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YORKSHIRE ASIAN YOUNG ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR 2021

HUMA MALIK

NHS worker Huma Malik, who volunteered during the pandemic despite her own serious long-term health problems, is the Yorkshire Asian Young Achiever of the Year 2021.

The 27-year-old, who lives in Bradford and is employed by NHS Leeds CCG as an Engagement Officer, was one of 11 winners at the awards, dubbed “The YAYAs,” which were announced before an audience of more than 300 guests at the Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford, and broadcast live on the internet.

Huma, who is of Pakistani background, won the Achievement in the Public Sector category, sponsored by Leeds City Council, and was overall winner of the Yorkshire Asian Young Achiever of the Year 2021 title, sponsored by York St John University.

Huma’s role as an engagement officer involves reaching out to communities to help improve health outcomes. She is also a long-standing volunteer for NHS Bradford’s People’s Board.

Despite Huma’s long term health conditions – she regularly attends hospital appointments for blood transfusions and treatments  – she runs the social enterprise Music Talkz, providing music workshops for young people and tackling mental health issues through creativity.

Huma supported young carers as a volunteer and, during the pandemic, volunteered virtually with Leaders Unlocked, promoting youth voice in Health and Mental Health for young people. She is a trained WRAP facilitator and worked with Barnardo’s in Bradford.

Her health problems and the pandemic meant she was unable to attend the awards in person but she received her award from Rob Hickey, chief operating officer of main sponsors York St John University, shortly before the event.

In a brief video shown to the audience she said: “I’m sorry I can’t be there in person due to the pandemic and my extra vulnerabilities but I’d like to thank York St John University for sponsoring this award and to thank QED for giving young people a platform. Thank you very much for this honour.”

ACHIEVEMENT IN SPORT

JASMIN AKTER

Born in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, Jasmin Akter re-settled in the UK aged eight. The 20-year-old, from Bradford, has a passion for football and cricket and was awarded Sportswoman of the Year (Bradford Sports Awards 2020). She raises awareness of homelessness, refugees and plays in male dominated sports.

Highly commended: Anas Tanveer, 21, Bradford; Umaymah Makda, 22, Wakefield.

ACHIEVEMENT IN HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH AND HEALTHCARE

YASMIN KHANAGHA

Yasmin, 24 is a newly registered children’s nurse. The 24-year-old, from Wakefield, is of mixed white and Pakistani background and was president of the Leeds University Nursing Society. Yasmin is passionate about inequalities in the NHS. She is currently studying a masters degree in Healthcare and is President of the Mind Matters Society.

Highly commended: Dylan Singh Bhandal, 24, Wakefield. Harpreet Singh Chaggar, 25, Keighley.

ACHIEVEMENT IN ARTS & CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

AQIB KHAN

Bradford actor, Aqib Khan, is known for playing Sajid in ‘West is West,’ aged 16, along with the late Om Puri. The 28-year-old has appeared in many TV programmes and is currently in the BBC One comedy, ‘Ladhood.’ Aqib is of Pakistani background and considers himself a role model for Bradford people. His ambition is to appear in Hollywood and Bollywood films.

Highly commended: Shazia Bibi, 26, Bradford; Myra Hussain, 18, Bradford.

ACHIEVEMENT IN THE MEDIA

SIVAPRIYA THIRUGNANARAJAH

Sivapriya has a passion for music and the 21-year-old, who lives in Sheffield, has been volunteering as a technical assistant and a radio jockey for the British Indian online community radio broadcasted from Bradford. She has also helped to produce programs on Mental Health Awareness and is currently studying Sociology at Sheffield Hallam University.

Highly commended: Srosh Khan, 23, Bradford; Hamza Mujtaba, 28, Bradford.

ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION

BADR BASHARAT

Against all odds, Badr had the opportunity to study medicine. Badr, who is heading into his final year, was inspired by his late father who motivated and encouraged him to pursue his ambition. The 23-year-old, who lives in Bradford, comes from a Pakistani background. His father was a taxi driver, his mother a housewife and Badr is the first of his family to go to university and to study medicine. He also helps other medical students.

