Councillors Okereke and Khaireh walking through Woolwich with community panel member Abdigani Mohamoud, Francis Akinola, Gaynor Deterville, Ruth Gabriel and panel assessor Dr. Myrtle Emmanuel

Published: Friday, 4th August 2023

Five community members are taking charge of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s annual Black History 365 (BH365) programme.

The panel which comprises people who live, work or study in the borough, will co-commission the Council’s exciting BH365 programme, assessing applications from local organisations for BH365 funding.  

The five panel members will work alongside the Council to allocate funding for community groups looking to deliver arts or heritage activities to celebrate Black history and culture from October 2023 to September 2024. Applications for funding are open until 5pm on 11 August. 

Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Equality Diversity and Inclusion and Race Business Partner at the University of Greenwich Dr Myrtle Emmanuel (PhD, MSc, BA (Hons), SFHEA, MCIPD, CMBE) helped to bring the panel together making sure that the members represented the communities of Royal Greenwich.  

Councillor Anthony Okereke, Leader of Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “It is so exciting to have our panellists involved in steering the upcoming BH365 programme. This year’s programme is by the community for the community, and I know that this collaboration will elevate the existing BH365 mission to connect more people within Royal Greenwich with opportunities to engage with and learn about Black history.” 

Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said: “BH365 is all about celebrating Black culture and heritage within Royal Greenwich. I am excited for this programme to be even more rooted within our community with the guidance of our panel members.  

“We are dedicated to listening to and working with communities to provide better programmes for our residents. In the last year BH365 has provided over130 events and activities for Royal Greenwich community members, and our panellists will surely help BH365 grow into a bigger, more wide-reaching programme.” 

Learn more about this year's panel members: 

  • Abdigani Mohamoud, a dedicated manager of a local charity organisation, is passionately committed to providing education mentoring and promoting sports activities for the youth of Royal Greenwich. Abdigani has actively collaborated with various local community groups to organise engaging events such as sports tournaments and educational workshops. 

  • Francis Akinola is a member of the METROGAV’s steering committee and is a local chairman of Black-led organisations SPAPTAN and ARC and You. Francis has also recently published a book titled ‘Blooming Through Chaotic Times’. 

  • Gaynor Deterville is a local manager of an Emergency Temporary Accommodation Hostel for families, and member of local community groups such as ‘Mumpreneur’ and ‘Jeans and Heels Diva Club’. Gaynor was also a chairperson for Islington’s Black and Ethnic minority workers group. 

  • Ruth Gabriel has collaborated with community groups to put on events such as Anti-Racist Festival and Black History Month and provided immigration support for the Windrush generation. Ruth has also worked with Woolwich Library in bringing Black, White and Caribbean authors and writers to conduct readings.  

  • Timi Jibogu will act as the youth panel member, having been recommended due to his work as a member of the Greenwich Young People’s Council and Youth Parliament for the Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

Are you a community organisation that provides arts, culture and heritage activities to a broad range of residents? Applications for BH365 funding are open until 5pm on 11 August.  

Funding is available to support a range of arts, cultural and heritage activities that celebrate Black History. These could include:   

  • music, dance and theatre performances and workshops  

  • film screenings  

  • discussions   

  • historical and educational events  

  • visual art installations and exhibitions  

  • craft workshops  

  • open mic, poetry and spoken word showcases 

  • science showcases 

To find out more and to apply, visit