Young people who have helped to improve their community were honoured at an Oldham Awards ceremony.

The Empowering Our Youth event, organised by I Love Bangladesh (ILB), was held at The Empire Suite and recognised 13 exceptional youth who have made a 'remarkable' impact within their neighbourhoods.

I Love Bangladesh (ILB) is a FaceBook page created in 2009 which began by sharing pictures of Bangladesh and promoting Bangladeshi culture.

Idris Ali, the founder of ILB said: “We hold events, such as friend’s gatherings, Lungi Parades, Pita Mela, Honouring our Elders, Iftar gatherings and lots more to celebrate our cultural heritage.

“Through these activities we raise money for water wells in rural villages in Bangladesh. To date we have helped build 17 water wells. 

“I would like to thank ILB administrators past and present for their contribution and all those who have supported us over the years.”

The ceremony was organised by Idris Ali, Shamima Khanom, Mahbubur Rahman, Saleh Uddin Talukdar Sumon and a team of volunteers from Oldham and Birmingham. 

The programme started with an opening speech by the Youth Mayor of Oldham - Charlotte Clasby, followed by discussions and poetry, both in English and Bengali. 

At the end of the programme, a celebration parade took place with the youngest child at the front holding hands of the teacher leading the parade, followed by the waving of both the British and Bangladeshi flags on either side.

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The ILB Team said: "Tonight, we've witnessed the power of unity, determination, and a shared vision. These young achievers are proof that our community's future is bright and promising."

Milad Sarwar was one of the recipients of an award for charitable work.  He has an Instagram page which has over 70,000 followers and he also runs a small charity which aims to help some of the poorest people in Bangladesh.

Milad said: “One of our biggest fundraisers was raising £20,000 in two days for the victims of the Sylhet floods in 2022.

“Following on from this, myself and a few brothers raised £12,000 by climbing Mt Snowdon during Ramadan while fasting.

“This is the first time our charity has been recognised and who better to give it than ILB, an organisation of over 22,000 people.

“Whilst I am grateful for this, I think this award shouldn’t go just to me. It should go to everyone that has supported this charity.”

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Idris added: “The reason for this event is partly down to my own experiences and the struggles I faced, and also the struggles I have witnessed through my voluntary work over the past three decades. 

“When my brother was diagnosed with cancer I was absolutely amazed by the way my nieces and nephews rallied round to help out round the clock. It was incredible. 

“There are a lot of young unsung heroes out there doing a lot of good work and I feel they need to be recognised and rewarded so that it gives them a boost to carry on. I hope these awards will inspire and empower other youth to take up voluntary work and other activities.

“Thirteen youngsters were awarded tonight but we mustn't forget the hundreds more out there who are doing similar work and are unnoticed and unknown, this event is also for them too.”