A charity volunteer has been named as Blackburn’s Woman of the Year for her “unwavering dedication” at an awards ceremony held in the town.
Wilma Burton won the award, which was sponsored by Together Housing, at the eighth One Voice Annual Dinner. The event took place at King George’s Hall and celebrates the very best of the community, including people and groups, in Blackburn and Darwen.
Hosted by Sifa Turi,15, the annual dinner was organised by One Voice, a community interest company that aims to create an inclusive and vibrant local community.
The evening included a performance from WEGS music group, ‘Banned’, and the 1V Scouts Choir.
“The Annual Dinner once again was a wonderful celebration of the incredible work done in the community by so many inspiring people,” said One Voice chairman, Abrar Hussain.
“It is these tireless volunteers that make our community stronger and more united. We would like to congratulate the winners and all of the nominees in the 1V Community Champion Awards.”
Wilma Burton has always been heavily involved with community projects. Most recently, she volunteered at Hands of Hope, a charity which aims to use the conservation of natural spaces to help people with their mental health and wellbeing. Her volunteering includes tirelessly seeking out donations to help the charity continue its work.
As well as this, Burton cooks hot meals and distributes essentials like toiletries to those in need. For the past four years, she has been a foster carer to two girls and is the treasurer for a local football team. She helps with fundraising efforts and is present at every single home game making tea, coffee and toast for the spectators.
The event featured key-note speeches from Michelle Park, board member of Together Housing and Dr Fazal Dad, Principal of Blackburn College. Together Housing sponsored the event alongside Blackburn College, the Arts Council and it was supported by HPA Solicitors, Our Community Our Future, Our Lancashire, and Humraaz.
Tahir Idris, Equality and Diversity Manager at Together Housing, said; “Michelle Park and I were delighted to be involved with such a joyful and heart-warming event. It was a reminder of how investing in local community groups can be of great value.”
The Mohammed Khan Leadership Award was presented to 12-year-old Blackburn student Sara Hussain. The Youth of the Year Award was won by Umaimah Jalgaonkar. The Institute of the Year award was awarded to Uniting Communities Organisation. The Man of the Year Award was won by Sam Ali. The John Roberts Outstanding Achievement Award which was presented to Saima Ashraf.