An Oldham man has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for community and charitable activities.

Mahbubur Rahman, 44, a community activist was awarded in the recent New Year's Honours List, recognises over twenty years of his involvement in charitable causes and community initiatives in Oldham.

Mahbubur volunteers with a few organisations including Outta Skool and I Love Bangladesh (ILB). He is an active member of ILB, which focusses on celebrating and promoting Bangladeshi culture in the UK.

The father-of-two is a member of My Coldhurst, a community group committed to maintaining clean and tidy streets in Oldham. His dedication is evident in his consistent participation in the group's litter-picking events for more than five years.   

He is also director at Outta Skool on a voluntary basis. They host a Tae Kwando club, a boxing club and a variety of other activities. He is also involved with cultural activities at ILB. 

He said: “I do different things such as coaching kids in football sessions and charity activities. We initially cleaned streets and alleyways and encouraged residents to join us and create awareness. We would knock on people’s doors and offer to help clean their alleys.

“Our aim is to train residents to take care of their neighbourhood so children can play safely in a clean environment. My Coldhurst also hosts two football sessions, and I regularly coach kids all the way up to the age of16.

“We tackle anti-social behaviour by engaging youngsters in sporting activities.” He added.
“I am involved with voluntary activities at my local mosque including volunteering at a breakfast club, charity events and a foodbank.

“Whatever I do, I do as a good human being. Receiving the award came as a shock as voluntary work has made me more confident. Voluntary work actually builds your skill set and you feel good for helping people. The reward is from Allah as I don’t benefit financially.

“My communication skills have improved and I feel a boost due to helping others, and it looks good on my CV.

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Mahbubur said: “Before getting involved in voluntary work, I didn’t know many people. But now I am very well known in Oldham.  I give 100 percent to whatever I do, and I try to get involved with everything.

“I received a letter in November last year asking if I would accept the award which was to be announced at the end of December.”

His reach is not just confined to the UK. As one of the founding members of Nessa’s Trust Charity, he has aimed to tackle poverty in Bangladesh. In 2022, the charity raised over £20,000, providing crucial aid and shelter to flood victims in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

“I came to the UK from Bangladesh as a youngster and I was raised singlehandedly by my mother, so I am grateful to her. She helped me and my siblings to develop into who we are today.”

Mahbubur expressed his heartfelt gratitude and dedication to the Oldham community. 

"I am deeply honoured by this recognition. It's a reflection of the collective spirit of Oldham. 

“My involvement in initiatives like the Coldhurst clean-ups, supporting our youth through sports, and celebrating our diverse heritage, all stem from my love for our town. I've always believed in giving back to the community that has given me so much. 

“This award is a shared achievement with every resident of Oldham who strives to make our town a great place."