Tag Archive: award

RAKKAPOSHI: Sweet success

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Bradford dessert café wins award

A popular Bradford coffee and dessert cafe is celebrating after tasting success in the Asian Voice Charity Awards.

Rakkaposhi on Ebenezer Street reopened its doors on Thursday 8th June following repairs for roof damage shortly after hearing that it had been shortlisted in the start-up of the year category.

The cafe was set up as a social enterprise 18-months ago and donates all its profits to Bradford-based QED Foundation, a national charity that aims to create a peaceful and harmonious society by tackling poverty and inequality.

“We were over the moon to hear that our efforts had been recognised,” says Nazia Ali, the brains behind the venture.

“But when we announced closure for repairs soon afterwards, we were bombarded by disappointed messages from our regular customers. We are delighted that we have been able to open again so quickly.

“We have taken the opportunity to introduce new products to our range and are looking forward to meeting new faces and welcoming our long-standing customers back.'

Rakkaposhi, which is named after a peak in the Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan, has built up a devoted following among customers who appreciate its home-made cookie dough, thick shakes, Liege waffles and Fujis.

Just across the A6181 from the Broadway shopping centre, it also serves premium coffee, indulgent puddings and cakes, ice cream, sundaes and smoothies.

During the month of Ramadan Rakkaposhi is open from 8pm to 1am but after 27th June it will be serving sweet treats, house coffees and  hand-picked tea blends from 3pm -11pm Sunday to Thursday and 3pm – 1am on Friday and Saturday.

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AWA awards -a national celebration of Asian outstanding women

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WINNERS: 12 outstanding women were awarded for their exceptional professional and social contributions to Great Britain

WINNERS: 12 outstanding women were awarded for their exceptional professional and social contributions to Great Britain

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards (AWA), in association with NatWest have announced the winners of the 2017 awards at a star-studded event in London.

The awards, now in their 18th year, celebrate the contributions made by Asian women both professionally and in their communities, cutting across a broad range of sectors from business and media to sport, medicine, culture and public service.

From the only female founder and managing partner of a private equity advisory business in Europe to a para-climber, this year’s list of winners features an incredibly diverse and exciting group of women. Despite their varied backgrounds, the winners are united by their shared ability to inspire, and their determination to drive positive change in their respective fields.

PAVING THE WAY: Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP with AWA founder Pinky Lilani CBE DL (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

PAVING THE WAY: Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP with AWA founder Pinky Lilani CBE DL (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

Some of the VIPs present on the night were Princess Badiya bint El Hassan of Jordan, the Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP, The Home Secretary; Datuk Jimmy Choo OBE, shoe designer; chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Sara Thornton CBE; The Rt. Hon. Diane Abbott MP, The Shadow Home Secretary; and Dato’ Soo Min Yeoh, Executive Director of YTL Corporation Berhad.

Founded by Pinky Lilani CBE DL in 1999, the AWA ceremony celebrates the multi-cultural Britain and the contribution of women from a diverse range of backgrounds.

 

Asian Women of Achievement Winners 2017

 


 

Jaspreet Sangha, Winner of the Arts and Culture Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Jaspreet Sangha, Winner of the Arts and Culture Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

This year’s winner in the Arts and Culture category is better known as ‘Behind the Netra’ for her poetry. She is a spoken word artist from East London, focused on sharing her thoughts on gender issues and taboo subjects both in the Asian community and wider society. Jaspreet’s passion, charisma, kindness and altruism shone through and the judges were immensely impressed by her poetry.

 


 

Raj Dohil, Winner of the Business Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Raj Dohil, Winner of the Business Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

The Business Award goes to an inspirational woman who oversees recruitment for almost 100 branches of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Grounded, immensely talented and with a heart and passion despite the challenges she has faced, the judges were seriously impressed with the AWA 2017 business champion who is empowering women and breaking down stereotypes.

 


 

Sunaina Sinha, Winner of the Entrepreneur Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Sunaina Sinha, Winner of the Entrepreneur Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

The only female founder and managing partner of a private equity advisory business in Europe (Cebile Capital) and one of less than 7% of women in private equity who hold a senior position, the Entrepreneur Award 2017 goes to Sunaina Sinha. The judges said she was a great example of a 21st century leader, demonstrating outstanding entrepreneurship and leadership in the financial services sector.

 


 

Shay Grewal, Winner of the Media Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Shay Grewal, Winner of the Media Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

Shay is the 2017 Media Award Winner and celebrated for her work as a TV and radio presenter for BBC West Midlands and Radio London. She was the first high profile Asian to join BBC WM and now presents seven days a week. Shay has carved a position whereby she is able communicate her passion for education, combating marginalisation and empowering women. A role model for all women in media.

 


 

Vidisha Joshi and Vandita Pant, Winners of the Professions Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Vidisha Joshi and Vandita Pant, Winners of the Professions Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

The judges picked two stellar candidates in this category as the 2017 winners. Vidisha Joshi is one of the UK’s youngest law firm managing partners (Hodge Jones & Allen LLP). Under Vidisha’s leadership the firm has increased turnover by £1 million in the last three years. Vandita Pant is the Group Treasurer and Head of Europe at BHP Billiton, and is the most senior female Asian working in the world’s largest natural resources company. The judges praised both winners as exceptional role models who have already achieved outstanding goals. Both are exemplary leaders.

 


 

Dr Harjinder Kaur, Winner of the Public Service Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Dr Harjinder Kaur, Winner of the Public Service Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

As a social researcher and development consultant specialising in child and women’s rights and gender equality, the judges said that the importance of Dr Harjinder Kaur’s work over many years in understanding issues of gender equality cannot be underestimated. She has worked for international governments and NGOs and it is hoped that this award helps highlight the importance of Harjinder’s work.

 


 

Professor Sadaf Farooqi, Winner of the Science & Technology Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Professor Sadaf Farooqi, Winner of the Science & Technology Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

As the Professor of Metabolism and Medicine at the University of Cambridge and a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, Professor Sadaf Farooqi has used her research to pave the way to treating a

condition that is often fatal. The judges praised her for the huge impact that her focus on obesity has had on society and for her ongoing mentorship of young doctors.

 


 

Sofia Buncy, Winner of the Social and Humanitarian Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Sofia Buncy, Winner of the Social and Humanitarian Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

As the Prisoner Rehabilitation and Community Development Coordinator for Muslim Hands UK, Sofia highlights the plight of Muslim women in British prisons. The judges praised her for working to mobilise

deep social change within the Muslim community of Britain, creating a positive community-driven approach to dealing with Islamophobia and for working tirelessly to provide voice and visibility for Muslim women in prison who are otherwise excluded from dialogue.

 


 

Anoushé Husain, Winner of the Sport Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Anoushé Husain, Winner of the Sport Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

Energetic, charismatic and overflowing with enthusiasm, the judges believe that Anoushé is a force for good! As a civil servant, para-climber and cancer survivor, her personal accomplishments are astonishing. She has overcome immense challenges of her own and yet she’s determined to have a positive impact on others, through her mentoring and charity work.

 


 

Anoushka Babbar, Winner of the Young Achiever of the Year Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Anoushka Babbar, Winner of the Young Achiever of the Year Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

The judges were blown away by Anoushka’s career success to date. As Head of Regulatory Policy and Government Relations at London Stock Exchange Group, she is on a career trajectory to become one of the youngest CEOs in her chosen field. She’s regularly consulted by governments globally and is also a keen mentor and role model.

 


 

Fatima Zaman, Winner of the Chairman’s Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

Fatima Zaman, Winner of the Chairman’s Award (Picture Credit WeShootLondon)

 

The Chairman’s Award goes to one outstanding candidate across all of the categories and for the first time since the awards began 18 years ago, the Chairman’s Award is drawn from the Young Achiever category. The outstanding candidate is Fatima Zaman. The judges believe she could change the world. Her work with the Kofi Annan Foundation, Home Office and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to guide local and national responses to violent extremism and radicalisation is internationally ground-breaking. Demonstrating enormous resilience and pursuing the cause despite threats, the judges believe Fatima could be a future nobel prize winner.

