Some of the North West’s most dedicated community workers and business people have been announced as finalists in the prestigious Fusion Awards 2010. The awards will take place at Ewood Park in Blackburn on 22 May to celebrate unsung heroes from all walks of life and their contribution to their various communities across the region; the event has already sold out.
Man of the Year Award (sponsored by Carter Law Solicitors)
Finalists are: Preston-based muscular dystrophy sufferer Kamran Ahmed, who volunteers five hours a day at his local community centre; Mahuq Hussain from Nelson, who has worked on many community cohesion projects in his local community; Father Michael Walters of Burnley-based Building Bridges; and Oldham’s Muzahid Khan, nominated for over 10 years’ voluntary work, who is currently organizing a cycling tour of Bangladesh to raise awareness of climate change.
Woman of the Year Award (sponsored by Shahi Qila Restaurant)
Finalists are: charity workers Latifa Umar and Sofia Esa from Blackburn, who have raised thousands of pounds for orphanages in Malaysia; Manchester’s Nosheen Ahmed, who lost 14 stones in a year; artist Kulsoom Satia who donates her paintings to charities across the North West; and Nelson’s Nazya Khalid,a community librarian with over 20 years’ inspirational service at grass roots level.
Community Group of the Year (sponsored by Lancashire Constabulary)
Group finalists in this category are: the Organ Donor Campaign, based in Bolton but working across the North West; the Indian Association Manchester; Rochdale Women’s Welfare Association; Blackpool Muslim Women’s Forum; and Blackburn’s Friends of Thalassemia.
Youth Leadership Award (sponsored by Blackburn Cathedral)
Finalists are: Daniel Ogden from Preston, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of socially-excluded young people in spite of his own disabilities; Rochdale-based Don’t Hate Us, Rate Us film-making group; Accrington schoolgirl Zoeyah Shaheen, one of only 40 British teenagers selected to attend the Youth Leaders conference in Washington, DC; Bolton’s Khadija Patel, an inspirational role model for young Muslim women locally; and Blackburn-based youth volunteer Sufyan Patel.
Public Service Award (sponsored by Lancashire County Council)
Public service finalists are: sexual health worker Sue Capstick from Blackburn; community activist and policy-maker Dr Alethea Melling MBE; Blackpool Council equalities advisor Catherine Mugyoni; Rochdale-based drugs outreach worker Dobir Miah; and Lancashire Constabulary’s Rina Panchal, based in Preston.
Community Cohesion Award (sponsored by Blackburn with Darwen Council)
Finalists in the category are: Nigel Parkinson and Ian Cross of Blackburn, whose Wensley Fold scout group has helped change the way people in the area think of scout groups; the Oldham Muslim Centre; Accrington teacher Koser Mahmud; Burnley’s Love and Etiquette Foundation for its work around Islamic culture; and the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, for his work promoting Christian-Muslim understanding and other multi-faith initiatives.
Entrepreneur of the Year
Finalists in the Entrepreneur category are: Preston sisters Rukaiya and Shaheda Chand of Rajas and Ranis online designer children’s clothes store; PR consultant Saima Saeed of Manchester-based Storm Public Relations; hairstylist Jignesh Madhavji of Jiggi Salons in Bolton; and Suhail Patel of Group 1 Cleaning in Blackburn, whose contracts include the NHS and Audi.
On the awards evening itself, the UCLAN Education Award and the Mumtaz Ellahi Community Coach of the Year award will also be presented.