Community Cohesion campaigners and volunteers feature in the 2016 Fusion Awards finalists list.

This year’s Fusion Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday May 28 at King George’s Hall, Blackburn.

The event has helped to highlight the fantastic work of volunteers, charity workers and entrepreneurs through the North West.

In 2016 the Community Cohesion Award supported by Blackburn with Darwen Council features ‘A People Panorama’ a collection of stunning portraits celebrating different cultures displayed at the Manchester Jewish Museum; the Blackburn based Asylum Refugee Community, a group which caters for new arrivals to the town; The Bolton Interfaith Trail hosted by the Bolton Interfaith Council; the Ilm 2 Amal initiative from First Ethical which aims to encourage students to volunteer in the wider community and Changing Perceptions from The Oppo Foundation which seeks to bring people together from different groups through the medium of football. 

The BAE systems Youth Leadership Award features the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association North West; Zainab Akhtar of Preston; the Pendle based Whitefield Youth Association, Blackburn group FACE, a small group that is having a big impact the Little Harwood area of the town and and the 99 Names Arts Exhibition conducted by Manchester schools which raised £40,000 for good causes.

The highly coveted Community Group of the Year category features Call to Duty a group of volunteers who helped hundreds of refugees; As-Suffa Outreach Bolton: Outreach Bolton who have been assisting the homeless and also helped flooding victims in Cumbria; the Inter-Madrassah Organisation who’s innovative range of sporting and community events are having a profound impact on neighbourhoods; the Preston based Friends Fishwick and St Matthews an active group made up of residents wanting to change their neighbourhood for the better. The Muslim Jewish Forum Manchester which celebrated its tenth anniversary makes up the 2016 list.

A statement from BAE Systems read, “Our business has always celebrated people who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries to tackle challenges whether they face our business or our community.

“The Fusion Awards shares these values and the Youth Leadership Award which we sponsor throws a spotlight on those young people who making a positive difference in their communities by pushing their own boundaries.

“We are proud to be supporting the awards in its tenth year and look forward to reading the inspiring stories of what young people are doing to make life better for the places we live, work and play.”

A Blackburn with Darwen Spokesperson said, “The Council is delighted to once again support this year’s Fusion Awards. Blackburn with Darwen is a great place to live, work and visit and that is in no small part to the sense of neighbourliness and community togetherness that can be found in this borough. 

“As the Your Call campaign shows, people from different backgrounds and different walks of life come to together to make the borough a better place. 

“We look forward to seeing the nominees for the Community Cohesion award and recognise those who go the extra mile to make their communities tick.”

A People Panorama (Manchester Jewish Museum)
ARC (Asylum Refugee Community, Blackburn)
Bolton Interfaith Council Faith Trail
Changing Perceptions (The Oppo Foundation) 
Ilm 2 Amal (First Ethical)

Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (Regional) 
FACE (Blackburn)
Whitefield Youth Association
Zainab Akhtar (Preston) 
99 Names Arts Exhibition (Regional)

As-Suffa Outreach Bolton
Call to Duty (Regional)
Friends Fishwick and St Matthews (Preston)
IMO (Blackburn)
Muslim Jewish Forum (Manchester)

Carol Bonham
Mohammed Sheraz
Saeed Sidat
Dr Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar
Dr Zahid Chauhan

Ahad Miah (Oldham)
Naseem Khan (Blackburn)
Umar Ayub & Robin Maudsley (Preston)

Arooj Shah (Oldham)
Madhubala Pandya (Blackburn)
Razia Anwar (Blackburn)


Awards will also be presented for the UCLan Education Achievement Award, Achievement in Sport Award, the Mumtaz Ellahi Community Sports Award, the Neighbourhood Champion, the Entrepreneur of the Year and the Lifetime Community Achievement Award.