 


 

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Sporting glitterati turn up for BEDSAs

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DELIGHTED: English professional kickboxer Ruqsana Begum wins the ‘UK Sport Inspirational Performance Award’

DELIGHTED: English professional kickboxer Ruqsana Begum wins the ‘UK Sport Inspirational Performance Award’

 

Winners announced at British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards

Sir Mo Farah and Kadeena Cox were the big winners at this year's Lycamobile BEDSAs, staged at the Hilton Park Lane, London on Saturday 18th March. They were named Lycamobile Sportsman and Sporting Equals Sportswoman of the Year at a glittering awards show hosted by Sir Lenny Henry.

Commenting on his first win at the Bedsas Sir Mo Farah said: “Thank-you to the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards and a very special thanks to everyone who’s voted for me.

“It really means a lot to be named as your Sportsman of the Year; and congratulations to my fellow nominees as well. It’s so great to see everyone come together this evening to celebrate the incredible achievements of our diverse sporting communities"

Kadeena, expressing here delight in her win, said: "I’m very honoured to have won this award and would like to give a massive thanks to Sporting Equals for all the work they do in BAME communities."

The night was also memorable for a Special Lifetime Achievement award given to rugby's most successful dual code rugby player and 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson.

Chris Hughton, the Brighton and Hove Albion Manager currently leading his team to promotion to the Premier League was named England Athletics Coach of the Year.

Ruqsana Begum, the English professional kickboxer received the UK Sport Inspirational Performance Award with ParaOlympian swimmer Alice Tai winning the Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year award.

Arun Kang CEO Sporting Equals commenting on a wonderful evening said: "I would like to congratulate all the winners, they thoroughly deserved their accolades.

“Sporting Equals organise the BEDSAs as we want to celebrate diversity at both an elite and grassroots level.

“It was heart-warming to see the delighted faces of the community groups and volunteers who give so much of their time to get communities more active as well as the elite stars who will hopefully inspire the next generation to take the baton"

Allirajah Subaskaran, Chairman of Lycamobile, which supports the BEDSAs said: “We are honoured to support the BEDSAs, recognising the impressive collection of sportsmen and women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds across the UK.

“Awards such as these are crucial in driving change in the sports sector by increasing participation and diversity at both a national and grass-roots level. Congratulations to all the winners on their well-deserved honours.”

The Lycamobile BEDSAs are supported by Sport England , UK Sport,  The Football Association, The Tennis Foundation, Youth Sport Trust, England Athletics, The British Army, Mind and Spirt of 2012

List of winners at the 2017

Youth Sport Trust Young Sports Person of the Year -  Alice Tai

British Army Unsung Hero -Inderpal Singh Cheema

Sport England Community Sports Project of the Year - Spring SLR

England Athletics Coach of the Year- Chris Hughton

Spirit of 2012 Connecting Communities - Al Madina Centre

Mind Wellbeing Award - Sonia Smith

Tennis Foundation Special Achievement - Shapla Sports

FA Recognition Award - Rashid Abba

UK Sport Inspirational Performance - Ruqsana Begum

Sporting Equals Sportswoman of the Year - Kadeena Cox

Lycamobile Sportsman of the Year - Mo Farah

Lifetime Achievement Award - Jason Robinson OBE

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Top of the shops! Dessert king ‘Icestone Gelato’ wins much-coveted business award

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PROUD: Kuljit Morris, store manager and Taj Ali, co-company owner outside the front of the award winning shop

PROUD: Kuljit Morris, store manager and Taj Ali, co-company owner outside the front of the award winning shop

 

An exciting win for the Icestone Gelato brand means that the Huddersfield branch, based on John William Street has more of a reason than ever before for visitors make their way down and tuck into yummy and delicious desserts.

The Bradford-born company, which has an expanding company portfolio across major cities up and down Britain, has just bagged the lucrative title of ‘Best Shop Front’ in the vibrant Huddersfield town centre.

Complimenting Icestone Gelato, the Huddersfield Civic Society award judges had high praise for the scrumptious dessert king, saying that they appreciate the investment made by the Icestone Gelato bosses.

From a standalone shop in Bradford to being a leader in the dessert market, the company has worked tirelessly to achieve great things for their ever expanding business empire and this award is further recognition of their incredible efforts.

With stores in major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Huddersfield and the imminent re-opening of their Bradford store following a total overhaul, there’s plenty of opportunity to get in on the action and taste some yummy after-dinner treats.

BUSY: The eye-catching interior of Icestone Gelato is just as impressive as the award-winning front of the store

BUSY: The eye-catching interior of Icestone Gelato is just as impressive as the award-winning front of the store

 

Now in their fourth year of trading as a business Icestone offers up to a whopping 27-flavours of gelato (decadent Italian ice cream) such as pistacio, strawberry cheesecake and sticky toffee as well as to back-to-school favourites like jam roly poly and custard. The outlets also offer Belgian waffles, crepes and a range of traditional puddings.

Speaking to Asian Express, Paul Morris, operations director for Icestone Gelato told us what makes their dessert parlour unique: “Where we are different to many similar companies is that we make all our own gelato, which is a very detailed artisan operation.”

With many dessert stores popping up all over, Icestone Gelto really are trendsetters of the industry and this award really sets above the rest.

“We have, over time, worked endlessly with our dedicated team to enhance our products, our stores and our customer experience. Our brand awareness is gathering speed and we feel this is down to our very basic values of customer service, detail in produce and a feel good vibe created in store,” Paul added.

Icestone Gelato are in the process of re-opening their Great Horton Road branch in Bradford with a full new refit, and have .  further plans to open new stores in other parts of the country..

All stores open 7 days a week normally from 11am/1pm till late.

SLEEK: The chic interiors make for surrounding just as enjoyable as the desserts

SLEEK: The chic interiors make for surrounding just as enjoyable as the desserts

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Yorkshire’s number one law firm: Blacks Solicitors enjoy a stellar 2016

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TRUSTED: The Blacks Solicitors team

TRUSTED: The Blacks Solicitors team

Blacks Solicitors’ reputation as one of the county’s leading practices has been reaffirmed in 2016 with the law firm winning both crucial cases and a handful of glittering awards throughout the past 12 months.

Rounding off the year in an impressive fashion was the bestowment of the title ‘Best Law Firm’ at the Yorkshire Legal Awards in October.

ACCOLADES: Blacks Solicitors scooped up Best Law Firm for the second time in four years at the 2016 YLAs, pictured are Chris Allen and Louise Minchin

ACCOLADES: Blacks Solicitors scooped up Best Law Firm for the second time in four years at the 2016 YLAs, pictured are Chris Allen and Louise Minchin

Successful in the 11 – 30 partners category, the firm beat an impressive competitive line-up of Yorkshire-based firms to seal the title.

SUCCESFUL TEAM: Blacks Solicitors Partners (l-r) David Paterson, Chris Allen and Luke Patel

SUCCESFUL TEAM: Blacks Solicitors Partners (l-r) David Paterson, Chris Allen and Luke Patel

The judging panel, which included Sue Harris, Deputy President of the Leeds Law Society and Judge Geoffrey Kamil, presented the award to Blacks in recognition of the firm’s continued growth, enviable reputation, its wide range of experience across a variety of sectors, and its commitment to training initiatives and CSR.

It is the second time in four years that Blacks have won the coveted accolade of Best Law firm, and have previously also received Awards for Residential Property and Managing Partner of the Year.

