Bradford4Better: Celebrating Community Champions at the B4B Awards 2024

Honouring Excellence: The Inaugural B4B Awards

On Saturday, 27th April 2024, Bradford4Better, a beacon of community activism in our city, illuminated the halls of the Carlisle Business Centre with warmth, gratitude, and celebration. The occasion? The inaugural B4B Awards 2024, a momentous event that not only honoured the organisation’s pivotal achievement of receiving the King’s Award for Voluntary Service but also shone a spotlight on the relentless efforts of volunteers and community champions who tirelessly strive to improve our beloved Bradford.

The distinguished guests in attendance lent an air of prestige to the proceedings. Among them were HM Lord-Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson CBE, who bestowed upon Bradford4Better the King’s Award for Voluntary Service, accompanied by the shimmering Kings Award crystal. Professor Adeeba Malik CBE DL, Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, and Dr Sofia Buncy MBE DL, Deputy Lieutenant, graced the event with their presence, highlighting the significance of the occasion. Additionally, Naz Shah, the Member of Parliament for Bradford West, added her voice to the chorus of appreciation, acknowledging the profound impact of Bradford4Better’s endeavours on our community.

A Journey of Dedication: From Humble Beginnings to Lasting Impact

The event served as a poignant reminder of Bradford4Better’s humble beginnings, stemming from the frustrations of Inayah Sher and others in a small group of community activists in 2019. Their unwavering commitment to tackle issues such as littering, fly-tipping, dangerous driving, and nuisance fireworks laid the foundation for what has evolved into a formidable force for positive change in our city. Naz Shah reminisced about her early involvement with the organisation, commending its resilience and dedication.

Inayah Sher’s impassioned speech resonated with the audience as she recounted the frustration that sparked the formation of Bradford4Better. Her journey mirrored that of countless individuals who refuse to accept the status quo and instead choose to mobilise their communities for a brighter future.

Professor Adeeba Malik CBE DL provided insight into her role as High Sheriff, underscoring the importance of civic engagement and community collaboration. Her acknowledgment of Bradford4Better’s tireless advocacy further underscored the organisation’s impact.

Throughout the event, Tony Fernandez of Africa 4 U, along with Bradford4Better’s leadership team, including Shahid Islam, Dr. Sohail Ahmed, and Kashif Ahmed, eloquently chronicled the organisation’s evolution. From vital support during the COVID-19 pandemic to collaborative projects aimed at fostering unity and progress, Bradford4Better’s journey embodies the spirit of grassroots activism at its finest.

The presentation ceremony for the King’s Award for Voluntary Service served as the pinnacle of the event, symbolising the culmination of years of dedication and hard work. As HM Lord-Lieutenant Ed Anderson CBE read the certificate and letter from King Charles, the room reverberated with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Dr. Sohail Ahmed, Chairman of Bradford4Better, accepted the prestigious crystal with humility and gratitude, acknowledging the collective efforts of all involved.

Acknowledging Community Champions

However, the accolades did not end there. Bradford4Better took the opportunity to honour other volunteers and key partners in the community, recognising their invaluable contributions to the fabric of our city. Their heartfelt words resonated deeply, reaffirming the transformative power of volunteerism and community service.

One key honour and recognition was Sami Ahmed, the late son of Khalil Ahmed (Bradford4Better founding member and former Vice Secretary), who lost his life in a tragic accident in the Lake District in July 2022. Sami posthumously received the first ever B4B Award for Inspiration Young Person, an award that will be dedicated in his name for all future awardees. Khalil accepted the award on behalf of Sami and also spoke about Sami’s character and dedication to positive causes and voluntary efforts.

In Sami’s memory Khalil has also set up a GoFundMe page to support charitable activities in Sami’s name, including “a purpose built development consisting of a school, Masjid, centre for girls, residential apartments, recreation and play areas, clinic and water well on the Turkey/Syria border” which aims to “rehouse displaced families and children from the recent war and earthquakes.” Anyone who wishes to donate can do so at

Recently, Bradford4Better has expanded its focus to address health inequalities and behavioural change, recognising these as crucial aspects of community well-being.

As the event drew to a close, it left an indelible mark on all who attended—a testament to the enduring spirit of collaboration, resilience, and hope that defines Bradford4Better and its tireless champions. As they continue their noble mission to create a cleaner, greener, and safer Bradford, they extend an open invitation to all who share their vision to join them on this journey.

The B4B Awards 2024 marked the inaugural celebration of community champions, with Bradford4Better intending to recognise amazing volunteers on a yearly basis. Watch this space for information on next year’s awards and nominations.

The Journey Continues. Why Not Join the Ride?

If you’re inspired to be part of something greater, to make a tangible difference in your community, Bradford4Better welcomes you with open arms. Regardless of your background or expertise, your contribution matters. Together, let’s reignite the pride in our city and forge a path towards a brighter tomorrow.

For more information on how you can get involved, please email Together, we can build a better Bradford—for us, for future generations, and for all who call this vibrant city home.