COMMUNITY champions are the kind of people who take action to improve the lives of others in their community and that is what this category aims to celebrate.

For the 2019 Community Stars Awards, there are four people in with a chance of winning the Community Champion medal at the ceremony this December.

They are: Aleksandra Marcinkowska, Adele Johnson, Dorota Plata and Dr Ezhil Anand.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Aleksandra MarcinowskaAleksandra Marcinowska

ALEKSANDRA MARCINKOWSKA was nominated for her work as the chief executive of UK Butterflies LTD, a non profit organisation in Bradford supporting central and Eastern European migrants.

Aleksandra, who qualified as one of the first Polish speaking immigration advisors and is level one OISC, helps the most vulnerable EU migrants living in Bradford secure their status after Brexit.

But her expert advice is completely free.

Aleksandra said: “I was shocked, astonished. When I received the email that I was nominated, I had to investigate who nominated me and it was my own daughter. I wasn’t expecting that.

“It’s my duty and responsibility towards the community because I am simply on a mission and I believe anyone in my position would do the same. I don’t perceive it as something special. I feel honoured. It’s just the fact that I perceive my volunteering as something ordinary, even though I am helping people everyday.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Adele JohnsonAdele Johnson

ADELE JOHNSON has been shortlisted for working on a fake news quashing campaign, Empowering Minds Project.

It began as a mum’s project aimed at raising awareness of radicalisation.

Adele met other groups of mums to share her lived experience, starting her journey to learning about other faiths at the Community Iftar in City Park.

She visited a mosque again to ask questions and dispel the myths she heard from within her own community.

As well as this Adele recently helped a neighbour who had been subject of a financial crime - she contacted the authorities and made her best efforts to secure the CCTV.

Adele said: “I feel very privileged and honoured to have been nominated for the award but I do not think I have done anything to actually deserve the nomination because I am just being me.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dorota PlataDorota Plata

DOROTA PLATA is a go-between for new families moving from Eastern and Central European countries to Bradford district.

Dorota has hosted community days for people to meet others, invited outside agencies and partners to understand the issues these communities face and is a point of contact for many who are new to Bradford.

Dorota Plata, who is a centre manager at The Good Shepherd Centre, is also an authorised advisor for the EU Settled Status Scheme and is level one OISC authorised for EUSS.

Dorota said: “I was totally surprised and am absolutely overwhelmed to find that I have been nominated for the Community Champion Award.

“I feel very honoured and proud that my work for asylum seekers and refugees, EU, and all new-comers to Keighley has been recognised.

“My work in the community is very rewarding and I am grateful to be able to work with such fantastic people, hearing their stories and helping them wherever and whenever possible.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dr Ezhil AnandDr Ezhil Anand

DR EZHIL ANAND has made the final for his work on numerous wellbeing and fundraising projects over the years.

Despite his busy medicine career, Dr Anand is a volunteer at the People Together project which supports the Stronger Communities Partnership Board in achieving the Bradford Districts vision.

He started an online healthy eating group called Currywatchers to promote health and fitness as well as the Yorkshire Indian/International Business Network.

The doctor also gave out ‘Khadi’ poppies at an Indian Diwali event to remember the sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from Britain and the Commonwealth.

He is the founder of an online radio station, bringing people together with education.

He said: “I am really incredibly pleased and honoured to be nominated. The nomination will reinforce my view that one should always go the extra mile to make a difference.”

Vote for your Community Star here

Voting deadline: Thursday, November 28