Blacks’ emphasis on its strategy has meant that it has prospered at a time when competitors fell by the wayside, or merged with others to survive.

No other firm of its size has raised its profile more during the recession, with the business turning over almost £12 million in 2015/16

Chris Allen, managing partner at Blacks Solicitors LLP, was there on the night to collect the award. He said: “It’s truly an honour to even be shortlisted for Best Law Firm and to win it just shows that the hard work and commitment from the whole team is paying off.

“We wouldn’t be where we are without our loyal clients and dedicated, hard-working team, so this is for all of them.”

The firm’s high staff retention rate is yet another prime example of its achievement, with the headcount rising from 79 in April 2009 to 175 by the end of 2015.

Plans are afoot to move into larger premises to cope with the demand. This will see all of its commercial and corporate services brought together under one roof, to offer a powerful level of support for small and medium enterprises across the region.

The Yorkshire Legal Awards bring together the region’s legal community to celebrate its achievements and recognise the outstanding talent across Yorkshire.

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Taking the shame out of STDs

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ALL SMILES: The Dewsbury doctor says she is delighted to be breaking down taboos in South Asian cultures

ALL SMILES: The Dewsbury doctor says she is delighted to be breaking down taboos in South Asian cultures

Award-winning Dewsbury doctor continues to break down BME barriers

When 44-year-old Safia Jabeen arrived in the UK from Pakistan in 2005, she probably didn’t realise the huge impact she would have on the health of the nation’s bedrooms.

After training as a doctor in her home country, Safia began work initially in gynaecology in Dewsbury.

However, after working in various clinics at the start of her career, she noticed that there was a distinct lack of Asian women who came forward with sexual health problems at her clinic.

Despite already completing over five years of training in her field, she took the decision to retrain in sexual health in aid of women she had spoke to in the UK.

“When I was treating them for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), I realised they had no idea what I was talking about,” Safia said. “I came to realise that there were some major reasons behind this.

“Back in Pakistan, there aren’t any specialist clinics and the reason for that is because it’s a big taboo over there and sex is seen as being extremely private.

“You can’t open a sexual health service over there, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get checked. Language is also a big barrier too.”

Being the determined and dedicated doctor that she is, Safia immediately decided to do something about it.

“I realised that we were welcoming many Asians to our clinics here, but they were mostly men. Even when the women came with their husbands, they didn’t realise why they were getting treated.”

Safia thought she had better do some community work to gain trust in the community.

“When I started going out, it wasn’t easy, there was a lot of resistance,” she admitted.

“I had to approach these women in public places that they had chosen to gather for other reasons, such as social meeting points. It was here that I began to breach the topic of STDs and at first, they didn’t want to hear about it.”

After contacting local councillors, they advised Safia to arrange the event around ‘general health’ as to not unnecessarily startle the women.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Safia Jabeen has been recognised by a number of professional organisations for her pioneering work in Dewsbury

LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Safia Jabeen has been recognised by a number of professional organisations for her pioneering work in Dewsbury

Slowly over time, she began to build a rapport with the women, attending events as a guest and not a doctor, gaining an inside knowledge of the group’s mindset.

“I started off talking about general health and then gradually moved to the topic of gynaecological problems which then led me to the topic of sexual health,” she said. “It took me around three years to get to that point where people were listening.

“I spoke to hospitals and faith groups and also did a survey and one-two-one sessions in mosques and temples. I did this all in my private time.

“The majority of Asian women I talked to had no idea about Gonorrhoea and diseases like that. People were eager to receive the information and it helps that I can speak a number of languages including Urdu and Gujarati. Things moved quickly after that.”

With such a need for these services, Safia opened up her own clinic called Chandni Clinic - which means ‘moonlight’ in Urdu.

Women then started making appointments and were seen by a female doctor who could speak to them in their own language in a completely confidential environment.

“We initially started the clinic up for two days a week but there was such a good response that we had no choice but to turn it into a seven-day clinic,” she said. “Some women had been suffering for years.  Some had come as far as Birmingham and Coventry, and beyond.

“I felt sorry that they had been in pain for so long when they could be simply treated. It then became word of mouth. It was established in 2013 and after six months, it was so well-known locally that we won a national award from Brook Sexual Health in 2014.”

Safia is confident that women have now started to accept that sexual health is important and they now visit her clinic openly.

Her work in Dewsbury hasn’t gone unnoticed either. Councils in Bradford, Leeds and even Ireland have approached her with the hope of working towards a similar plan for their regions – work Safia is eager to undertake.

At the end of the day, for the Dewsbury doc, it’s all about her patients.

She concluded: “I do all this for the women, so they know that they do not have to feel any shame.

“We see hundreds of women every year at the clinic now – that’s a huge deal.”


If you think you might need to talk confidentially about your sexual health, you do not need to be referred by a GP to attend Chandni clinic. To make an appointment, please call 01924 816120 or 01924 816121.


 

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Brilliant Bangla Bantams

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POWER IN NUMBERS: With over 600 supporters today, the Bangla Bantams have seen a rapid growth in numbers since it was founded in February last year

POWER IN NUMBERS: With over 600 supporters today, the Bangla Bantams have seen a rapid growth in numbers since it was founded in February last year

Local fans group picks up national award

A Bradford City supporters group, which aims to encourage greater participation in football from members of the South Asian community, has landed a national award.

Bangla Bantams secured the first ever ‘Fans for Diversity Award’ at the Football Supporters’ Federation Awards held in London earlier this week.

With up to 600 supporters, the fan group has grown rapidly in numbers since setting up in February 2015, with the help of BEAP Community Partnership.

Run in conjunction with the anti-racism group, Kick it Out, and the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), it has helped men, women, boys and girls interact with Bradford City Football Club by attending games and community events.

On receiving the award, founder of the group, Humayun Islam – a devout football fan himself – said it was both an honour and a surprise.

DEDICATED TO DIVERSITY: Humayun Islam picked up the ‘Fans for Diversity Award’ at the Football Supporters’ Federation Awards on behalf of the Bangla Bantams

DEDICATED TO DIVERSITY: Humayun Islam picked up the ‘Fans for Diversity Award’ at the Football Supporters’ Federation Awards on behalf of the Bangla Bantams

“We didn’t expect it all,” he said. “With so many worthy nominations for such a mainstream award, it came as a bit of a surprise to be honest when we were named as the winners.”

He added: “It means so much because the award recognises all the work we have done to increase fan participation, with supporters from all backgrounds taking part in these projects and going to see football games at Bradford City.

“It also recognised that within the Asian community a lot of people do like football but there are more effective ways to properly engage them with their local football club.”

The Bangla Bantams beat competition from five other fans' groups to clinch the award, with clubs including Derby County and Southampton, represented on the night.

“With the support of the Fans for Diversity initiative, I think we can continue to grow the organisation into a real project for change,” Humayun added.

“We have brought the community together through this project and only have plans to continue the work we have been doing since last year.”

The FSF is the democratic organisation representing the rights of fans and arguing the views of football supporters in England and Wales.

With more than 500,000 supporters, they petition for a host of initiatives including the promotion of safe standing areas in stadiums, lower ticket prices and the protection of clubs.

Members are made up of individual fans and members of local supporters’ organisations throughout the professional structure and many more from further down the football pyramid.

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Tributes to an honourable father: Bradford MBE recipient passes away prior to collecting his award

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RESPECTED: Taiyabur Chowdhury passed away on 17th November at the age of 73

RESPECTED: Taiyabur Chowdhury passed away on 17th November at the age of 73

A former adoption social worker from Shipley, who had been named on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, has been called a ‘true gentleman’ by his son, after sadly passing away prior to receiving his MBE.

Taiyabur Rahman Chowdhury was due to travel to Buckingham Palace to collect his award for services to children and families later this month.

