One Voice Annual Dinner 2018


Volunteers, community workers, and One Voice personnel have been honoured at the annual 1V Community Champion Awards.

The awards, hosted by 15-year-old student Zainab Iqbal were part of the One Voice Annual Dinner at the Windsor Suite at King Georges Hall in Blackburn on Saturday night.

The event saw some of the best work in the community celebrated with a total of ten awards presented.

The Annual Dinner was sponsored and supported by HPA Solicitors, Blackburn College, Kumon Blackburn, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Humraaz Refuge. The event was also supported by Time to Change, NHS England and The Wish Centre.

Maya and Abdullah perform the Strictly Come Dancing sketch

The event featured key note speeches, as well as presentations from the many groups run by One Voice Blackburn. These included a sensational ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ presentation, the West End Girls’ short films ‘Made in Blackburn.’

Key note speeches were delivered by Jal Iqbal and Lauren Oakland from Lancashire Mind who spoke about mental health in the BME community. They also discussed the Time to Change project which is being led by One Voice and Lancashire Mind. 1V Excellence Awards were presented to Yasmeen Hussain, Rahat Sheth, Sadia Rafiq, and Khalida Asif.

15 year old Annual Dinner host Zainab Iqbal

BBC Journalist Shabnam Yunous spoke about her inspiring journey from Beardwood School Blackburn to BBC 5live.

The dinner featured the Community Champion Awards, including the Mohammed Khan Leadership Award.

The Youth of the Year Award went to Adam Umarji.

“It’s an honour to have won the 1V Young person of the Year, especially with the calibre of nominees who were also there. I think it was a great night celebrating all our achievements in every aspect of our community.”

Nicola Clayton, from Blackburn College presenting the Young Person award to Adam Umarji

The Institute of the Year was won by Blackburn Scouts.

“It was an honour to receive the award. Scouting couldn’t exist in Blackburn without the adults who, week in, week out provide safe, secure activities and adventure for so many young people in the District. The growth in BME communities has been staggering and we as a District are keen to promote cohesion with every group in the District, by the launch of a new badge, called One Community  One Blackburn. We are fully committed to supporting groups in every community to work together for the aim of giving as many young people a taste of adventure.” Howard Alderson-Perkins

Shigufta Khan, from Wish Centre, presenting the Institute award to Blackburn District Scouts

Alastair Murdoch who was awarded Man of the Year, said, “I am humbled and very grateful. I have been a Dr in Blackburn for 37 years. I was always passionate about making sure everyone gets excellent healthcare, especially the ones who need it the most. I absolutely loved being a GP so it was with some considerable astonishment that God wanted us to set up a church in this town and even more astonishment that we were meant to buy the old Apollo cinema, the former cotton exchange, and refurbish it for the town. This is for all of us, whatever our backgrounds. We are all here because of the town’s cotton industry. To be able to restore this for the town is a great privilege. On behalf Re:Ignite Church and the amazing team that is driving this I am really happy to receive this award.”

Kumon’s Ruth McNulty and students, present the Man of the Year award to Dr. Alistair Murdoch

The Woman of the Year award went to Sarah Subhani. She said:

“I am humbled and honoured to accept this award. I’d like to thank you everybody from CGL Inspire. I’d like to echo what Jal and Lauren said about mental health and addiction in the community. It’s something we should educate our community about and not keep it secret. Know that there is a lot of help in the community, services like CGL Inspire are out there for us all.”

Sarah Subhani, 1V Woman of the Year 2018

The Mohammed Khan Leadership Award was presented to volunteer Stuart Parker in acknowledgement of his tireless work promoting community cohesion through leadership and developing scouting in many BME around Blackburn.

Councillor Khan said: “Stuart is a worthy winner of this award. He has done much good work over the years to promote community cohesion. He has led efforts to build bridges between different communities by introducing scouting to many different children from a variety of different backgrounds.

Stuart, District Explorer Scout Commissioner and Leader at St. George’s Scout Group, said: “I am both humbled and honoured to receive the Community Leadership Award from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mohammed Khan.

“It’s a massive privilege to accept this award, which reflects the efforts of all the fantastic volunteers from Blackburn District Scouts who work tirelessly to help young people experience adventures of a lifetime.”

Councillor Mohammed Khan presenting the Leader’s Award to Stuart Parker

The awards culminated in the John Roberts Outstanding Achievement Award which was presented to community worker Sadiq Patel whose gesture of kindness captured hearts across the world when he was pictured coming to the aide of Jewish woman, Renee Rachel Black, 93, who was visibly upset at a floral tribute in Manchester’s Albert Square following the Manchester terror attacks.

Sadiq said, “Thank you for this award. I feel so honoured and somewhat humbled.  There are so many people working hard to bring communities in Blackburn together.

“I feel this award is a recognition of the importance of all their work.

“I was distressed by the horror of the Manchester bombing and like many others, Renee and I just wanted to express our sympathy for all the affected families. I love Blackburn and I’m optimistic about its future.”

Sadiq Patel with the John Roberts Outstanding Achievement Award 2018

One Voice Chairman Abrar Hussain said: “The annual dinner was a wonderful evening with so many inspiring people gathered together in one room in a spirit of tangible cohesion.

“We would like to congratulate the winners and all of the nominees in the 1V Community Champion Awards.”

The event also saw the official launch of the 1V Netball club. Jayne Wilson, from Lancashire Sport said: “One Voice has not only delivered on all their promises but they have far exceeded them. A journey that I thought would take a number of years they have completed in a matter of months.”