KHIDMAT Centre's Sofia Buncy has described feeling "honoured" after becoming a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire.

The prestigious role was created to assist the Lord-Lieutenant in carrying out his role as The Queen’s representative.

Deputy Lord Lieutenants serve in their role until the age of 75.

Ms Buncy is the national co-ordinator of the pioneering Muslim Women in Prison Prison Project, based at the Khidmat Centres to support Muslim women returning to the community.

The leading criminal justice worker has received a number of national awards in her line of work, including the coveted Butler Trust Award for best practice in the prisons, the Asian Women of Achievement Award, a Criminal Justice Alliance Award and the Howard League Community Champion Award.

Ms Buncy is one of five newly-appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenants including Angela Monaghan; Sharon Watson; Kath Lindley; Jenny Grainger and Paul Lawrence.

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Sofia combines her professional role with her passion for interfaith, charitable work with community development with a particular focus on women and youth empowerment.

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Ishtiaq Ahmed, the General Manager of the Khidmat Centres, said “We are very proud of what Sofia has achieved. She is a most worthy appointee. She will excel in the role making Bradford and West Yorkshire proud.”

While Yousaf Sidat, the Chairperson of Khidmat Centres, said: “We are absolutely thrilled for Sofia. She is a high achiever who believes in leading by example. Sofia is an inspirational mentor for others. Her’s is a good appointment for the City. We congratulate her and her family for this honour.

When asked how she feels about the appointment, Sofia Buncy, said: “I feel honoured to be trusted with the position of Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire. I am looking forward to representing the office with relish.

"I am of the firm view that women from BAME communities of right and merit must have presence at all levels of our diverse society. If this appointment helps to take this forward than it would be extremely worthwhile.

"Having worked within communities for 15 years it is encouraging that I have a further opportunity to carry on making difference.

"I pray and hope that my appointment will serve to open up further opportunities for women and will motivate them to take public roles."