He tragically died after a short illness on 17th November - at the age of 73 – just one year after retiring from ‘the job he loved’.

His son, Ashfaq Chowdhury, paid tribute to his father.  

“He was a very pleasant, very polite gentleman,” Ashfaq said. “That is how everyone described him - a ‘gentleman’ in every sense of the word.

“He always went out of his way to help others, especially with his work; working weekends and completing documents and forms in his own time.

“I think that is what distinguished him from my generation. He was in it purely for the satisfaction of the work. He was very selfless in the way he went about things.

“Since his death we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from so many communities. Families who he helped put together have even tracked my mum down to say thank you and pay their respects to him.”

Mr Chowdhury first arrived in the UK at the age of 20 in 1963 after completing a degree at the University of Dhaka, in Bangladesh.

After running a restaurant in Bradford, he took the decision to return to higher education and graduated from the University of Bradford at the age of 50, with a degree in social care.

A short time later he began working for Bradford Adoption and Fostering Services, helping more than 50 couples adopt a child and building families across the city for more than 20 years.

His wife, Zinnat, and two of his daughters, are now hoping to collect the MBE on their father’s behalf, with Ashfaq adding that it would be a great honour for his family.

“He was absolutely delighted when he was told about the MBE,” Ashfaq added.

“He was a man born in colonial India and grew up only seeing the MBE presented to the elite of the British. For a ‘boy from Bangladesh’, to receive such an honour was a privilege for him.

“As soon as he arrived here in Britain, he saw himself as a British man. He invested all his time here and in his children.”

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Pipe dreams came true! Blackburn plumber scoops the top prize at glittery awards ceremony

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PERFECT PLUMBER: Muzamal Ishfaq thanked  his tutor Neil Hodgson for helping him bag the top prize

PERFECT PLUMBER: Muzamal Ishfaq thanked his tutor Neil Hodgson for helping him bag the top prize

An exceptional plumber from Blackburn College has been awarded the top prize at the first ever Asian Apprentice Awards.

As he nears the end of his Apprenticeship with Ash’s Plumbing and Heating Services, 18-year-old Muzamal Ishfaq, 18, of St James’ Road, Blackburn has managed to scoop the prestigious award.

His professional approach and attitude to his Apprenticeship saw him collect his award at a glittering national ceremony held at the Holiday Inn in Birmingham on Thursday 10th November.

The former Witton Park High School student was selected out of a large number of entries for the commitment he has shown to his employer and his Apprenticeship in the Construction category.

Muzamal said:  “I felt very surprised when I heard I had won. When I entered the competition and saw how many people I was up against, I didn’t think I stood a chance.

“Much to my surprise, I came out on top and would like to thank my Dad, as well as my tutors at Blackburn College for putting a lot of effort and time into tutoring me. Without them, I would never have won this.”

Muzamal in particular thanked Blackburn College and his tutor Neil Hodgson for his support.

The Asian Apprenticeship Awards are intended to encourage more young people of Asian heritage to consider an Apprenticeship.

450 business people attended the event to celebrate the talent and diversity in apprentices and recognising the employers and learning providers who support and teach them.

The night included entertainment from Bhangra group Eternal Taal who have performed on some of the world’s largest stages including Glastonbury Festival, Bollywood and The Graham Norton Show - as well as comedian Patrick Monahan.

Apprenticeships are a route into training and work in which the Asian community is underrepresented.

The Government is aiming for another three million Apprenticeship starts by 2020, including increasing the proportion of apprenticeships taken up by young people from BME backgrounds by 20 per cent and increasing BME employment by 20 per cent.

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Carlton’s caring character: Inspirational primary school pupil receives Jo Cox award

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AWARDED: As well as Sumair’s award, a number of children were also presented with invitations to visit the Houses of Parliament

AWARDED: As well as Sumair’s award, a number of children were also presented with invitations to visit the Houses of Parliament

A primary school pupil from Dewsbury has been awarded with the first ever ‘Jo Cox Good Character Award’, in recognition of the kindness and bravery he has displayed following the death of his mother.

Family members of the late Batley and Spen MP were on hand to present the award to 10-year-old Sumair Shahid at Carlton Junior and Infant School.

Sumair was selected from hundreds of pupils at the school to receive the award at a special assembly on Friday 4th November.

On hand to present the award was Mrs Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, and her parents, Jean and Gordon.

Speaking about the message behind the award, Kim said her sister was always a big advocate for character-building, and congratulated Sumair on his success.

“We (Kim and Jo) were always brought up to consider other people’s feelings and to act with kind words and kind hearts and that’s what Jo always did,” she said.

“It was extremely fitting that we were here to present this award to Sumair for his amazing achievements, his kindness and good character.”

Mrs Cox was a regular visitor to the local school and even helped organise a visit to the Houses of Parliament for a visit in November of last year.

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS: 10-year-old Sumair Shahid was presented with the Jo Cox Good Character Award at an assembly attended my local dignitaries and members of the late MP’s family

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS: 10-year-old Sumair Shahid was presented with the Jo Cox Good Character Award at an assembly attended my local dignitaries and members of the late MP’s family

Following her death, children have been learning more about her work, created a ‘remembrance wall’ and most recently have launched the Jo Cox Good Character Award.

On receiving this accolade, Sumair said: “It means a lot to me and I’m really proud of it. Jo meant a lot to us at school. She just made me smile every time she came here.

“My mum would be really proud of me today and I know that she is still looking over me now.”

Headteacher, Rizwana Mahmood, also spoke about why the award had been created.

“Jo had a close relationship with our school and frequently visited us,” Ms Mahmood said. “She became a very close friend over time and has left a real legacy here.

“You can see by just walking through the school, the impact she has had on everyone here.

“When Jo passed away we really felt like her legacy had to carry on. We do a lot of work around character building here and as Jo was a person who possessed such positive attributes, what better to remember her than by presenting an award for character in her name.”

The Jo Cox Character Award will now become an annual accolade and will be presented to a Carlton Junior and Infant School pupil every year.

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Top marks for Bradford dad

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SMART : Samard was the only student on his course to gain the Registered Science Technician status

SMART : Samard was the only student on his course to gain the Registered Science Technician status

Mature student collects a prestigious science award in the capital

Returning to education after 15 years in the ‘University of Life’ is never an easy decision to make, but for one Bradford dad, revisiting his days in front of the chalkboard has indeed paid off.

Self-employed camera repairman Sarmad Ilyas collected a prestigious science award from the capital at The Royal Society of Chemistry's London headquarters, after being granted the status of Registered Science Technician.

The award is a formal recognition of excellence for technicians working in science.

The 38-year-old earned the title after carrying out research into brain cancer drugs whilst studying as a mature student at Bradford College.

He enrolled on the Access to Higher Education Sciences course at the college last year after deciding to make a career change and has now progressed to a pharmacy degree.

Although he had studied neuroscience in his youth at a university in Manchester, the father-of-three was advised that he should do an access course to refresh his skills before returning to university.

He passed his one year course at Bradford College with an immaculate 45 distinctions and impressed whilst on a work placement for his end of year project at St James's Hospital in Leeds, assisting senior research fellow Dr Anke Bruning-Richardson.

Sarmard was the only student on his course to gain the Registered Science Technician status.

He was nominated for his award by Bradford College and was joined in London for the awards ceremony by two members of staff, Ruth Tomlinson, Head of Access to HE, and Anita Lall, Assistant Principal.

“It was nice to have Ruth and Anita there with me, as well as my wife, for what was a proud day," said Sarmad, who runs online business Funky Electronics repairing DSLR cameras, lenses, computers and consoles.

“Getting back into education was challenging, having been out of it such a long time but I am glad I made the move and am glad I came to do the Access Course at Bradford College.

