Tributes to 'inspirational' Shuley Alum - the South Tyneside charity founder and equality champion who was 'loved by hundreds'
The CEO and founder of Compact for Race Equality South Tyneside (CREST) Shuley Alam, 46, sadly passed away on Wednesday, July 15 after a year-long battle with cancer.
The mum-of-three, who has been described by those who knew her as ‘loved by hundreds’, had dedicated her life to promoting race equality in South Tyneside.
After a career in the civil service, she founded CREST in 2004 and went onto have a huge impact on disadvantaged Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in the borough.
Now based on Beach Road, South Shields, CREST works to address systemic racism and help BAME groups integrate into society through a range of different projects.
A statement on social media on behalf of the CREST team, said: “It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we are announcing the passing of our truly amazing CEO Shuley Alam.
"Shuley was a remarkable women with strength that had been given to her from the heavens. She possessed a heart of gold and she loved and is loved by hundreds. For the staff and members at CREST Shuley was much more than just our CEO, she was our friend, family and our inspiration.”
Operations manager, Shami Machaya added: “Shuley took it upon herself to impact the lives of BAME communities through the inception of CREST, she tirelessly dedicated her life to realising her vision and successfully succeeded in promoting race equality in South Tyneside and beyond.
“Shuley was a woman of high integrity with rare and unique traits. She was practical, kind, generous and fun, always brought a smile to everyone she engaged with and the sense of losing her is profound.
"The CREST team are incredibly appreciative to have been led by her over the years as she empowered them with knowledge and expertise that will carry her vision beyond her existence.
“She continues to be with us as we continue to unfold her vision from now going forwards.”
Olsa, a volunteer and former asylum seeker who was supported by the charity, said: “Shuley was an incredible woman who never ceased to inspire others around her.
"Her positive spirit, kindness and intelligence will forever be remembered by everyone who had a chance to meet her in person. I am lucky to have her as a role model. She brought change to South Tyneside and made it a better place to live.”
Shuley was also a highly-regarded trustee of the Customs House.
The theatre’s executive director Ray Spencer MBE was among those who paid tribute to her on Twitter, he commented: “It is with the deepest sadness that The Customs House has learned of the death of our trustee and friend Shuley Alam thank you for your service to the people South Tyneside we will miss your vibrancy, good humour and ready smile.”