A RETIRED adoption social worker from Shipley who was awarded an MBE for services to children and families in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, has died following a short illness at the age of 73.

Taiyabur Rahman Chowdhury worked with Bradford Adoption and Fostering Services and had helped more than 50 couples adopt a child since 1994.

He loved his work so much he only recently retired at the age of 72.

He carried out a lot of work in his own time to ensure a positive outcome for both prospective parents and the child. Stating at the time he learned he was being honoured, he said he was both delighted and proud.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my work and have worked with some fantastic managers to help so many couples become a family and give their love to a child,” he said. “It can be a long process, sometimes nine or 10 months, to complete an adoption and it is an anxious time for couples.”

He said he spent many hours with couples to ensure the child they eventually took home was right for them, as well as ensuring the child was going to have a loving family.

He died at home on November 17 before he was able to attend his investiture and collect his medal.

His family, wife Zinnat, and five children, hope to be able to collect it on his behalf.

Mr Chowdhury, who had lived in Shipley since 1970, arrived in the UK aged 20 in 1963 after completing a BA at the University of Dhaka, in Bangladesh. He valued education immensely and went on to gain a diploma in higher education at the University of Bradford and a diploma in public service interpreting at the Institute of Linguistics in London, both in 1994.

In 1997 he received a diploma in social work at the University of Huddersfield after enrolling on the course at the age of 51.

Prior to working in adoption, Mr Chowdhury was a children’s social worker and before that, he ran a restaurant. He also served for many years in Bradford as a magistrate.

Mr Chowdhury’s daughter, Samina Chowdhury said: “Dad was passionate about helping others and would always go that extra mile. He had a very strong work ethic and was thrilled to have been awarded an honour from The Queen. It was so sad that he became ill and died before he could collect it.

“He was a loving husband, father and grandfather who always had time for his family despite many other demands on his time.”