Sardarni Navleen Kaur MBE (left), Narinder Sagoo MBE, Varinder Hayre OBE, Amarjit Raju OBE, and Harvinder Singh Rai MBE

Sikhs and people of Sikh heritage are amongst many being honoured in the King’s Birthday Honours List of 2023, which are the first set of birthday honours to be granted by His Majesty the King, Charles III.

Amongst the recipients is Narinder Sagoo, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners. He is an acclaimed architect and designer known for his innovative approach to urban planning and sustainable design. With a passion for blending art and technology, Narinder has contributed to numerous high-profile projects worldwide, leaving a lasting impact on the architectural landscape.

Narinder receives an MBE. When asked about his honour, he said “I am incredibly humbled and grateful to receive an MBE. This honour is a remarkable recognition that I never expected. I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to His Majesty the King for acknowledging my contributions and considering me deserving of such a prestigious distinction. I am also deeply grateful to my mentors, colleagues, friends, and family whose unwavering support has played a vital role in my success. Receiving this honour comes with great responsibility and I will strive to live up to its values and expectations. I am forever committed to using this platform to make a positive impact and to inspire others.

Another recipient is Sardarni Navleen Kaur. She is a consultant & community educator based in London. She has worked in humanitarian development projects in Punjab, where she also trained at Panjabi University Patiala under the guidance of the Gurmat Studies faculty. Her volunteering work has been within the faith and interfaith sectors, and through her dynamic leadership, she has dedicated herself to empowering South Asian women and breaking societal barriers. She is the founder of Sahara Sisterhood, a project that provides a safe and secure space to assist women in releasing, relaxing and recuperating from trauma and violence. She is also actively involved with Strengthening Faith Institutions in providing safeguarding training to places of worship. She receives an MBE for services to Women and to Interfaith Relations.

Varinder Hayre is a District Crown Prosecutor and London North Hate Crime lead with the Crown Prosecution Service. She has been involved in several notable cases in recent years, ensuring that hate crimes are prosecuted. She receives an OBE for services to law and order.

Amarjit Raju has served the community in Derby and beyond for over three decades. As CEO of Disability Direct, he has transformed the organization into a prominent advocate for disabled individuals and their caregivers. Overcoming personal challenges as a disabled person, he raised over £25 million for the disabled community. His leadership during the pandemic earned him national recognition, and he is a respected figure in the voluntary sector and in disability care. He receives an OBE.

Harvinder Singh Rai is the President of the National Police Sikh Association UK. He joined West Midlands Police in 1993 where he currently serves as a Sergeant, and he has a wealth of experience in operational policing across several departments. He is an ardent proponent of the Peelian principles of policing and their relevance to Sikh values. Throughout his career, he has worked to build relations between the Police and the community. Harvinder has served as the Chair of the West Midlands Police Sikh Association since 2015 and in 2019, he co-founded the NSPA UK. He receives an MBE for services to Policing and to the Sikh Community

Other recipients of Sikh heritage in the civilian list include:


  • Kapaljit Singh Jhuti for services to the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
  • Bawa Singh Dhallu, for Political and Voluntary Service
  • Dr Inderjit Singh for voluntary and charitable services to the community in Scotland


  • Balbir Dhillon for services to the community in Birchwood, Cheshire
  • Kuldeep Singh Dhillon for services to the community in Birchwood, Cheshire

Jasvir Singh CBE, Chair of City Sikhs, said “In the tapestry of our diverse country, Sikhs have woven a vibrant thread through their hard work in society and their commitment to charitable causes. The King’s Birthday Honours serve as a beacon, illuminating the invaluable contributions of people throughout Britain, honouring their service and spirit. The Sikh recipients of these Honours are a reflection of the various strands that make up the British Sikh community, reminding us that a tapestry truly shines when all its threads can be celebrated.”    

Notable interfaith allies of City Sikhs who have received honours from the King include:

  • Laura Marks OBE, who receives a CBE for services to Interfaith Relations, to Holocaust Education and Commemoration and to Women’s Empowerment
  • Reverend Dr Richard John Sudworth who receives an OBE for services to Interfaith and Cohesion
  • Ritu Khurana (DJ Ritu) who receives an MBE for services to Music and to Broadcasting

————————————————— END —————————————————-

For further information or quotes, please email or