AWARD: Habiban Zaman is the first person in Kirklees to receive a British Community Honours Award
AWARD: Habiban Zaman is the first person in Kirklees to receive a British Community Honours Award

A Dewsbury woman has become the first resident in the entirety of Kirklees to receive a prestigious British Community Honours Award (BHCA) following a trip to the capital last week.

Mother-of-one, Habiban Zaman, received the award for her tireless community work in her role with Kirklees Council, where she promotes integration and multi-faith relations.

Over the past 25 years, she has helped thousands of people across the region and was previously commended in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2014 with a British Empire Medal for services to women.

On Friday 9th October, she was invited to the House of Lords to receive her latest commendation.

Speaking before the event, she explained how important interfaith work was on a local and national level.

“It is obviously an honour to receive this award, especially after the British Empire Medal,” she said. “However, I do not carry out my work for recognition; I do it from the heart.

“Since 7/7 there has been a huge focus on Muslims across the country and I have always been determined to show the best side, and the true side of these communities.

“We all have more in common with each other than we have differences and it is these things that we need to build friendships around and publically set an example.”

The BHCA’s are presented to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the welfare and integration of minority communities into mainstream British society.

Through Habiban’s work with her local community, she has gone the extra and mile, and beyond, in ensuring cohesion is established between all cultures and social policy is developed with each resident in mind.

Taking 11 friends and family members with her to the awards, it is a huge achievement for any individual and one she said she would never forget.

“I still can’t believe that I’m the first person in Kirklees to receive the award,” Habiban added.

“To know I have made an impact on someone’s life is what I work towards and this is a great way to celebrate it.”