A community action group that was born out of frustration at a range of issues blighting Bradford has won a national award in recognition of its selfless dedication to the district.

Bradford 4 Better picked up a Community Organisation prize at the National Diversity Awards, which were held at a prestigious ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral on Friday.

Dr Sohail Ahmed, who leads Bradford 4 Better, described the win as a surprise.

“One of the judges came to congratulate me after and I asked him, politely, what were you drinking?” he laughs.

“We turned up and just thought it would be a nice evening – winning was a shock.

“But after the initial surprise, it was humbling. It felt like we were representing Bradford.

“There were hundreds of nominees, across all categories, and we were the only ones from here. So it feels like we’ve won this for Bradford.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dr Sohail Ahmed after the winDr Sohail Ahmed after the win (Image: Bradford4Better)

Bradford 4 Better has run several campaigns, including bids to tackle drug dealing, danger drivers, late-night fireworks and littering.

“The City of Culture win has really galvanised a lot of positivity, but there still remains a lot of cynicism about Bradford – people say it’s a dump or that not enough is going on,” Dr Ahmed said.

“But I think we are turning things around, and that people are beginning to have a sense of pride and belief in Bradford.

“Those who live and work here know Bradford is a special place.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Dr Ahmed further reiterated that Bradford 4 Better’s win feels like a win for the entire district.

“We represent the whole district, and we hope our win can help to put Bradford on the map,” he said.

“We wouldn’t be here without the people supporting us. Ultimately, this is an award for the people.

“We aim to transcend boundaries and bring all the cultures we have here in Bradford together, whether it’s through art, education or litter picking.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: L-R: B4B members Yasar Mohammed, Sohail Ahmed and Kashif Ahmed, and Tony Fernandez of partner Africa4UL-R: B4B members Yasar Mohammed, Sohail Ahmed and Kashif Ahmed, and Tony Fernandez of partner Africa4U (Image: n/a)

He added that the organisation is not interested in competing, and instead wants to work alongside other groups in the district.

“I think there are great organisations in Bradford doing a lot more than us, who have been around for longer too, and we want them to be recognised as well,” he said.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Yasar Mohammed, Bradford 4 Better treasurerYasar Mohammed, Bradford 4 Better treasurer (Image: n/a)

“We are supporting the Black History Month event at City Library next month, held by Tony Fernandez of Africa4U. That’s one example of great things that people in Bradford are doing.

“We hope our win can help to open doors for others and help them to reach their potential.”

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