Blackburn Rovers Community Trust’s support of the local Islamic community has helped the charity to win its first ever accolade at the British Muslim Awards.
The official community outreach arm of the football club were named as the ‘Community Initiative of the Year’ winners at the national awards ceremony on Wednesday night, in recognition of their tireless efforts to offer experiences and opportunities for the benefit of Blackburn with Darwen’s Muslim residents.
A delegation from the charity travelled to West Yorkshire to attend the ceremony at The Bradford Hotel, where they were recognised for the range and diversity of the projects they have offered to that section of the local community, including citizenship and anti-racism programmes, hosting inter-faith sports tournaments, supporting aid appeals from Islamic charities and offering stadium visits and coaching sessions for refugees and asylum seekers.
Much of the work that was recognised on the night is coordinated by the Community Trust’s community inclusion manager, Ilyas Patel, who was overwhelmed at being recognised as one of 30 award-winners at the nation-wide celebration.
“I’m just so shocked to be honest,” he admitted. “It was unexpected, but it’s great that a national award has recognised the work that we’re doing in our local community.
“I’ve accepted the award on behalf of everyone at the Community Trust who work so hard – day in, day out. Making a difference to our community is what we do every day.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone within our charity and the support from the football club for giving the platform to achieve this success, as well as those within our local community who kindly nominated us to be in contention for this prize. It’s heartening to know that they really value what we’re doing.”
The British Muslim Awards are in their seventh year and exist to recognise the wide range of achievements from outstanding individuals across the UK who positively impact business, charity, sport, arts, culture, religious advocacy, education and medicine.
The Community Trust’s triumph was its fourth major award in the past 12 months, having also been recognised for its contribution to local society at the most recent EFL Awards, HIVE Awards and Northwest Football Awards.
To find out more information about Blackburn Community Trust visit: http://www.brfctrust.co.uk/Community/