Unsung heroes are honoured at award ceremony

Waheeda Janmohamed receives one of the MEND awards with her family Afzal, Azan & Shaariq.
Waheeda Janmohamed receives one of the MEND awards with her family Afzal, Azan & Shaariq.

An award ceremony has taken place at Lightwaves in Wakefield to honour the unsung heroes of our Muslim community.

The ceremony was organised by MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development).

Fazilat Khan presents the awards.

Fazilat Khan presents the awards.

Fazilat Khan, member of MEND and organiser of the ceremony said: “MEND is all about showing Muslims in a positive light and crediting them for bringing positive contributions to the community.

“MEND engages in so many areas of community, we work with police department for example.

“It’s our job at MEND to spread awareness and portray the Islamic community in a positive way, we even do engagements at schools.

“We focus on spreading Islamophobia awareness, showing and telling people not to be scared of our community as muslims haven’t really got a good media representation at the moment.”

The MEND awards.

The MEND awards.

There were three awards given out during the ceremony.

One award went to Najeeda Asghar of the Well Women Centre in Wakefield.

For more than 20 years Najeeda has specialised in the empowerment of Asian women, running fundraising events and organising religious festivals.

She is currently devoting her time to helping victims of domestic abuse, isolation and mental health problems.

MEND Special Recognition award trophy.

MEND Special Recognition award trophy.

The second winner was Waheeda Janmohammed, who has spent 18 years as a counsellor volunteer, helping people with anxiety, trauma and personal illness, as well as fundraising for charities.

The final winners were a group of six boys who gave up their time to organise their own charity, Hope4Humanity.

They began the project over Ramadan and devoted a month to raising funds for Syrian refugees.

The boys raised a massive £25,000 and even went over to Syria to deliver care packages to those in need.

Najeeda Asghar is presented her MEND recognition by Janet Mahmood.

Najeeda Asghar is presented her MEND recognition by Janet Mahmood.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh opened the event as a special guest and West Yorkshire Police’s Inspector Helen Brear was also in attendance.

Mrs Khan added: “The ceremony itself was amazing, it couldn’t have gone better.

“I wasn’t expecting such a phenomenal atmosphere or the huge amount of people that turned up.

“I haven’t felt such a buzz like this at any other events, this is the first one we’ve had.

“For me, it was an absolute privilege to be able to nominate these wonderful people with recognition.

“These are just some of the heroes in our community.

Najeeda Asghar with Sajaud Iqbal & Waheeda Janmohamed and their MEND recognitions.

Najeeda Asghar with Sajaud Iqbal & Waheeda Janmohamed and their MEND recognitions.

“We really are doing it for a greater good, recognition for people who do so much is needed in the world.

“So many influential people came.

“I never would have thought I’d be doing something like this, it’s an absolute honour to show our community in such a way, we got such a good public response at the ceremony for unsung heroes.”