Event Connoisseurs

British born Tony Kelly was raised in Jamaica and returned to England in 1979 living in Birmingham with his family ever since.  As a Mico Teachers’ College graduate he taught English & Religious Education in Kingston high schools. Tony worked in local & central government for 30 years before early retirement as a middle manager of equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. Among his qualifications is a Socio-Legal studies master’s degree from University of Birmingham.   

For nearly 8 years from June 2012 Tony was a Diabetes UK Community Champion devoting his time educating communities in Britain and further afield about health and well-being in relation to diabetes, in his case a hereditary medical condition. He is proud to have controlled his type 2 diabetes with physical activity & diet since diagnosis 18 years ago and has never taken medication, thus proving it can be done with the right mind-set, discipline and motivation. Six  years ago Dr. Richard Mendelsohn, the medical director for NHS Birmingham & Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group,  now Integrated Care System (ICS) saw Tony asking some probing questions at a South Asian Health Foundation diabetes conference and during  the break invited him to join the diabetes group which he chairs. He accepted from then and since 2020 is the organisation’s Diabetes Strategic Patient Partner and is separately an Ambassador/Advocate in the wider community.

Tony is in demand for radio/television/webinar interviews about type 2 diabetes and runs free workshops. He is featured in healthy lifestyle videos with some on the internet, emphasising his positive approach in managing/controlling his diabetes. June 2018 Tony was interviewed live on BBC 2 TV at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth hospital for the 70th anniversary celebration of the National Health Service.   

July 2018  Tony delivered  diabetes sessions in Dominica with  the London School  of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Trust, raising awareness in particular of preventable sight loss from diabetes which is rampant in Belize, St. Lucia, Jamaica and Dominica.  June 2019 he visited Canada to raise awareness of diabetes.  

Tony is a patient expert by experience with three universities as a Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) representative. He was one of two public members of the Scientific Advisory Board, United Kingdom – Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC) led by Birmingham University’s Professor Paul Moss and was involved with another COVID-19 research project led by Dr.  Ian Maidment, Aston University on community pharmacy literature review. He averages 140+ diabetes community engagements per year in Britain and in 2019 did a staggering 195. 

Tony wrote a monthly article for the free Phoenix Black newspaper for three years and now writes bi-monthly on a range of topics for an online publication www.CaribDirect.com. He is the secretary of the West Midlands Jamaican Diaspora UK and an active member of that national organization’s health and well=being group.  Tony was headhunted by Dr. Mo Shaikh to become a member of the Clinical Research Network – West Midlands Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Public) Research Champions Group.

Pro-social modelling is Tony’s motto as without fail he has the winter flu vaccination every year and had all the COVID-19 vaccinations.

Tony, editor of The Domino Effect, Play Domino, Talk Prostate, Save Lives book by Joan Blaney, CBE, Hon.DEd, Pamela Campbell- Morris, project initiator & Leicester University targeting the black community. The podcast has over 3000 You Tube hits since its July 2020 launch. He hosts Birmingham’s Break Tru TV ‘Our Health Is Our Wealth’ show interviewing black healthcare professionals & community activists on health related topics following an initial podcast in June 2020 with over 2400 hits.      


  1. Bodiwell a series of children’s booksby Joan Blaney covering a range of childhood illnesses.
  2. Swimming Pigs by Susan Haynes-Elcock of the Bahamas.
  3. Taking it to the Max, Maxie Hayles’ autobiography, a Birmingham

Civil rights activist.

  1. From Garrison to Garden, Boots on the Ground – Untold stories from the Inner City, Kingston, Jamaica by Moira Morgan
  2. Rejection, Resistance and Resurrection –Speaking out on racism in the church by Dr. Mukti Barton. This included a chapter written by Tony.

Winner of the following awards:   

  1. 2015 Diabetes UKRegional Campaigning & Raising Awareness Award. 
  2. 2017 Diabetes UKRegional Reaching Out and Connecting Award.
  3. 2017 Association of Jamaican Nationals Seven Heroes Award – contribution to the development of the Jamaican community & other nationals in Britain.
  4. 2017 BexliveAward Community Champion: Celebrating People of Colour.
  5. 2017 Community Foundation: Community Inspiration Award, Health and Well-Being Award. Top 3 finalist. 
  6. 2019 Award – Nation of Islam’s Sisters of EmpowermentHonouring, Remembering &Valuing Our Brothers with love as a diabetes ambassador.
  7. 2019 Vision2Reality Elders AwardHealth & Wellbeing Community Champion.
  8. 2020 NHS Parliamentary Award:  Chosen as a regional winner in a new category Health Equalities Awardnominated by Steve McCabe MP. 
  9. 2021 British Citizen Award for health – BCAh
  10. 2021 Mico Teachers’ College 185th commemorative medal for services to the Jamaican Diaspora.
  11. 2022 Black Honours Award – Lifetime Achievement for raising awareness of diabetes.

Contact details for free future engagements: [email protected]