Youngest ever Asian gets British Empire Medal from the Queen
Rolls Royce’s Rashid’s royal recognition
A determined fundraiser from Burton has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List in light of his charitable services to the community of Burton in Staffordshire.
Sajid Rashid, 26, of South Broadway Street, will become the youngest ever Asian to receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) after featuring on the Queen’s latest prestigious honour’s list.
He joins a select few to be honoured with the prestigious title, presented to those worthy of recognition of the crown.
Upon hearing he had been recognised by the Queen, Sajid said he couldn’t believe he had been selected.
He said: “It shows that when your work is sincere and you are dedicated in whatever you put your heart to, you do get recognised.”
Sajid, who works for Rolls Royce, started off his charity journey volunteering for Staffordshire Youth Service and quickly progressed to become a Millennium volunteer after helping young people around East Staffordshire set up youth centres in his spare time.
He then moved his focus to Uxbridge Community Centre, in Uxbridge Street and became chairmen, and then vice-chairman, which saw him improving the venue for everyone in the community by ‘turning it around’.
Sajid has helped people close to home and also further afield.
“I started off with sky diving to help raise money for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a catastrophe which happened in the Philippines in 2013,” he said.
“The main skydive was in Dubai to raise money for Gaza and Palestine. I have raised over £10,000 with the two jumps.”
Each BEM recipient receives a profile provided by the Cabinet Office, explaining why they feel the person was deserving of the accolade.
Sajid’s profile said: “His impact on the community has been profound. Without him the community centre would not be as popular and successful as it is today.
“The community centre was derelict, unorganised and badly managed. He has done an exceptional job of transforming and regenerating the centre.
“In 2009, when he was only 20, he was elected as chairman at the community centre.
“He took on the challenge of starting a regeneration programme, he took on responsibility for chairing meetings, liaising with the community and the day to day operational running of the centre.
“He developed a programme of improvements and took steps to ensure that they were quickly carried out.
“When his term as chairman ended in 2012, he decided to stay involved with the project and was elected vice chairman.
“He arranged for the car park to be renovated, double glazing to be installed and for a new heating system.
“He has taken the centre to new heights by securing new funding, engaging with different sections of the community and ensuring that the facilities are well used and maintained.”
Sajid told Asian Express what he would say to ambitious young British Asians: “Believe in yourself, you will get knocked back many of times in life, the hurdles will come endlessly, but don’t give up.
“Imagine seeing the green light at the end of the narrow tunnel. Accomplishment comes with passion, dedication and commitment.
“Let this drive you and motivate you to achieve your dreams and goals. Nothing impossible, the world is your oyster. If I can, then so can you.”
The British honours system recognises exceptional people who have made achievements in public life or committed themselves to serving and helping Britain.
So, what’s next for Sajid? He said: “Since receiving my British Empire Medal on HM’s New Years Honours List 2016, I have decided to become an ambassador under my employer Rolls-Royce to promote Science, Technology, Engineering And Maths (STEM) to inspire the future generations.
“STEM ambassadors get involved in a huge range of activities, which can all have an impact on young people's learning and enjoyment.”
Sajid will use his experience working for Derby firm Rolls-Royce to inspire young minds.
He said he was 'grateful' to aero engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce for the support it has given him in his career, which he will now use to help the future generations.