Sekhon Group ‘bails’ out the Lord Mayor of Leeds

A BRADFORD business has ‘bailed’ out the Lord Mayor of Leeds and raised £999 for the NHS following a successful fundraising initiative.

Nirmal Sekhon Group, which has an office in Little Germany and in Pudsey, helped Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Asghar Khan “break free” from his chambers at Leeds Civic Hall earlier this week, as part of a unique fundraising challenge.

On Monday, Cllr Khan was joined by twelve councillors and local business owners in spending the day locked up in the building, with each participant needing £999 to gain their freedom.

Sekhon Group – a property developer which was founded in 1972 by Nirmal Singh MBE and his wife Harmesh Kaur – provided the money to ‘bail’ Cllr Khan out, raising funds for Leeds Hospitals Charity, the Lord Mayor’s charity for 2021-22.

The CEO of Sekhon Group, Simmy Sekhon – who is Nirmal’s son – said the business was “delighted” to have played a part.

“As citizens of Yorkshire and ambassadors for Bradford, we were delighted to have been involved in this initiative”, he said.

“Cllr Asghar Khan is a great person who has worked very hard, and he deserves the support of businesses here in Yorkshire.

“The whole nation is in support of the NHS – we all applauded the doctors and nurses for the fabulous work they’ve done, especially through Covid.

“It’s always good to put something back into the community. It has been a very difficult time throughout the pandemic, and it has also been tough for businesses.

“We believe that we all have to work together – we are getting back on our feet again now, by doing things like this, and when businesses donate money to good causes it gives confidence to others that we can all return to normality”.

This is not the first time Sekhon Group has carried our charitable acts.

Founder Nirmal, who is now chairman of the business, was awarded his MBE in 1999 for his services to the community.

“My father has worked very closely with the NHS over the years, and helped to raise a lot of money for Bradford Royal Infirmary as well”, said Simmy.

“As his son, I would like to follow in his footsteps and do similar things. I want to continue with these benevolent acts and continue working with the NHS.

“I think it is hugely important that businesses work with the public sector, especially to benefit people in their most vulnerable times.”

Before the challenge, Councillor Asghar Khan, Lord Mayor of Leeds, said: “I am really looking forward to continuing to help raise vital funds for Leeds Hospital Charity. It will be great to be part of a team of local councillors and businesses owners, all working together for such a good cause, I just hope that none of the participants end up being locked up in the Civic Hall for good!”

Esther Wakeman, CEO of Leeds Hospitals Charity, added: “It’s wonderful to see councillors coming together with local businesses to take part in this innovative fundraising idea.

“We’re honoured to have been chosen as the Lord Mayor’s charity of the year, and events like these are a great opportunity to help raise the profile of our charity and the work we do to support our NHS hospitals in Leeds.”

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