“The labs and facilities in the David Hockney Building are excellent, as was the support from tutors.

“Although the science might not have changed since I was first in school, lots has changed in the way you study and research.

“I feel far better able to do my degree after doing the Access Course.

“Receiving the RSciTech award shows I am competent to work in a lab setting and should be a big asset when I am applying for jobs.”

Sarmad returned to the College recently to offer advice to the current class Access to HE Sciences students.

He warned them that they were in for an intense year, whilst emphasising the importance of not missing classes. He also encouraged them to set up study groups to help each other and urged them to start their projects and UCAS applications sooner rather than later.

The science whizz also advised them to do some relevant volunteer work to help bolster their university application - as he himself currently volunteers at the Bradford Royal Infirmary.

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Blacks Solicitors win best law firm

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AWARD WINNERS: Blacks Solicitors scooped up Best Law Firm for the second time in four years

AWARD WINNERS: Blacks Solicitors scooped up Best Law Firm for the second time in four years

Yorkshire Legal Awards present dazzling accolade to Leeds firm

Blacks Solicitors’ reputation as one of the county’s leading practices was reaffirmed earlier this month after the group were named as the Best Law Firm at the Yorkshire Legal Awards.

Successful in the 11 – 30 partners category, the firm beat an impressive competitive line-up of Yorkshire-based firms to seal the title.

The judging panel, which included Sue Harris, Deputy President of the Leeds Law Society and Judge Geoffrey Kamil, presented the award to Blacks in recognition of the firm’s continued growth, enviable reputation, its wide range of experience across a variety of sectors, and its commitment to training initiatives and CSR.

It is the second time in four years that Blacks have won the coveted accolade of Best Law firm, and have previously also received Awards for Residential Property and Managing Partner of the Year.

Blacks’ emphasis on its strategy has meant that it has prospered at a time when competitors fell by the wayside, or merged with others to survive.

No other firm of its size has raised its profile more during the recession, with the business turning over almost £12 million in 2015/16

Chris Allen, managing partner at Blacks Solicitors LLP, was there on the night to collect the award. He said: “It’s truly an honour to even be shortlisted for Best Law Firm and to win it just shows that the hard work and commitment from the whole team is paying off.

“We wouldn’t be where we are without our loyal clients and dedicated, hard-working team, so this is for all of them.”

The firm’s high staff retention rate is yet another prime example of its achievement, with the headcount rising from 79 in April 2009 to 175 by the end of 2015.

Plans are afoot to move into larger premises to cope with the demand. This will see all of its commercial and corporate services brought together under one roof, to offer a powerful level of support for small and medium enterprises across the region.

The Yorkshire Legal Awards bring together the region’s legal community to celebrate its achievements and recognise the outstanding talent across Yorkshire.

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Positive award for positive cop: Police officer nominated for promoting the Force

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IN THE RUNNING: In his time as the Positive Action Co-ordinator with West Yorkshire Police, PC Amjad Ditta has worked hard to promote diversity in the Force’s recruitment

IN THE RUNNING: In his time as the Positive Action Co-ordinator with West Yorkshire Police, PC Amjad Ditta has worked hard to promote diversity in the Force’s recruitment

A West Yorkshire police officer, whose work over the past six months has helped create a more ‘diverse Force’, has been nominated for a prestigious emergency services award.

PC Amjad Ditta is just one of the few shortlisted professionals in the Positive Action category at the Asian Fire Service Association Awards. 

The accolade recognises a person within the emergency services who has, over the last 12 months, undertaken innovative practices to attract or develop staff from diverse communities.

West Yorkshire Police created the role of Positive Action Co-ordinator earlier this year in an attempt to help recruit, maintain and promote under-represented groups. 

PC Amjad Ditta, who joined West Yorkshire Police in 2005 as a Police Community Support Officer before joining as a police constable, took on the role in April this year.

Since taking up the position he has worked towards promoting the police service as a career option to minority groups and communities.  

He said: “I am honoured to have been shortlisted for this award and the work I have been doing across West Yorkshire this year. 

“My role as Positive Action Co-ordinator, I am the single point of contact for aspiring police officers and staff members. 

"We want our police service to be diverse and representative of the communities it serves. There is some serious talent out there but I know from my 11 years with the police and speaking to many people from different communities that there are myths and preconceived ideas that are holding people back from even considering applying to join the police.  

"I would like to wish all who have been nominated the best of luck at the awards ceremony." 

During his work in the role, PC Ditta has been engaging with communities in West Yorkshire and has become a regular fixture on social media channels, including Facebook Live videos, Twitter, Periscope and now has his own Snapchat account. 

He will now attend the Asian Fire Service Association Awards on 24th November in London. 

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Harrow hero: Deaf Club President shortlisted for prestigious national diversity award

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FUNDRAISING PHENOMENON: Mr Iqbal has raised money for a whole host of charities; including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Comic Relief

FUNDRAISING PHENOMENON: Mr Iqbal has raised money for a whole host of charities; including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Comic Relief

A Harrow man has been shortlisted from more than 20,000 nominations for a prestigious award at the National Diversity Awards 2016.

Asif Iqbal, MBE, is head of the Harrow United Deaf Club.

This month, he has been shortlisted in the category for the 'Positive Role Model Award for Race, Faith and Religion' and will travel to Liverpool for the awards ceremony on 16th September.

Mr Iqbal was the first deaf person to work at Buckingham Palace in 2000 alongside a special celebration for The Queen Mother’s 100th birthday.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Asif Iqbal MBE is head of the Harrow United Deaf Club and was the first deaf person to work at Buckingham Palace

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Asif Iqbal MBE is head of the Harrow United Deaf Club and was the first deaf person to work at Buckingham Palace

He has been actively involved in various projects throughout his working life, and even took up an advisory role on the Royal Collection Queen's Gallery Project Group at Buckingham Palace to improve access to the Palace and Gallery tour for deaf people.

He has also been involved in various fundraising drives, successfully raising money for charities including BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Lepra, Macmillan Cancer, HIV Aids and St Luke's Hospices.

Mr Iqbal said: “I was extremely stunned to have received an email informing me that I have been shortlisted for The National Diversity Award 2016 for the category of 'Positive Role Model Award for Race, Faith and Religion'.

“I am thrilled and inspired by the quality of all nominations for me and all other shortlisted finalists.”

The awards are held to celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated their devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in today’s society.

Mr Iqbal continued: “In short, I am extremely honoured to be recognised for my passion and voluntary work, working closely with local diversity communities to make them life difference and to bring together the communities and respect their faith values.

“I hope this will inspire to you all who can achieve their dreams and break through the glass ceiling and inspiring others and young people, sharing messages that if I can do it, they can do it too."

ITV News Presenter Charlene White, and TV Presenter and Radio DJ Ortis Deley will take centre stage to host the iconic awards which will be taking place in the Anglican Church in Liverpool.

The prestigious black tie ceremony is a highly anticipated event in the calendar and provides recognition for excellence regardless of race, faith, religion, gender, identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture.

Paul Sesay, founder of The National Diversity Awards and the BEAM awards said: “The quality of nominations exceeds my expectations every year. This year was no exception with a host of inspirational role models and community organisations nominated across the country.”

He added: “Those shortlisted should be extremely proud, you truly are all winners and I wish each and every one of you the very best of luck.”

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Kung fu Kaur

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WINNER: The teenager is also an ambassador for the Asian Sports Foundation

WINNER: The teenager is also an ambassador for the Asian Sports Foundation

Sporty head girl wins Asian Women of Achievement Award

A 17-year-old martial arts champ has won a top prize at The Asian Women of Achievement [AWA] Awards, in association with NatWest.

