History was made in Wolverhampton today after a former NHS nurse was elected to become the first black Mayor of the city.

Councillor Sandra Samuels (Lab, Ettingshall) said she was deeply humbled by the historic appointment and hailed it as “my life’s greatest honour” after spending 23-years in local politics.

Cllr Samuels has made local history by becoming the first person of African Caribbean heritage to be elected to the prestigious post, since it was established in 1848.

Cllr Sandra Samuels (right) becomes Wolverhampton's first black Deputy Mayor in nearly 200-yearsWCC
Cllr Samuels’ husband Karl will become Mayor Consort as she takes on her new role

She hopes her selection as Mayor of Wolverhampton will inspire people from black, Asian and working-class backgrounds to dream of a better future.

“This is why the theme for my year in office will be Dare to Dream – it’s the ability to hope and desire a better future,” she said.

“Becoming Mayor of the City of Wolverhampton will be my life’s greatest honour and I am proud beyond words that my fellow city councillors are due to make me the first person of African Caribbean heritage in 200 years to hold this most prestigious role.

“It is my sincere hope that wearing the Mayoral ceremonial chains of office of our great city as a proud black lady will inspire others from underrepresented groups to believe in themselves and know that anything is possible.”

Cllr Sandra Samuels with her 92-year-old father Ivan Lawson who was born in Montego BaySupplied
Cllr Sandra Samuels with her 92-year-old father Ivan Lawson who was born in Montego Bay

Samuels, inspired by her mother Rosa who was a nurse, spent nearly 40 years working for the NHS in various positions including nurse, manager, and a theatre sister at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

She has also been a trade union official, school governor, community activist and volunteer. In 2004 she went on to become a Labour Party councillor.

In 2015, she attended Buckingham Palace to receive an OBE which was presented to her by HRH Prince Charles. Upon her return to Wolverhampton after receiving the royal award, she went to the Heritage Centre to share her honour with the community.

The Heritage Centre was once the Conservative Club in Whitmore Reans where Black and Asian people were denied entry, and also rumoured to be the place where notorious MP Enoch Powell wrote his controversial ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech which used incendiary and contentious language to highlight the issue of race and immigration.

Samuels and a group of directors pooled together their own resources to purchase the infamous club and opened its doors to all.

Newly elected Mayor of Wolverhampton Sandra Samuels was awarded an OBE in 2015WCC
Newly elected Mayor of Wolverhampton Sandra Samuels was awarded an OBE in 2015

The newly appointed Mayor is looking forward to meeting the people of the city and making positive changes.

“I’m so looking forward to being a hard working ambassador for the people of this city, getting out and meeting them and celebrating the rich tapestry of our diverse communities.”

She will be raising money throughout the year for her 3 chosen charities which are the Wolverhampton African Caribbean Community Initiative (ACCI) which provides mental health and suicide prevention services, Compton Care which provides palliative care and Wolverhampton Sickle Cell Care and Activity Centre which provides services for people with the genetic blood disorder.

Cllr Samuels’ husband Karl will become Mayor Consort as she takes on her new role. The couple have been happily married for over 40 years.


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https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Cllr-Sandra-Samuels-OBE-the-first-ever-person-of-African-Caribbean-heritage-to-be-Mayor-of-Wolverhampton-800x534.jpeghttps://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Cllr-Sandra-Samuels-OBE-the-first-ever-person-of-African-Caribbean-heritage-to-be-Mayor-of-Wolverhampton-300x200.jpegRangzeb HussainBlack ExcellenceBLMElectionsImmigrationNewsPoliticsAfrican Caribbean,Asian,Awards,B'ham,Birmingham,Buckingham Palace,Cllr Sandra Samuels,Conservative Party,Deputy Lord Mayor,Elections,England,Enoch Powell,Ettingshall,I Am Bham,I Am Birmingham,Labour Party,Mental Health,Midlands,news,NHS,Nurse,OBE,Prince Charles,Queen,Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham,Racism,Rangzeb Hussain,Rivers of Blood,Sandra Samuels,Voting,West Indian,Whitmore Reans,Wolverhampton,Wolverhampton African Caribbean Community Initiative,Wolverhampton Sickle Cell Care and Activity CentreHistory was made in Wolverhampton today after a former NHS nurse was elected to become the first black Mayor of the city. Councillor Sandra Samuels (Lab, Ettingshall) said she was deeply humbled by the historic appointment and hailed it as 'my life's greatest honour' after spending 23-years in local politics. Cllr Samuels...The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham