People’s Health Trust is pleased to announce that it has appointed a new Trustee for Wales to its Board to help shape and support the Trust’s mission to reduce health inequalities.

The Board is comprised of a wide range of experts in health inequalities, policy development and community organising from across Great Britain who support the Trust’s work across England, Wales and Scotland.

Cardiff born Shavanah Taj has been appointed to the People’s Health Trust’s Board of Trustees as Trustee for Wales. In 2019, Taj became the Wales TUC’s first BME, Muslim General Secretary, which has 48 member unions, representing around 400,000 union members, to campaign for fair treatment and better rights at work.

Most recently Taj’s work has revolved around supporting Welsh workers throughout the pandemic. Notably Taj has worked with senior health practitioners to introduce Wales’ first BME risk assessment tool for key workers. She also successfully lobbied to keep the two metre social distancing rule in place and to strengthen the Welsh Government’s legislation on workplaces and shops to ensure employers are conducting regular risk assessments.

Before joining TUC Taj previously worked with the Public and Commercial Services Union as a union official from 2002 to 2019.

Outside of work Taj has dedicated her time to campaigning on social justice and has played an intrinsic role in tackling intersectional inequalities. She is the Vice Chair of the BAME Socio Economic group advising the First Minister and, Deputy Equalities Minister and Chief Whip on the impact of COVID-19 on the BME community in Wales.

Taj is also a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of Equality and Human Rights Commission’s national enquiry into racial inequality in health and social care workplaces.

Sue Cohen, People’s Health Trust Chair of Board of Trustees, said:

“We are so pleased that Shavanah has joined our Board as Trustee for Wales. With her extensive knowledge and experience addressing the root causes of economic and social injustice in the workplace and in communities that so determine health and life expectancy, Shavanah embodies the ethos of People’s Health Trust.

Her commitment to worker voice and to collaborative ways of working with under-represented groups, grassroots networks and self-organising communities, will prove a great addition to the team.”

Shavanah Taj, People’s Health Trust Trustee for Wales, said:

“I’m delighted to be joining the Board of Trustee’s for People’s Health Trust. COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated the huge health inequalities that exist in our communities. Governments in Wales and Westminster need to act decisively to protect livelihoods and offer security to those experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage.

People’s Health Trust has been a voice on health inequalities for nearly a decade and their work both in local communities and across Great Britain has helped bring the impact of social determinants of health to the forefront. I am pleased to be joining the Board at this very important time, to be able to help shape and influence the conversation around inequalities further and help tackle the devastating impacts these inequalities can have on people’s lived experiences.”