A volunteer who’s worked tirelessly to help people through the lockdown will get a huge One Show Thank You.

David Walliams is sending messages of support to Akbar Khan was nominated for the BBC One Show surprise by a colleague at Bradford’s Phab club for physically disabled and non-disabled people.

‘Aki’, as he’s known to members, has been delivering food given by restaurants and wedding caterers to families every Wednesday and Saturday. But the thing that has really made a difference has been zoom meetings that he’s hosted every night to prevent members becoming isolated.

“He has a full-time job and two young kids, but he’s managed to host this zoom every single day. It’s all down to his enthusiasm and energy – he never has a day off and he’s so inspiring,” says one of his Phab club colleagues Rahail Tariq.

“We’ve done talent nights, musical bingo, a cake competition, quizzes,” said Neil Bateman, whose 21-year-old son Cory is on the autistic spectrum. “The kids pop up online and they’re so happy to see each other. Everyone is so proud to be part of what Akbar has put together. We call it the ‘Phab family’.”

Akbar, who’s been involved with the charity for more than 35 years, explains how it came about: “At the start of lockdown I just thought I can’t leave them all to suffer on their own. Especially in these last three months the call on our charity has been immense. I’ve learned so much more about my members and it’s made me realise how hard it is for these families.”

The One Show is organising a virtual talent show at a workshop belonging to Rahail. When Aki arrives a shutter will go up to reveal a massive “thank you” in lights and performances by his Phab friends will be played on a big screen.

The acts will be introduced by One Show presenter Alex Jones, who will reveal that the national Phab team is also giving Akbar a special certificate of thanks. She says: “Akbar, from all of them, and all of us, thank you!” Neil’s son Cory and his two brothers Sam, 11, and Toby, 8, will perform in a band. Other club members will dance and sing. “Aki always says see the ability, not the disability,” says Neil. “I’m really glad he’s getting this recognition. The Phab club has been amazing for our family.”

Akbar’s lockdown work is the tip of the iceberg in terms of his commitment to the club, which he joined aged 11 with his brothers, both of whom suffered from muscular dystrophy. Sadly, both of them passed away in their teens and Akbar’s commitment springs from the care and support he saw them receive at Bradford Phab club.

Recently he’s taken youngsters for flying lessons, abseiling, rock climbing and archery. He also arranges sports days and trips to attractions like Alton Towers, as well as constantly fundraising.

“Aki’s a very caring, jolly, positive person,” said Michelle Lyman-Carter, who nominated him for the One Show Surprise. “He puts Phab at the centre of his daily routine. Some of our members call him ‘Super Aki’ and you can definitely feel the love and respect for him and all he does for them.”

One Big Thank You is on The One Show tonight (June 11) on BBC1 at 7pm