The Man of the Year finalists features those who have excelled in their education, charity workers and community volunteers.

The Fusion Awards will take place on Saturday May 13 at King George's Hall Blackburn.

Mohammed Patel

Known as the ‘The Blind Journalist’ Mohammed Patel has built up an impressive background and has worked across online, radio and broadcast platforms.  He is currently working at BBC Radio 5 live.

Mohammed has retinitis pigmentosa, which has slowly reduced his vision since he was born, causing him to be registered as legally blind aged just nine. He now has only slight vision in his right eye.

He runs a blog and a YouTube channel under the same name, where he talks about his own struggles with his disability and how he overcame them. Patel sees the blogs as a platform to inspire others.
Whilst Mohammed never doubted his ability to be a journalist, he says he had faced obstacles when initially applying for specific courses. But in the past year he graduated with a first class degree from UCLan and has continued on his dream career.

Moheen Uddin

Moheen Uddin is a volunteer and charity worker and through the Unity Welfare Society in Rossendale he supports the homeless project.

Every two weeks he, alongside other volunteers goes to Manchester city centre and provides sleeping bags, tents, personal hygiene items and clothing to the homeless community, funded by Moheen and other volunteers to Unity Welfare Society.

In February this year, through Unity Welfare Society, Moheen and the volunteers raised £5,100 to support people in Syria. Moheen represents the northern chapter of the 'Muslim Charity' who delivered the aid.

In January this year, Muslim Charity embarked on its annual Bangladesh charity tour where volunteers participate in a 10 day tour.

This trip was self-funded by the volunteers. In the last year Muslim Charity have rescued over 1,000 children from the streets.

His volunteering hasn’t stopped there! He continues to assist the local community by organising annual football tournaments with money going to charitable causes.

Shazad Shauket

The plight and welfare of refugees has inspired one man to assist as many families as possible.

Fundraiser and campaigner Shazad Shauket has made seven visits to assist refugees and orphans affected by the ongoing migration crisis in the past 18 months.

On Christmas Day 2016 he left the UK to help refugees on the Syrian border with Turkey and in April was back there again.

Every penny raised goes directly to people in need, with Shazad funding his own travel and accommodation.

Although Shazad is an independent volunteer, he liaises with local charities in Turkey, particularly one that holds a database of vulnerable widows. During his charity work he has helped over 15 widows with young children and were struggling to make ends meet.

Shazad says that he has faced obstacles and he is sometimes unable to access some of the camps but this has not stopped him looking to assist the most vulnerable and those on the margins of society.

Shazad is planning to take part in further charitable trips planned this year.