A SOLICITOR who has dedicated more than half her life to her home city has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bradford.

Ruby Bhatti, 50, has more than 27 years' experience in the legal field and over 25 years’ experience of various non-executive directorships in the housing, education, youth and health sectors.

She is chair of the Wolfson Centre for Applied Research, Deputy Lay chair for Bradford District & Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, a trustee for Bradford Youth Development Board, chair at three primary schools and a secondary school (and a board member of over 25 schools) and she is the National Leader for Governance for Education for Yorkshire and the Humber.

She said: “Being born and raised in Bradford, it's so important to me to be able to put something back into the community and to help young people gain the kind of opportunities I had when growing up.

“The award recognised all my hard work and achievements that I have done for both the University and for my city.

"It is a true honour to accept the award from an education institute which has supported and given opportunities to thousands of students who have completed their degrees here, perused great professions, and placed the University on the map in many sectors.”

She has supported the University of Bradford since 2007. Ruby sits on the Service User and Carers Advisory Board, advising on strategy and policy for the involvement of service users and carers in the Faculty of Health Studies.

She is a Patient and Carer Lecturer at the University of Bradford with an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy status.

She has also recently been appointed a Faculty Community Fellow for the Faculty of Management, Law, and Social Sciences.

She is also Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce. She was awarded an OBE by the Queen in the New Year's Honours list 2019, recognising her work in housing and helping young people.

She said: “Bradford is a great city with great people and huge potential and I want to do all I can to facilitate that.

Wherever I travel in the world, whenever I return to Bradford, it’s with a sense of relief. This city has so much to offer

“As a youngster, my parents placed a great onus on education and that’s why I am so passionate about giving young people the opportunities they deserve.

"To the students of today, I would say no matter what obstacles come in your way, never give up.

"It does not matter where you come from, what background you are, if you want to achieve anything in your life you can do it.”

As part of its Winter 2020 Virtual Celebrations, the university will continue this tradition and award Honorary Degrees and Fellowships to more outstanding individuals. Honorary Award recipients announced so far include Captain Sir Tom Moore and Amjad Pervez.