Highly commended: Mohammed Noman Samir, 23, Leeds, Ayra Najeeb, 17, Bradford.

ACHIEVEMENT IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR

JAGJIT SINGH CHAGGAR

Simran, 27, is from a working-class

Jagjit is a 26-year-old British Indian living in Keighley. Jagjit suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis, a disease affecting his back and leg movement. Despite the physical pain, Jagjit hasn’t let it hold him back. He has raised funds and supported numerous charities/charity events. Jagjit is currently production manager at a cereal factory in Poole, Dorset and is currently working on a qualification to become an associate programme manager.

Highly commended: Aneesa Ehsan, 28, Bradford; Abdul Jabbaar Ahmed, 21, Bradford.

ACHIEVEMENT IN SCHOOL OR COLLEGE

RUHEE DAWOOD

Ruhee Dawood is a mentor in the STEMi Women Kuongoza programme which supports women/girls from Africa to pursue STEM studies. The 23-year-old, is of Indian background and lives in York where she moved after being awarded a Sharifah Sofia Albukhary Scholarship to study Chemistry at the University of York. After completing her undergraduate degree, Ruhee was awarded a Whinfield Medal. She secured a full scholarship to fund her PhD and wants to be the next researcher to make a ground-breaking discovery in organic chemistry.

Highly commended: Husen Ali, 20, Keighley; Malaika Khan, 17, Keighley.

ACHIEVEMENT IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR

HUMA MALIK

Huma won the Public Sector category and is also the overall YAYAs winner. The 27-year-old is employed by NHS Leeds CCG as an Engagement Officer, reaching out to communities to help improve health outcomes. Despite her long term health conditions and attending hospital appointments for blood transfusions and treatments, Huma is a long-standing volunteer for NHS Bradford’s People’s Board and has worked with Barnados. She runs the social enterprise, Music Talkz, providing workshops tackling mental health amongst young people, has supported young carers as a volunteer and during the pandemic has done volunteering virtually with Leaders Unlocked, promoting youth voice in Health and Mental Health for young people.

Highly commended: Aamir Khan, 28, Bradford; Yusuf Hussain, 19, Bradford.

ACHIEVEMENT IN THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT SECTOR

SAIF DIN

Saif opened a community boxing and fitness gym in a deprived area of Rotherham. The 27-year-old, who lives in Rotherham and is from a Pakistani background, was keen to encourage young boys off the streets and into a safe space to train. Muslim girls also attend. He is keen to promote positive  male Muslim role models in Rotherham.

Highly commended: Tayabah Parveen, 30, Bradford; Zain Ul Abdin, 23, Bradford.

ACHIEVEMENT AS A YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR

SABREEN AHSAN

In 2018 Sabreen launched her digital marketing agency, PIYA Media. The 29-year-old, who is of Bangladeshi background, works exclusively with creative entrepreneurs from BAME backgrounds. Sabreen, who lives in Keighley, is a Trustee of Young Enterprise, providing skills and financial  information to young people. She had to suspend her degree due to health reasons and personal reasons.

Highly commended: Omar Bahadur, 26, Bradford; Haseeb Arslan, 27, Heckmondwike.                                                                 

ACHIEVEMENT IN OVERCOMING LIFE OBSTACLES

SONIA HUNJAN

Sonia, who has the degenerative eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa, launched a blog ‘The Blind Reader’ to help raise awareness. The 23-year-old, who is of Indian background and lives in Leeds, was recently awarded the highest grade of distinction for her MA at the University of York in Global literature and culture. She graduated with a 2:1  for her English Literature BA at Leeds University and has worked in retail and social care to financially support herself.

Highly commended: Muneeb Akhtar, 24, Bradford; Sufiyan Mohammed, 23, Bradford.