Harleen Kaur from Bradford has scooped the number trophy thanks to her dedication to the sport after 10 years of relentless training.

She said: “I was totally shocked to receive the award. I was up against women who have had much longer careers than I have, and achieved such amazing things - I really didn’t expect to win.”

A head girl at Appleton Academy Sixth Form, Harleen has held a weekend position at Footasylum in The Broadway Bradford since its opening last year and was awarded the prize for her sporting achievements.

She is also the WMKF World Champion Silver Medallist, a martial arts competitor and a 2nd Dan Black belt in Karate.

The teenager currently trains in a combined programme of karate and kickboxing and is part of the WMKF England team. She has claimed top titles in various tournaments, including Taekwondo Opens.

Harleen is an ambassador for the Asian Sports Foundation, is one of a handful of competitors in her field who competes internationally in martial arts and is the current WMKF British Champion in kickboxing and UK All Styles National Champion.

Head girl Harleen is completing her A-Levels and hopes to continue into further education studying Sports Science.

SPORTS SENSATION: Harleen Kaur receives the AWA Award for Sport

SPORTS SENSATION: Harleen Kaur receives the AWA Award for Sport

“I’m an ambassador for the Asian Sports Foundation,” Harleen continued, “so I’m always trying to motivate and empower Asian women to get involved in sport. I’ve had great support from my family and from school which I think is so important.

“It’s also great to work in Footasylum, as it means I’m constantly surrounded by sport and get to pass on my sports knowledge to customers, and hopefully inspire them to push themselves further in sports.”

Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Founder, Asian Women of Achievement Awards said, “We are thrilled for all the winners, who are united by their passion and inspirational achievements. The diversity of this year’s winners highlights that Asian women in Britain are bucking stereotypes while making an enormous contribution to British life.

“I am immensely proud to stand alongside this inspiring group of women.”

Ian Ward, general manager of The Broadway Bradford, adds: “We at The Broadway are very proud of Harleen’s success. She is incredibly dedicated and passes on her in depth knowledge of the sport to shoppers at Foot Asylum here in the shopping centre. We are lucky to work with her and wish her well with her upcoming challenges.”

The Awards, now in their 17th year, celebrate the contributions made by Asian women both professionally and in their communities, cutting across a broad range of sectors in British life from business and media to sport, culture and public service.

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AWARD WINNER: ‘Connecting families with the big wide world’

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AWARD WINNER: Nazmin Din said she didn’t expect to receive the award and was delighted and humbled by the recognition

AWARD WINNER: Nazmin Din said she didn’t expect to receive the award and was delighted and humbled by the recognition

Well deserved award for humble community hero

A respected Community Development Manager from Bradford was honoured at an award ceremony recently after winning Community Worker of the Year in recognition of her ongoing commitment to her job.  

Nazmin Din has worked at Grange Technology College in Little Horton, Bradford, for more than 26 years, during which she has supported thousands of children and families across the city.

Her job involves looking at the welfare of families at the school which has around 220 pupils; supporting them whether at school or in home.

As a Community Development Manager, she makes sure they engage with the school and any other multi agencies that they may need support with.

She said: “It’s all about connecting families with the big wide world.”

On Wednesday 23rd March, Nazmin was joined by colleagues at the Exceed Community Hearts Awards event where the results were announced.  

Upon receiving the award, the community champion said: “I am delighted and humbled by this award and I would like to thank my colleagues at Southfield Grange for their support.  

“Without them it would not be possible to do this work and I feel really lucky to be part of such a great team.”

Grange Technology College Headteacher, Nick Bell says the award was justly deserved.

He added: “It is really exciting to see Nazmin receive this kind of recognition from the community which she has served so well for such a long period of time.  The award is well deserved and the response she has had around school since winning it has been excellent.”  

Nazmin’s day-to-day work includes checking up on students’ wellbeing and their financial, physical and mental health.

She said a personal highlight of her job is helping ‘refugee families’ settle into life in the UK.

“Recently, in the past four years, there have been a lot of families seeking asylum, new to England from Eastern Europe,” she said.

“There are also many families from Western Europe coming to Yorkshire and settling here so I get to do more work with language.

“Language tends to be a big barrier so I link them with the right support and signpost them. A holistic approach with families is crucial.”

She added: “I was surprised to be nominated because you don’t expect it. I was quite humbled to be thought of. I’m sure there are loads of other people that do the same thing but it was such a nice feeling. It was a lovely feeling when I won.

“I absolutely love my job. I couldn’t find anything more satisfying than this. I’m so lucky to have the support of leadership, colleagues, and the community. It’s just amazing.”

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Supplementary School recognised at Child Friendly Leeds award

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INSPIRATIONAL: Team work makes the dream work

INSPIRATIONAL: Team work makes the dream work

Stars gather to celebrate Hamara’s success

Leeds City Varieties was packed to the rafters last week as the Child Friendly Leeds (CFL) Awards made a triumphant return to the city.

Organised by young people, the awards celebrate some of the people, places and organisations helping to make Leeds a child-friendly city.

Amongst this year’s winners was the Hamara Centre.

Based in south Leeds, the group has been celebrating the fantastic success of their Supplementary School project after the school was bestowed with the CLF Supporting Schools Award.

Hamara’s youth team project was established in 1997, setting up as a response to the demands and concerns from parents, academics and community leaders within the South Leeds community.

Designed to address the problem of children underachieving in the British state schools by identifying barriers that prevent young people from engaging in and enjoying learning, the project’s primary aim is to raise the standard of education in the community.

They do this by creating a progressive, caring and high quality-learning environment for all their students.

Hamara Supplementary School takes place on a Saturday and supports children and young people to achieve good grades in maths, English and science, as well as running a homework club. They work very closely with and make a difference in the local community.

SUCCESS: The Child Friendly Leeds awards were organised by young people across the city

SUCCESS: The Child Friendly Leeds awards were organised by young people across the city

One of the many supporting statements for Hamara said: “[Hamara is] not only a school but a fabulous organisation for children.

“They have several youth clubs such as football with Leeds United, Karate, Roller Skating sessions, evening football, cricket tournaments and much more.

“Their holiday play scheme attracts children of all ages and backgrounds organising trips, fun days out and brings arts and culture to the community.

“I think it really is a great place for children and young people and with the community café, its doors are always open to young people and new ideas.

“Many children living in the local area are from BME and therefore some have complex issues and Hamara works with them to provide a safe environment with a range of staff supporting their every need. Children also have access to jobs and support with education, work and training.”

The prestigious awards ceremony was organised by a group of eight young people who made up ‘The CFL Crew’.

The ‘crew’ – some as young as twelve, decided on a colourful carnival theme for the ceremony which was watched by an audience of nearly 400 people including city leaders and VIP guests.

Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for children and families said: “I would like to congratulate all the winners, those shortlisted and all the nominees - they are shining examples of what it really means to be child friendly.”

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Shayan serves up an ace at Muslim Awards

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TALENTED: Shayan Siraj is a double national champion in his age range

TALENTED: Shayan Siraj is a double national champion in his age range

Table tennis teen is top sportsmen for 2016

A sporty teenager from Leeds has added another trophy to his growing collection this past week, this time without even having to lift a bat.

At the British Muslim Awards 2016, Shayan Siraj, from Bramhope, was named the recipient of the ‘Best at Sport’ award, commending his growing reputation in the sporting world.

The 14-year-old was the youngest award winner on the night, and was selected ahead of boxers, a badminton player and footballer from the final shortlist.

Shayan’s father, Waseem, says his son was delighted to win the accolade and revelled in the experience the night.

AWARDED: The 14-year-old was named winner of the Best at Sport Award at the 2016 British Muslim Awards

AWARDED: The 14-year-old was named winner of the Best at Sport Award at the 2016 British Muslim Awards

“Shayan takes everything in his stride and never gets ahead of himself so when he was named winner, he was very mature about it all,” Waseem said.

