WEST Yorkshire and South Asia combine the best of both cultures with food being the biggest crossover but we have been embraced in schools, sports clubs and the community.

First generation immigrants came over here from South Asia to build a better life for themselves and did thanks to British business owners giving people like my grandparents a chance to work alongside local residents in mills, factories and many other workplaces across this great county of ours.

Today many are proud to call themselves West Yorkshire born and bred with a South Asian heritage thanks to that start in the mid-1900s which paved the way for many of us to set up our own businesses from restaurants to supermarkets.

I have gone from working in a restaurant whilst studying social sciences at university which in turn gave me the skills and knowledge to become a councillor for Bradford Moor plus helped me to a decades long career as a social worker.

Both jobs have allowed me to give back to a community that has given me so much whilst this county is still giving young people from all backgrounds a quality education to go on and do well.

As a keen cricketer in my younger days, nothing makes me prouder than to see Adil Rashid and Jonny Bairstow come from Bradford, whilst playing cricket for Yorkshire and England.

To see Naz Shah, Imran Hussain and Judith Cummins alongside others represent our communities in Parliament as a local politician also fills me with pride. West Yorkshire has given both boys and girls of South Asian heritage born here an opportunity to thrive.

It is not all success stories though but thankfully we have charities alongside individuals working day and night to turn the lives of disadvantaged residents around. As a local councillor, I have pledged to do my best so people using foodbanks today can afford to eat out on Leeds Road tomorrow. During this pandemic, key workers from all backgrounds worked to keep us safe from nurses, shop workers to those keeping food banks afloat.

I just want to thank Yorkshire for giving me so much and embracing my South Asian heritage as it is a joy to experience the two everyday.

Councillor Mohammed Shafiq, Labour councillor for Bradford Moor