Smiley Movement logo

Former police officer and army veteran team up to boost black and minority ethnic opportunities in army and emergency services

Words by Smiley Team

A former police chief and an army veteran have teamed up to launch a new project aimed at improving the prospects of black and minority ethnic people in the British Armed forces and emergency services.

Kul Mahay spent more than 30 years in the police force and co-founded the Black Police Association, while Samuel Reddy, who was born in Mauritius, left his home country to serve in the British Army as a Commonwealth soldier.

The pair met in January 2020 at a leadership conference hosted by Kul, and decided to set up TriPotential, a social enterprise aimed at helping those working in the military, police and emergency services to recruit and retain the very best black and minority ethnic staff  – with the potential of them becoming leaders of the future.

TriPotential also aims to support those leaving the uniformed services to transfer their skills into public sector roles.

Kul said: “When I left the police five years ago, after more than 30 years’ service, I had no idea how to move forward in my new life.

“A programme like TriPotential, where the skills I had learned during my time with the police, could have been identified and adapted to transition into other organisations, would have been perfect.”

Samuel also encountered difficulties when he left the army and wanted to settle in the UK. Currently, when Commonwealth personnel leave the Armed Forces and wish to apply to continue to live in the country they have served for years, they face thousands of pounds of fees – typically £10,000 for a service leaver with a partner and two children - to do so.

Samuel said: “It was an honour to serve in the British Armed Forces. However, since leaving the military, I have faced a number of challenges, including paying the Service Charge – of which there is a campaign by the Royal British Legion to change the law.

“I also had to integrate into British society and seek employment after leaving the military. Like Kul, I needed a social enterprise similar to what TriPotential will aim to offer.

“I want to empower cultures and create an environment where people feel valued and appreciated.”

TriPotential are hoping that, with financial backing, they will be able to offer their services for free.

Kul added: “During my time with the police, as a minority ethnic member of the service, I worked hard on trying to get the best out of the minority staff and to improve the service for BAME communities.

“Race issues transcend across all organisations and societies and we must do whatever we can to create an inclusive and equal platform for everyone to thrive.”


For more information see TriPotential’s website.


By Jenna Sloan

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

You might also like…