“He wasn’t expecting to win the award but was delighted when they called out his name.”

shayan siraj table tennis (300x450)The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) pupil has been playing table tennis since the age of seven and began representing Yorkshire while still at junior school.

Aged 12, he made his debut representing England in an international competition and just last year, the young sportsman became a double national champion with Table Tennis England.

Already this season, with several months of competition still to come, Shayan has already helped the Yorkshire team retain the UK National County Table Tennis Championship for the third year running.

Waseem added: “The awards were quite enlightening and it was empowering to see so many people from the Muslim community, who had done some amazing work, getting the recognition they deserve.

“Shayan’s certainly got a lot more to offer and is targeting the 2020 Olympics. We know it’s a long road but he has the commitment and drive to make it.”

Now in its fourth year, the British Muslim Awards are presented by Al Rayan Bank to recognise a wide range of achievements in business, charity, sport, arts and culture, reflecting the breadth of contribution by British Muslims.

The shortlist of finalists was drawn up from thousands of nominations submitted by members of the public.

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Nadiya Hussain: Cake queen scoops up ‘Person of the Year’ award

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BENGALI BRILLIANCE: Baking beauty Nadiya has been hailed the most influential British Bangladeshi

BENGALI BRILLIANCE: Baking beauty Nadiya has been hailed the most influential British Bangladeshi

Bake Off’s Nadiya rises to the top once more

On Tuesday, in the heart of the capital at London’s City Hall, Great British Bake Off champion, Nadiya Hussain was crowned the most influential British Bangladeshi.

Celebrating its fifth year of success, the British Bangaldeshi Power and Inspiration (BBPI) list held a prestigious awards ceremony for a wide spectrum of the British Bangladeshi community - including leading entrepreneurs, social activists and global philanthropists.

Nadiya, who rose to fame on the BBC’s hit baking show, scooped up the ‘Person of the Year’ 2016 award.

The previous winner of this award was The Honourable Judge Khatun Sapnara, the first British Bangladeshi promoted to a senior judicial position at the Crown Court.

Speaking before the event, Nadiya said: “I would like to thank the BBPI for naming me the ‘Person of Year’ 2016. To be part of such a unique celebration of the Bangladeshi community is a fitting culmination of what has been an incredible year for my family and me.”

The list recognises and celebrates the hard work, contribution and efforts of the pioneers, leaders and role models who reinforce positive perceptions of the community. It is thanks to these peoples’ ideas, example, talent and success that Britain can be shaped for the better.

To mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of the BBPI list, the organisers announced the launch of the BBPI Foundation, which will provide both financial and mentoring support to disadvantaged young British Bangladeshi students. More information about the Foundation will be announced in the coming weeks.

Abdal Ullah, Founder of the British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration Award said: “I am delighted with the success the BBPI has achieved over the last five years. From humble beginnings, the list has become an incredible testament to the exceptional contributions made by the British Bangladeshi community. Every year it becomes harder to put forward just 100 outstanding individuals.

“I am also excited to announce the launch of the BBPI Foundation. This will allow us to support the next generation of British Bangladeshis, to ensure our community continues to thrive and inspire.”

The full BBPI 2016 list can be found  here: www.bbpower-inspiration.com.

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Charitable chief bags community award

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COMMUNITY CHAMP: Hanif Malik, from The Hamara Foundation, was awarded ‘Community Champion of the Year’

COMMUNITY CHAMP: Hanif Malik, from The Hamara Foundation, was awarded ‘Community Champion of the Year’

Fantastic work by Hamara Centre is recognised by the National Centre for Diversity

The chief executive of Leeds’ largest ethnic minority organisation in the voluntary and community sector has been named as the ‘Community Champion of the Year’ at a national awards ceremony.

Hanif Malik, of the Hamara Healthy Living Centre, was commended for his work in helping to develop the non-profit organisation at the annual National Centre for Diversity Awards in Birmingham last week.

Held at The ICC, the awards celebrate individuals from a broad range of sectors who have made a difference to their communities over the past 12 months.

Hanif was successful in his category ahead of competition from across the country and he said he was thrilled to just be nominated.

He said: “I was delighted to receive the award. It’s not just about me as an individual; it’s about all the work that the other organisations do, which I’m involved in but don’t want to take full credit for, and the community as a whole. We’re all in it together.

TEAM EFFORT: Hanif Malik said his award was down to the effort of everyone he has been involved with this year.

TEAM EFFORT: Hanif Malik said his award was down to the effort of everyone he has been involved with this year.

“From the Hamara perspective we’ve had a lot of success with the projects we’ve run. I’m also part of the ‘Gift a Gift’ foundation, which was established three years ago.”

Give a Gift was established as a way of allowing Leeds’ Muslim community to give back to the local causes through charitable initiatives for Leeds’ Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and Martin House Children’s Hospice.

 

Kicking off every year with the ‘Eid Toy Appeal’ – where hundreds of gifts are donated to children following Ramadan, a host of other fundraisers and events follow.

“I’m really proud of the work with Martin’s House Hospice and the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. It is so rewarding,” Hanif continued.

“Community initiatives are my forte – they’re what I enjoy doing. I think they’re crucial and it’s important to put something back into the community.”

Solat Chaudhry, the Chief Executive of the National Centre for Diversity, added his praise for all those nominated in this year’s awards.

This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the New Year with all the excellent equality, diversity and inclusion work which has been achieved throughout 2015,” he said.

The National Centre for Diversity Awards aim to advance equality, diversity, inclusion and fairness for all.

 

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Kangana Ranaut: “They’re just a facade that the event organisers put up…”

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kangana_ranaut_MAIN (300x450)Kangana Ranaut slams award ceremonies

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut (28) has slammed film award ceremonies saying that they’re all “fake” and actually a commercial venture for the organisers.

Indian media has mocked her comments and has said that she’s trashing award ceremonies because she’s bitter about not bagging any awards during her career.

Having said that, she’s not the first who’s publically slammed these film award dos.

Aamir Khan, back in 90s, also decided to boycott awards and award ceremonies. His stand regarding shunning awards is still intact and he’s never been seen at any.

Kangna said: “'I feel it’s hard to stand against the system. But most of the time, the right thing is not the easiest to do. And I choose the right thing.

“I feel that awards shows today are just a facade that the event organisers put up. They are not genuine awards functions. I understand that these are commercial functions that are meant to generate target rating points (TRPs) and make money.

“So why this façade of felicitating artistes when that isn’t the case?

“Genuine artistes, like the best technicians, writers and actors are pushed to the tenth row, and sit with their families, hoping to figure out what’s going on with these fancy people, who are in the news for their relationships and item numbers.

“The main category goes to people who can help generate TRPs. And they might or might not even be deserving candidates. I feel this is not done and we need to change this.

“Organisers should be honest in saying that this is not an awards function; it’s just a function. I won’t be part of something so dishonest. I completely condemn them for that reason.”

kangna_ranaut-2 (800x500)

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NHS recognises the work of dedicated hospital Imam with a special award

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AWARD-WINNING CHAPLAIN: Mohammed Arshad says holistic care is crucial to the process of recovery

AWARD-WINNING CHAPLAIN: Mohammed Arshad says holistic care is crucial to the process of recovery

‘Everyone needs an Arshad in their life!’

A hospital chaplain in Bradford received a prestigious award last week for showing excellence in equality and diversity.

Mohammed Arshad, Chaplaincy Team Leader at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, was presented with the Chairman’s Award last week during the annual Bradford Teaching Hospitals Awards night.

Presented by Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford, the accolade recognised Arshad’s commitment to his work over the past 16 years.

