BRADFORD'S unsung community heroes received well-deserved recognition at a ceremony at City Hall.

Public-spirited people were in the spotlight at the fifth Telegraph & Argus Community Stars Awards, organised in conjunction with Bradford Council.

The winners were presented with a Bradford medal, with runners-up receiving a certificate.

Opening the awards, Bradford Lord Mayor Councillor Joanne Dodds said: "I would like to thank everyone who has been nominated for all that you do. You are all true community stars and long may you twinkle."

Picture gallery of all winners and nominees

Damian Holmes, head of content and deputy editor of the T&A, said: "The people of this district are the most community-minded and generous-spirited around. I know that because day in, day out we are publishing news stories about them."

Over 3,000 votes were cast by T&A readers who decided six of the seven categories.

A judging panel gave an Outstanding Contribution award, donated in memory of the late Bradford businessman Dr Achhar Paul Dharni, to a couple who have campaigned to raise awareness of the consequences of reckless driving.

Amjad Malik and Uzma Sheikh set up a campaign, Consequences of Reckless Driving, in memory of their son, Saliq, 15, a passenger in a car which crashed in Gilpin Street, Barkerend, last year.

After receiving his award, Mr Malik dedicated it to his Saliq.

The Volunteer award was presented to Arshad Zaman, who has helped organise a health group for South Asian women and is a volunteer at Girlington Community Centre.

She said volunteering had boosted her confidence: "Sometimes it is challenging as I am a mother of eight children."

The Good Neighbour award was won by Mohammed Saddique, nominated by police for saving the life of an elderly woman.

The woman, who had been a regular customer of his taxi firm, had failed to book a cab for two weeks. The now recently-retired taxi driver rang police and went with them to the woman's home with his daughter, Farah.

The woman was found in a poorly condition and living in squalid circumstances, so was taken to Airedale Hospital by ambulance. If he had not alerted the police, the woman could have died.

Mr Saddique said he was grateful to be recognised and urged others look out for their neighbours.

Peer support group Face it Together received the Community Group award.

The group is run for people with dementia by people who suffer from the condition. It gives people the opportunity to meet with others who understand some of what they are going through.

The Community Champion award went to Shahid Islam who has been running a swimming session and has set up a neighbourhood Whatsapp group in Parkside so local information is shared.

He has also encouraged residents to plant up their gardens with wildlife-friendly plants.

Mr Islam said he was shocked to be nominated and even more surprised to win.

The Young Active Citizen category was won by Black Heritage Youth Ambassadors, young people dedicated to gathering information about the African and African Caribbean community in Bradford. They have worked tirelessly to plan, negotiate and interview older black people in the district to capture their stories within the first generation of these communities.

The Fundraising award was presented to Lauren Kilvington O'Connor, a member of Bradford Youth Service's Shipley Youth Cafe who has helped disadvantaged young people to develop skills and confidence.

Councillor Arshad Hussain, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities at Bradford Council, said: "The Council is keen to see people to continue doing what they are already doing in their communities and we encourage others to do likewise.

"In 2016 the Council will support a People Can Make a Difference campaign that will encourage more community stars."