A COMMUNITY stalwart who aims to boost the lives of those in need both locally and internationally has won the Fundraiser of the Year award.

Fundraising is something that Saliha Sadiq, a social worker, mental health practitioner and a counsellor from East Morton, has done with her parents since childhood; meaning that recognition came as somewhat of a surprise.

Saliha helps voluntary groups in Bradford as well as volunteering to raise £290,000 in total for a number of charities.

This includes the Kashmir Education Foundation, an organisation which provides free education to disadvantaged children in Pakistan, and Indus Hospital Charities which provides free healthcare to those in need across 52 districts of Pakistan.

All the while Saliha works for the NHS full time, completing voluntary and charity work in the evenings and weekend.

This also includes her own charity, Madat Project UK, that ships clothing to those with mental health struggles as well as abandoned children in Karachi.

Saliha also runs mental wellbeing projects at Manningham’s Millan Centre.

Saliha told the Telegraph & Argus: “I feel humbled and proud as I did not expect a recognition, as this is something I have done from being a child and therefore this comes naturally to me.

“I feel everyone who does voluntary, charity and fundraising are all winners in their own right.

“My work in the community and internationally has made a huge difference to peoples lives.

“I know this by receiving feedback from the children, women and families who receive the support.

“At Millan Centre I get positive feedback from the service users, I am active in searching for funds, co-working with the staff and by setting up three successful projects during the lockdown.

“I like to make a positive difference to peoples lives by enabling them to access services and support, to empower them to take control of their own lives.

“I have been involved in fundraising from a very young age.

“Firstly by helping my parents to raise funds for the local community centre and the local mosque.

“My parents were Urdu teachers and they also gave children free tuition at home, I used to assist them with this. My desire to help people grew from being inspired by my parents.”

In a message of thanks to those who voted, Saliha said: “I am grateful to the community who have appreciated the work I have undertaken. I feel honoured to see how far my work has reached.

“A special thank you to Elizabeth Hellmich for nominating me and believed that my work was worthy for nomination.

“Also thank you to Millan Centre service users and everyone involved from the Millan Centre. Not forgetting my family, friends and my NHS colleagues.

“Once again thank you to everyone who has voted for me.”