The finalists for this year’s 1V Community Champion Awards have been revealed in Lancashire.

The annual event will keynote speeches, One Voice art presentations and conclude with a three-course dinner. The dinner will reflect the work of One Voice Blackburn over the previous 12 months and will be hosted by 15-year-old student Sifa Turi.

There are five awards up for grabs in February – the Woman of the Year, Man of the Year, Institute of the Year and Youth of the Year. The Outstanding Achievement Award will be announced on the evening.

The nominees for the Institute of the Year are Rummage Rescuers, Uniting Communities Organisation, Secret Santa and Friends of Corporation Park. The award is sponsored by Our Lancashire.

The Woman of the Year award finalists are Kay Kareem, Dawn Hardman, Rehana Mohammed and Wilma Burton.

Rehana Mohammed said,“I am very proud and privileged to be on the shortlist for this amazing award. I have been working in Blackburn and Lancashire for a number of years. I have wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of people in the South Asian community, particularly women.”

Dawn Hardman added, “I have been incredibly emotional about this nomination, I’ve even had a little cry. To think people took time to nominate me for this award is overwhelming.”

The Man of the Year award finalists are Pete Sculpher, John Gillmore, Sam Ali and Yakoob Hussain.

Sam Ali said, "Being nominated as Man of the Year for the second year in a row is a fantastic achievement. 2019 was an amazing year for myself and SWITCH and the support from the local communities in Blackburn who are now recognising our work is an absolutely amazing.”

Yakoob Hussain shared his thoughts about being a Man of the Year finalist. “I’m over the moon to be honest. I have been fortunate enough to receive awards in the past for my work, but to be simply nominated for the 1V Man of the Year is beyond words. This is a very prestigious award. Thank you to all those who nominated me.”

Peter Sculpher said, “It was quite a shock to receive an email to be notified of the nomination. To be honest with you, I don’t volunteer as a Scout Leader to receive awards. It is something I want to give back to the community. I was given those opportunities as a youngster, now I want to help others.”

The Young Person of the Year award nominees are Sahil Usman, Umaimah Jalgaonkar, A’aishah Patel and finally jointly Tia Maia Clarke and Carey McPartland.

A’aisha said, “I am extremely honoured to have been recognised for the contribution I make to my community and see this nomination as encouragement to myself and to others to do more.”

Umaimah Jalgaonkar also expressed her thoughts about being a finalist. “Thank you to all the people that nominated me. It is such a privilege to be among such talented people in the nomination for the 1V Young Person of the Year. I work in many deprived communities. I hear people’s stories and it motivates me to make a difference.”

Sahil Usman, the youngest finalist this year, said, “I am really proud of my nomination. I am really happy to have been recognised for my work on raising awareness of cancer in all communities.”

Abrar Hussain, Chairman of One Voice, said, “We are looking forward to another evening of celebrating the incredible and tireless community work done by the amazing finalists. The awards are a great way to recognise the time and effort individuals and groups put into helping improve their local communities."

The winner of the Leader’s award will be chosen by Leader of the Council, Mohammed Khan, and is sponsored by Our Community, Our Future.

The One Voice Annual Dinner will celebrate the eighth anniversary of the organisation set up in 2011 and will take place on Saturday, 22 February at King George’s Hall, Blackburn.

The dinner is sponsored by Together Housing, Blackburn College, HPA Solicitors and the Arts Council.