Jabeer Butt OBE, the chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation, says he’s proud to become a BACP vice-president.

Jabeer’s appointment to the role was announced at our 44th Annual General Meeting on Friday.

The election of Sekinat Adima, Michael Golding and Kate Smith to our Board of Governors was also announced at the AGM.

Jabeer joins Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Luciana Berger, John Cowley, Nancy Rowland and Julia Samuel as a vice-president.


Jabeer said: “I’m really proud to have been offered the opportunity to become the vice-president of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy,” Jabeer told members who were watching online because of the coronavirus restrictions.

“Hopefully, over the next few years you’ll get to know me better, in particular my commitment to the work that counsellors and psychotherapists do up and down the country.

“I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you the crisis that we’re living in at the moment is one that’s not only going to impact people’s physical health over the next few months and years, it’s going to have a real and challenging impact on people’s mental wellbeing, and perhaps for a much longer period than that.

“In that period, I suspect your work is going to be key to help us all recover and to cope better with some of the challenges that we face.

“I’m really looking forward to working with you on that,” Jabeer told members who were watching online because of the coronavirus restrictions.

Jabeer was introduced to the AGM by our President David Weaver.


David said: “I’ve known Jabeer for a number of years mainly because of the work that he’s done on issues to do with race equality, particularly in the area of social care.

“Jabeer has a long-standing track record of recognising the importance that counselling and psychotherapy really does bring to not just changing people’s lives, but to saving lives.

“He has a wealth of experience, particularly in the area of social care, where he’s worked on issues around older people and dementia and the importance of counselling in that regard; issues to do with parenting and strengthening families across the range of diversities; and the importance of that in relation to the challenges we’re facing now as a society, dealing with the impact of Covid-19, the narratives around Black Lives Matter and race equality.

“Bringing to bear all of his experience, his knowledge, his contacts, his networks at this critical time augers well for the counselling professions.”

International reputation

Jabeer has gained an international reputation for using evidence in developing interventions that help overcome discrimination and disadvantage.

His studies have been used to inform government thinking, including interventions such as Sure Start and the NSPCC’s Grove House Family Centre.

Recent projects have included a study of the experience of child sexual abuse among BAME communities for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and the forthcoming investigation of practice responses to BAME communities’ experience of child sexual abuse carried for the Centre for Expertise in Child Sexual Abuse.

He provides leadership on the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities parent education initiative at the Race Equality Foundation, and he also leads on its health and housing work.

A key part of his work is the Foundation’s role in the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, which has seen the Foundation enable better conversations between the black and minority ethnic-led voluntary sector and Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England.

Jabeer was on the advisory board of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act and the Marmot Advisory Group supporting Sir Michael Marmot in the production of his recent report on the social determinants of health inequalities.

He sits on a number of other boards and committees and presently this includes the Dementia Programme Board, chaired by the Minister for Care.

Jabeer is currently co-investigator on a £1.5 million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)-funded randomised control trial of the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities parent programme being led by Professor Richard Watt at University College London.

He is also co-investigator on the £1.3 million NIHR-funded extension of the VirusWatch study focusing in Covid-19 and the BAME communities led by Professor Robert Aldridge of University College London.

He is also currently a member of the team led by Professor Liddy Goyder of Sheffield University producing public health evidence reviews funded by NIHR’s public health programme.