forum, which provided regular activities for young women of Pakistani origin in the Thornton Lodge area.