Sheffield: Community Awards couldn’t carry more merit than they did when the Trade Union Council commissioned the Pakistan Muslim Centre to organise an award ceremony designed to celebrate the grassroots level contributions made by members of the South Yorkshire communities.
The Community Awards Ceremony, which was hosted by The Pakistan Muslim Centre was warmly appreciated by an audience of over three hundred members of South Yorkshire’s diverse community.
An impressive list of dignitaries (comprising of Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, TUC National President 2014 and UNITE Executive Council Member Mohammed Taj, South Yorkshire High Sheriff JC Bramah, Lord Lieutenant David Moody, Clive Betts MP, Paul Blomfield MP, The Bishop of Sheffield David Croft. Lord Mayor Of Sheffield Councillor Peter Rippon, Civic Mayor of Doncaster Councillor Pat Haith. Representing the leadership office of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Mary Lea, Chair Of Pakistan Muslim Centre Muhammed Ali, Radio Presenter Joe Sentence), presented awards to those members of society who have made immeasurable contributions to the local community.
Opening proceedings at the awards ceremony Dr Bob Jeffery, President of Sheffield Trade Union Council and Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, spoke about the important role the Trade Union Council has played, since its inception in 1858, in promoting and maintaining rights of individuals in both paid work and in the community. “These unique individuals whose achievements we are celebrating today are the people that make a difference to everyone’s lives’. I’m honoured that the Trade Union Council has showcased the rich talents of the people of this city and county.”
The ceremony involved some live entertainment, including a heart rendering performance by local and internationally recognised artist Kevin Percival. There was also a thought provoking presentation by TUC National President Muhammad Taj (the first Muslim President of the Trades Union Congress), who reflected on his own experiences and focused on the role trade unions can play in tackling racism and promoting solidarity. The afternoon’s proceedings concluded with a traditional Chicken Biryani served with some local Yorkshire tea.
Whilst a bulk of the awards were given to those people who made a substantive difference to their neighbourhood and communities, a life time achievement awards was bestowed upon the late Mr Fazal Hussain who played a highly decisive role in establishing The PACA (Pakistan Community Centre on Fir Vale) and one of the first mosque’s in Sheffield.
Speaking of the success of the event, Master of Ceremonies and Pakistan Muslim Centre Operations Manager Mukhtar Tufail stated “it’s a great honour to be celebrating the lives of these individuals who have become pillars of their communities. Their acts of kindness have not only made humongous difference to their neighbourhoods, but also to the region.”
The most emotive part of evening was when a local retired Avon distributor (Joan Whitehouse) was recognised for bringing joy and hope to those members of the community who were housebound. Richard Hargate, a resident of Darnall was presented with an award for the neighbourly support he provides, and a mother from Tinsley Nasima Akhtar was given an award for her inspirational volunteering and the role she played in empowering women in her locality.
Chairman of Pakistan Muslim Centre Muhammed Ali stated “ I salute the TUC for endorsing the achievements of those individuals who have contributed so much to society, and I’m equally honoured that once again the Pakistan Muslim Centre has hosted, organised and facilitated a unique initiative.“