THREE local winners are among the recipients of the British Muslim Awards 2020.

Organisers of the 8th awards, which aim to showcase the strength of the British Muslim community, have announced the winning organisations, businesses and individuals who have triumphed at the this year's ceremony.

Finalists were whittled down across more than a dozen categories.

Multicultural supporters' group Bangla Bantams was one of the big winners of the night, picking up the title of Social Inclusion Group of the Year.

Bradford firm Nafees Bakers and Sweets took home the Food Business of the Year award.

And the Rising Star of the Year award went to Najwa Jawahar of WSP.

Bangla Bantams was set up in 2015 with help from the Fans for Diversity campaign fund, which is jointly run by anti-racism group Kick It Out and the Football Supporters' Federation.

The project promotes and encourages participation by the South Asian community in grassroots football in the district.

Humayun Islam said of the British Muslim Awards win: "We are delighted to have won the Social Inclusion group of the Year Award 2020 at the British Muslim Awards 2020.

"The award means a lot to us and we want to thank everyone involved with the Bangla Bantams group.

"We have done lots of work around community cohesion and increasing fans from diverse communities.

"We hope to inspire more groups to increase fans from diverse communities as football is a great way to bring communities together."

Nafees Bakers has been in operation since 1979 and is the largest Asian confectionery producer in Europe.

It produces baked goods, snacks, savouries, biscuits and fresh cakes.

On Facebook the firm posted: "Alhamdulila and thank you to all our beloved customers and fans, we have received Business of the year 2020 today at British Muslim Award 2020."

Najwa Jawahar is a chartered structural engineer. On Twitter after her win, she posted: "I am on a mission to deconstruct and challenge the stereotypes. Proud to be #Muslim, proud to be a #woman and proud to be an #engineer. Changing the world one #building at a time and #perspectives one heart a time."

The award ceremony took place on Friday at the Mercure Piccadilly Hotel in Manchester.

Organisers, Oceanic Consulting, explained that the awards exist to recognise a wide range of achievements from inspiring individuals, including those who positively impact business, charity, sport, arts, culture, religious advocacy, education and medicine.

Members of the public are asked to nominate deserving individuals and organisations.

The 8th British Muslim Awards 2020 were presented by Trusted Utility Consultants and Muslim Global Relief, and were organised by Oceanic Consulting – the UK’s leading ethnic awards company.

Chief executive officer Irfan Younis said: "Every year I think we’ve seen the best the British Muslim community has to offer but every year I’m blown away by just how special the talent is and just how hard people work to service their communities.

"I have no doubt that the Muslim community will continue to thrive and act as leaders for future generations to come.”

Oceanic Consulting host annual award ceremonies, including the Curry Awards, Asian Business, Asian Food, British Muslim, British Indian and Britain’s Asian Wedding Awards.