University of Sheffield to give honorary doctorates to City of Sanctuary founder Reverend Inderjit Bhogal and others

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A Methodist minster who arrived in England three decades ago as a refugee and has dedicated his years to helping others will received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield.

City of Sanctuary founder the Reverend Inderjit Bhogal OBE will be one of four people to be given the accolade during the institution's graduation ceremonies next week (January 14 to 17).

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Rev Inderjit was born into a Sikh family in Nairobi, Kenya, before moving to the West Midlands as a refugee in 1964.

After moving to Sheffield, he founded the Christian-Muslim Group, which grew to become the Sheffield Interfaith Group.

He also helped to start the Homeless and Rootless at Christmas (HARC) project, which has given vulnerable men and women shelter between Christmas and New Year since 1989.

The minister also founded the City of Sanctuary movement, which has been welcoming and reaching out to refugees in Sheffield since 2007.

Mr Bhogal received the World Methodist Peace Award in October 2019 and was appointed an OBE for services to interfaith relations in 2005 in recognition of his work.

He will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters on Tuesday.

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Also receiving an honorary title will be George Ergatoudis, an influential and respected figure in the British music industry.

The UK’s head of music at Apple, Mr Ergatoudis has held music roles for BBC Radio 1 and Spotify, and is credited with championing major new talent including Dizzee Rascal, Mumford and Sons, Ellie Goulding, The 1975 and Adele.

In 2015, he was named in the Sunday Times-Debretts list of the 500 most influential people in the UK.

He graduated from university in Sheffield in 1986, after which he set up and co-edited Signs magazine, a Sheffield entertainment and lifestyle title.

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Mr Ergatoudis will be receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Music at on Friday January 17.

Douglas Chi-Chui Young will also be receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, at the ceremony taking place on Wednesday.

As co-founder of Hong Kong-based lifestyle and retail brand Goods of Desire Ltd, he is a known voice on design, the arts, creativity and entrepreneurship.

He has received many awards for his development of distinctive Hong Kong designs, including receiving a Ten Outstanding Designers Award by the Hong Kong Communication Art Centre in 2006 and being named Man of the Year by Hong Kong Business Magazine in 2009.

The final recipient will be Jackie Hunter CBE, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Thursday January 16.

She is a board director of BenevolentAI and the chief executive of its clinical and strategic partnerships, leading the company’s use of artificial intelligence in the discovery of new drugs.

Ms Hunter is a visiting professor of life sciences at Imperial College London and is a former chief executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.