His colleague, Shaheen Kauser, was the one who nominated him for the award, saying, ‘we all need an Arshad in our life’.  

She added: “He [puts] the patients and their families at the forefront, ensuring their beliefs are respected at all times, and the dignity of all involved is observed every step of the way.

BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY: Arshad’s award recognises his dedication to NHS patients in Bradford

BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY: Arshad’s award recognises his dedication to NHS patients in Bradford

“I am so proud to have Arshad lead our team. He promotes inclusion, equality, diversity, harmony and, most of all, a loving environment for us all to work in.”

Arshad was also described by his colleagues as someone they could trust and confide in.

The hospital staff said they ‘would be lost without him’ - as they rely on his expertise when faced with complex situations with patients and families.

Another colleague said that Arshad has experienced a difficult year in regards to his own health.

However, he has not let his own medical problems impact on his work and at no time has he let his responsibilities slide as hospital Imam. His compassion and commitment speaks for itself.

Unfortunately, due to sickness, Arshad could not be there in person to pick up the award in person.

His colleagues, Shaheen Kauser and assistant chief nurse Shelly Burley, accepted the award on his behalf.

Arshad told the Asian Express this week: “I was really taken back by the award, simply because it’s good to know what the Trust thinks of you and the work that you do. I find that the news of the award was part of my healing process.

“I am back to work now but I have been off for four weeks. I feel re-energized to be back. It’s the festive season and it’s a busy time of the year. However, I feel like my batteries have been recharged thanks to this award.”

He continued: “The highlight of my year is the fact that I know that the ward understands the value of having a chaplain present in the hospital environment and recognising the importance of holistic care.”

More than 40 awards were presented to staff of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on the night, commending those who had gone above and beyond the call of duty, putting their patients first.

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Mazda MX-5 wins car of the year

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CHEERFUL: Mazda MX-5 chief engineer Nobuhiro Yamamoto leads his designers, engineers and media team in celebrating the roadster’s car of the year victory

CHEERFUL: Mazda MX-5 chief engineer Nobuhiro Yamamoto leads his designers, engineers and media team in celebrating the roadster’s car of the year victory

Mazda MX-5 chief engineer Nobuhiro Yamamoto celebrating car of the year victory

In a close battle, Mazda’s MX-5 held onto its narrow lead to beat the fast-finishing Honda S660 mini-sports car to win the Car of the Year Japan award.

At an award ceremony held at the Tokyo International Exchange Center in Tokyo Bay, the MX-5 sports car tallied 442 votes, pipping the Honda S660 mini-coupe by 41 votes when the last of the sixty juror’s votes were read out. The BMW 2-Series, which finished in third place, totalled 177 votes to pick up the Import Car of the Year gong.

This win gives the Hiroshima based carmaker back-to-back car of the year trophies after it captured the major prize last year for the Mazda2.

Accepting the award, Mazda’s vice president in charge of product planning and head of the company’s Skyactiv technology R&D, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, said: “We went through some tough times during the financial crisis and 2011 earthquake, but we stuck to our founding principles and created a winning formula.

“We think the jurors’ response to our MX-5 shows that sports cars are making a strong comeback in Japan. This award means a lot to our development team.”

The Suzuki Alto picked up the Small Mobility award, while the Tesla Model S, entering the award process for the first time in Japan, won the Innovation award.

The Car of the Year Japan steering committee’s Special Award was presented to two companies this year. The first award went to Japan’s largest car importer Yanase, an acknowledgement of its 100th year in promoting import car culture nationwide. The second trophy was presented to the Toyota Mirai – which did not meet the criteria – to enter the main award, for its technological achievement in advancing the spread of hydrogen powered fuel-cell vehicles.

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‘Mr Photogenic’: Birmingham accountant retains prestigious catwalk award

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CHAMP: Zain Hassan was awarded the Mr Photogenic title from the Mr British Empire Awards in August

CHAMP: Zain Hassan was awarded the Mr Photogenic title from the Mr British Empire Awards in August

An aspiring accountant from the West Midlands was celebrating his success on the catwalk earlier this year as he proved brains and beauty can go together.

Zain Hassan, from Birmingham, retained his Mr Photogenic title on 29th August at the annual Mr British Empire Awards.

Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, Zain now resides in the UK and was named Mr Birmingham prior to the competition for the second year in a row.

Competing against representatives from across the country, the 28-year-old also picked up the first runners-up award to the Mr British Empire title, to go alongside his Mr Photogenic accolade.

Speaking about his success, Zain said: “It is obviously a huge confidence boost to win such a prestigious award two years in a row and will be a great addition for my portfolio.

“I have been doing this for around four years now and I really enjoy the competitions and having the chance to model.

“Through the Mr British Empire contest, I have been able to meet some incredible people from across the UK and it is an honour to have succeeded in this prestigious competition.

“The judges were really impressed with my facial hair and I am delighted to have retained my title.”

Following his success, Zain hopes to continue modelling whilst training to be an accountant.

He has already landed spots in upcoming fashion shows and was on the runway within a month of winning his nationwide title.

“I was selected for New Top Model UK 2016 after the event in Watford,” he added.

“I have also been included in the Pakistan Fashion Week in London where I was able to gain even more experience in this field.

“Hopefully I can continue to grow as a model and work it alongside my accountancy role.”

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Sweet award for volunteer

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SUCCESS: Abdul Basit received his trophy last weekend from Nasir Awan - the uncle of Muhammad Yaseen in whose memory the award was named

SUCCESS: Abdul Basit received his trophy last weekend from Nasir Awan - the uncle of Muhammad Yaseen in whose memory the award was named

#Cakes4Syria volunteer receives national award

A selfless volunteer who helped spearhead a nationwide campaign raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity was awarded last week for his individual efforts.

23-year-old, Abdul Basit, from Bradford, was awarded the Muhammad Yaseen Army Public School Award for his ‘outstanding’ contribution to Islamic Relief’s #Cakes4Syria appeal.

The award was named after one of the children who tragically lost their lives in the Peshawar school shootings last year and Abdul received the accolade from former Liverpool footballers, John Barnes, John Aldridge and Dietmar Hamann.

The local volunteer had been selected from an extensive list by Nasir Awan, uncle of Muhammed Yaseen who was killed in the shooting by Pakistani Taliban.

Upon accepting the award on Friday 13th March, Abdul said: “I was blown away to receive this award.

“We all just get our heads down and work as hard as we can to deliver as many cakes as possible within the time limit, so this is totally unexpected.

FUNDRAISERS: Abdul celebrates his success with Islamic Relief Head of Major Gifts,  Seema Khan, and Bradford volunteer, Umer Saleem

FUNDRAISERS: Abdul celebrates his success with Islamic Relief Head of Major Gifts, Seema Khan, and Bradford volunteer, Umer Saleem

“It’s also moving to think the award is named after a boy who died in such tragic circumstances.”

Abdul, an industrial design graduate, helped raise £300,000 in 2014, delivering cakes to doorsteps around the country, whilst developing a marketing and social media action plan throughout the appeal.

He also acted as a focal point for the project, organising teams of volunteers to deliver more than 23,000 cakes to over one-thousand postcodes throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

Islamic Relief community fundraising head, Zia Salik, praised her colleagues efforts and said they have inspired others to take up charity work.

She added: “Abdul is a dedicated, passionate and caring person who provides inspiration through his voluntary work within our community.

“Many young people discovered volunteering for the first time by engaging with the cakes project and have since been doing other great work in the community and also helping those in need abroad.”

Funds raised for Islamic Relief’s Syria Appeal helped to provide food, medical assistance, shelter, ambulances and specific support to help children cope with trauma.

The charity’s work with Syrian refugees spans Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and within Syria itself.

 

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