17 Jul 2019

Meet the Team: Saleem Ahmed

By Kate Grantham

Saleem Ahmed is a Co-Founder & Head of Business Development at Travel SOS, a minibus and coach hire company in Birmingham. He joined LoveBrum in 2014 as causes committee member and vetting manager and now sits on our board of trustees.

LoveBrum would not be able to operate without its incredible board of dedicated trustees. Each of them plays a vital role in helping spread understanding and awareness of our charity, and also supporting HQ with their various expertise.

Find out why Saleem loves Brum…

What’s your background and where are you based?

I was born and bred in Birmingham. I’ve loved the city from a young age and chose to study, work, and start a business here despite the lure of other cities and countries. I completed my degree at BCU and followed it up with an MSc at Aston in Engineering Management. Soon after I became Head of Quality at Packt Publishing, an international tech publisher. It was at Packt that my love story with LoveBrum began. My former MD at Packt made me aware of LoveBrum and I was desperate to get involved. It had just started but I was completely sold by the vision and I’m thrilled to still be part of the movement today.

I was there for just under six years before I very recently left to focus full-time on the transport business I started with a couple of friends three years ago. I also coach an under 17s grassroots football team in the Hodge Hill area of Brum which means I’ve forgotten what a weekend lie in feels like!

What does your trustee role entail?

As the Causes trustee, I oversee the causes that apply and get selected for LoveBrum funding. The great thing about my role is that I get to see the shortlist of causes every month to ensure they fit with LoveBrum’s values and are doing great tangible work to make Birmingham a better place. Along with the other members of the Causes committee I give my views on each cause. We get to see some amazing projects every month and it’s a shame we can’t fund every single one. Alas, the ones we do select are thoroughly deserving of the funding and the exposure they receive as a LoveBrum cause. I also attend cheque presentations where I get to meet the causes – I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they see the big LoveBrum cheque. It’s really satisfying to see how happy funding makes our causes and to hear how much of an impact it will have on the services they provide to their communities.

Why do you Love Brum?

I love Brum for so many reasons – where do I start? I love how the city has grown from being quite an average place to grow up in to being a cosmopolitan city attracting visitors and businesses from all over the world. There is so much to shout about as a Brummie in 2019 and there’s so much more to come! Whether it’s places to eat (and I eat out a lot), landmarks to visit, or networks to build, Brum is the place that covers everything. I’m a big sports fan so it’s great to live in a city that is the home of three major football clubs and the world famous Edgbaston cricket ground. I also love our academic institutes too. As I mentioned earlier, I was fortunate to study at two modern and progressive Brum universities. Perhaps a PhD at the University of Birmingham is what I should aim for to complete my academic hattrick!

What projects are you passionate about?

The two project areas that I feel very passionate about are homelessness and youth violence. I have been on the streets and have interacted with both homeless and young people over the years. Some of the stories are horrific and it makes you question how fellow humans can be treated so unfairly and be isolated to the point that they have no hope in life. Fortunately, as the Causes trustee, I’m in a position where I can make a bit of a difference by bringing these projects to the table and by sharing my knowledge with the other trustees and committee members. The great thing is they are just as passionate about helping these projects as I am which makes it easier to get the help to those who need it most. I’m a firm believer in loving for our brothers (in humanity) what we love for ourselves. It’s the Brummie way to lend a hand to those in need so we just need to do more of that in relation to these projects.

Preferred social media handle?

@SaleemTravelSOS (Twitter)

www.linkedin.com/in/saleemahmedqm (Linkedin)


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