Preston Women receive prestigious Fusion Award

(May 25, 2011)

Two local women from Preston, Rabiya Ahmed and Safiya Hussain, were honoured at the Fusion Awards on Saturday 21st May 2011.  Preston MP Mark Hendrick was also invited by Asian Image Newspaper to present the Mumtaz Ellahi Community Sports Award to Eddie and Sylia Hart.

The awards were presented at a glittering event at Ewood Park in Blackburn which was attended by 350 people.  The Fusion event recognises and celebrates the achievements of volunteers, charity champions, business and sports heroes across the North West and each year nominations are put forward by people from within the local communities.

Safiya Hussain of Preston won the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for setting up her own business ‘’.  After winning an appeal for a legally invalid fine, Safiya set up the UK’s first parking fine advisory company.  The company has received national publicity and grown significantly over the past few months, with 50% of the profits going to charity.


Safiya Hussain receives her award from Rafiq Adam of Enterprise4All

Rabiya Ahmed, also from Preston, was the winner of the ‘Youth Leadership Award’ in recognition of her work to help involve young women in football.  Rabiya volunteers her time to planning and leading a female football team in her community.  She has worked with young people in care, offenders and ex-offenders, homeless and people with learning and physical disabilities. 

Mr Hendrick presented the Community Sports Award to husband and wife team Eddi and Slyvia Hart of Blackburn who help run the Blackburn and District Amateur Cricket League.  Mr Hart has held a number of official positions as well playing in the League. He has been League Treasurer since 1973 and League Secretary for 20 years.  He has also been umpiring week in week out since 1969!

This particular Fusion Award is held in memory of popular Ju Jitsu Instructor Mumtaz Ellahi who tragically died at the age of 46 in 2007.  The award is presented to a sports coach whose efforts have made a valued contribution to both Asian and non-Asian communities.  But this year, judges agreed to honour Mrs Hart as well, who has helped to maintain the leagues high standards by assisting with the administration. 


Sylvia and Eddie Hart with Mark

On receiving the award, Mr Hart said: “Cricket has always played a major part in my life, and fortunately my wife Sylvia realised my dedication to cricket early on.”  Mrs Hart added: “I did, and as he won’t touch the computer, I saw my role would be to help with admin.”

Sajid Bashir and Chhotabhai Limbachia from Preston were also nominated for the ‘Man of the Year’ award.  Julie Gyi from Preston was nominated for the ‘Woman of the Year’ award for setting up a well-being centre in Preston.  PC Stuart Rutlidge was nominated for a ‘Public Service Award’ for his work in Preston and Lancashire.  All nominees received a special certificate in recognition of their achievement.  Other winners on the night included Bolton boxer Haroon Khan, and the Abaseen Foundation.

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