Our search was for a person who takes on a regular role in a voluntary capacity, and promotes the personal benefits of volunteering


Jaeesha is a Community Chellow – one of the team of community members who volunteers to support other people in their neighbourhood. They offer help, advice, and can put local people in touch with various agencies they have links for if they need help. The Chellow project is available in the Haworth Road estate area, including Lynfield Drive, Walden Drive, Chellow Grange Road, and all the Sowden Road area.

Jaeesha is also a volunteer doula - the Bradford Doulas project trains community volunteers to work with expectant mums from about two months before the birth to about six weeks after with the aim of improving the health and well-being of mother and baby.

Jaeesha gives hours of her time in the community voluntarily promoting Book Start in the area. She attends regular home visits helping families to encourage reading. Jaeesha also participates in other regular voluntary groups such as Venture – working towards get the elder generations off all faiths together.

Her nomination reads: “Jaeesha is very active and wants the best for her community and for the people who live in it. Jaeesha considers other people before thinking about herself which in itself is a special quality.”

Jaeesha is a volunteer for the Chellow holiday club helping to teach families how to have fun with their children. Jaeesha is helping to plan an Eid party for the elderly people as part of Venture.


Volunteering is something any of us can do, though we often complain that we don’t have time or any particular talents that are useful.

Tell that to Steven Bartley. Steven has been volunteering for the past two-and-a-half years in the Bradford warehouse of the British Heart Foundation, helping to sort furniture and other goods for sale in the shop, and organising deliveries.

Andy Bailey, manager of the British Heart Foundation in Bradford, can’t sing Steve’s praises enough. He is not only a volunteer who puts in the hard work but also inspires others – often against the odds.

Andy says: “Despite having recently turned 60 years old he is the most hard working volunteer we have!

“His cheery disposition and friendly manner makes him one of the most popular members of our team. He motivates the younger team members and trains them up and is an inspiration to most.”

According to Andy, there was recently a young man on placement from the Job Centre who, when starting, obviously resented having ‘to work’ for his benefits and didn’t want to be there.

That was until he met Steve Bentley.

Andy says: “After teaming him up with Steve, not only did he stay and volunteer, but he managed to find full time employment, which he put down to enjoying his time with us, due to teaming up with Steve.”


Mariyam, or Maz as she’s known to the legion of people who have come across her enthusiasm, is a tireless operator for the Kala Sangam arts centre in Bradford.

Maz assists with the running of front of house events, which can vary from assisting on arts workshops, to selling tickets and refreshments at our shows, to looking after the artists and setting up the venue for a show.

She is never fazed by tasks and often uses her initiative and skill to the benefit of Kala Sangam Cassandra Richardson, of Kala Sangam, says: “Maz is both enthusiastic about Bradford and about Kala Sangam; she goes over and above what is required of her to ensure performance nights run smoothly.

“She has become an essential part of our team and as a consequence never lets us down. Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious and as a result the rest of the team is lifted by her presence.

“Maz will often put Kala Sangam first, choosing to volunteer for us over nights out with friends and family, her commitment is astounding and rare.

“She works full time and volunteers and champions many other causes as well as Kala Sangam.

“She is a brilliant ambassador for Bradford constantly enthusing about its history and future and promoting its culture. She is constantly suggesting promotional opportunities to us and assisting us in ways that exceed her role.

“For this and her commitment and the fact that she volunteers for the joy of helping I would love to see Maz awarded the Community Stars Award for volunteers.”

Click here for a form to cast your vote in the Volunteer category