A community worker says he wants to inspire young people to have a 'positive impact on Oldham'.

Idris Ali, 50 was born in Bangladesh and came to the UK aged four and grew up in Glodwick.

In June, it was announced Idris would receive a BEM (British Empire Medal) for voluntary services to the community. He is one of four people from Oldham to be honoured.

Idris said: “I am proud, happy and grateful. The first thing that comes to my mind is all the people that have supported me and believed in me. Above all I want to thank almighty Allah without whom nothing is ever possible.

“My faith also got me through some of the toughest times in my life. I want this award to inspire others to take up voluntary activities and do good work in the community and make a difference in people’s lives.”

He says he wants to inspire youngsters to help improve their local neighbourhoods.

Idris said: “I want to change younger people’s focus towards sport and positive community activities to turn them away from drugs and the streets.

“In Oldham's Bangladeshi community, there has been a positive impact due to my community work. The only way to tackle the drug problem and anti social behaviour is through the kind of work I have done such as mentoring, football, other activities and establishing good role models.

“The government needs to do more as well. As a father of three, my biggest fear above anything else is if my sons start taking drugs. It is every single parents' worst nightmare.

“My younger brother who is terminally ill with cancer is so proud of my achievements, especially as he is aware of the all struggles I have been through.

“When I was younger I suffered with lack of confidence because I didn’t do well at school. I received only one GCSE so I didn’t go to college or university.

“Over the years, I have worked in a variety of roles from restaurants to shops, a bakery and warehouses, before finally getting a job with the Department for Work and Pension where I have worked for the past 22 years. The job literally changed my life, as I was able to buy a house and start a family.”

Idris is passionate about football and co-founded a football team Red Star Bengal, organised tournaments, mini leagues and is also a qualified FA football coach.

He said: “I became a mentor for youngsters from deprived backgrounds in Oldham for a while. It's really challenging to see the difficulties our youngsters go through.

“At the age of 18, I organised a fundraiser after a massive cyclone hit Bangladesh in the early 1990s.”

Idris added: “After becoming a father I became interested in education so I became a governor at Coppice Primary Academy.

"I carried out my responsibilities as a governor for 10 years. I had to attend regular meetings and I learnt a lot about the education system. I believe I made a difference to the school.

“I was born in Bangladesh and love it as my motherland. When I go to Bangladesh I see a lot of poverty and people struggling which makes me think if I hadn’t come to the UK that could have been me.

“I wanted to give something back so I created a Facebook page called I Love Bangladesh (ILB) in 2009.  Through the page I organise cultural activities to inspire people of all ages. The page is still active today.

“Through those events I raised money for water wells in rural areas of Bangladesh I was only able to do this through the help of my friends and family. To date we have helped build 17 water wells."