The Noor Initiative was established as a concept in 2010 by its founder Bilal Dunn who himself had spent large sections of his adolescent life and early adulthood navigating his way through the very challenging social landscape of inner city London. His journey meant that he too had been forced to endure many of the problems which can now be associated with many of today’s youth communities who sadly find themselves coming into repeat contact with the judicial system.
It was during this turbulent period that he used education as a way of liberating himself from that negative lifestyle choice and chose to study law which saw him achieve a distinction in Prison Law, whilst also becoming adept at both Civil and Human Rights Law. This was issued by The Institute of Prison Law who for almost 12 years have been accredited by the two leading professional legal bodies, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (formerly The Law Society) and the Bar Council, to deliver legal training in prison law to solicitors, adjudicating magistrates and barristers.
He also during this period gained valuable experience working with and alongside local authorities whose aims were to similarly tackle these areas of problematic offending by engaging with youth offender teams locally and inviting them to participate in workshops which he had successfully ran within many London boroughs.
This allowed many disaffected young offenders an opportunity to meet and pose questions to those whom, like himself, had previously had their most crucial rehabilitative needs mismanaged and had found it near-on impossible to see through a structured multi-tiered plan for development.
After having run the KOOP Program (Keep Out of Prison) for over two years at HMP The Mount he then went on to offer mentoring services for MetTrack, an organisation which engage youth communities by way of Pro-Athletics, before occupying his final position with UNLOCK (National Association of Reformed Offenders) answering queries relating to Prison Law and Reform Policy via their advice service.
It was under the auspices of UNLOCK and their Chief Executive Bobby Cummines OBE where The Noor Initiative flourished as it had been this type of exposure to the third sector, coupled with his own firm endeavour to see the project become a success, which had ultimately led Mr Dunn to identify the pressing needs of some of the offenders who were amongst the Prison Services midst and spurred him on to then create and become the founder of The Noor Initiative.