YOUNG Asians from Bradford won big at a prestigious regional award show, last night.

The winners of the Yorkshire Asian Young Achiever Awards (YAYA’s) were announced at a gala awards night on 17 November at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford.

The awards were founded by Bradford-charity the QED Foundation and are supported by title sponsor, York St John University.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dr Amir Khan, Dr Mohammad Ali OBE, Prof Adeeba Malik CDr Amir Khan, Dr Mohammad Ali OBE, Prof Adeeba Malik C (Image: Guzelian Photography)

They celebrate young people aged 16 to 30 of South Asian heritage who were born in or live and work in Yorkshire, and who have overcome deprivation and disadvantage, or successfully broken through barriers, to become successful role models in their chosen fields.

Over 30 nominees were in contention for the ten award categories.

Nusaybah Tufail, 22,  from Bradford was awarded the Achievement in Health, Mental Health, or Healthcare award, sponsored by the University of York.

Nusaybah is the first female in her family to have completed a university degree (in Children’s Nursing) and works at Bradford Teaching Hospital on the neonatal ward.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Achievement in School Safa Aftab with sponsor Joanne Hyde, Strategic Director at Bradford CouncilAchievement in School Safa Aftab with sponsor Joanne Hyde, Strategic Director at Bradford Council (Image: Guzelian Photography)

Mohammed Saeed, 19, who lives in Bradford, won the Achievement in Arts and Creative Industries, sponsored by the Science Media Museum for Finding his passion in dance which improved his well-being. He is completing his first year in Performing Arts at Bradford College.

Mahnoor Akhlaq, 22 from Bradford was awarded Achievement in Media, sponsored by LocalIQ.

She is a multimedia producer at Channel 4 News. and a journalism graduate from the University of Leeds as well as a Royal Television Society Bursary recipient. She presents and covers stories on homelessness, poverty, and societal issues on Channel 4 News.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Winner in Media Mahnoor Akhlaq with sponsor Steve Lowe, Sales Director of Local IQWinner in Media Mahnoor Akhlaq with sponsor Steve Lowe, Sales Director of Local IQ (Image: Guzelian Photography)

Tanisha Jain, 20, from York won the Achievement in Sport award, sponsored by Janan.

QED was founded in 1990 by Dr Mohammed Ali OBE. Today, the charity is a key player in ethnic minority issues at both national and international level.

Business leaders, celebrities, and influencers attended the awards, which were presented by broadcaster and stand-up comedian, Noreen Khan. Featured guests included the doctor and TV personality, Dr Amir Khan.

Mohammad Malik, 24, was awarded Achievement in Education, sponsored by PeopleCert.

Safura Said won the Private Sector/ Young Entrepreneur category, sponsored by Morrisons.

Safura, 29, who lives in Halifax, left an abusive marriage whilst pregnant. The abuse impacted her mental health, leading to self-harm and severe panic attacks, but she went on to raise her son as a single mother and qualified as a conveyancer. She is also involved with the empowering community, Muslim Hikers.

Safah Aftab, 17, from Bradford, was awarded Achievement in School or College, sponsored by Bradford Council.

Despite having ICF syndrome – a rare genetic disorder that affects the immune system – she completed her GCSEs and went on to college. In 2022, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy. Despite it, she carried on and completed her exams. Her ambition is to study Human Rights’ Law at university.

Sadiya Salim received the Achievement in Public Sector award, sponsored by the Home Office.

The Not-for-Profit sector award, sponsored by Barnardo’s, went to Samiyaa Ahmed, 21, from York. 

Dr Mohammad Ali OBE, CEO of the QED Foundation, said: “The YAYAs are more than just an awards scheme, they’re a campaign to inspire more young people to be successful.

"Many of this year’s YAYA winners have succeeded, despite having to cope with major challenges in life. All of the young people nominated are an inspiration to others, and are making vital contributions to society at large.”

Each year, the YAYAs celebrate an individual for Overcoming Life Obstacles, sponsored by the University of Bradford.

This year the award went to Mohammed Hamad, 26, from Bradford, who was born with a rare genetic disability called Fuhrmann syndrome – a type of skeletal dysplasia - which has left him wheelchair bound. Hamad is a graduate in Accountancy and Finance from the University of Bradford. He currently works for the NHS as a Purchase Ledger Officer.

The Overall Winner for 2023, sponsored by York St John University, went to Mariam Habib.

The night also featured an inaugural award for school children, the Yorkshire Asian Young (YAY) award, which went to 15 year-old Umra Andar from Belle Vue Girls Academy.

QED founded the awards four years ago. The YAYA’s have grown into a key event in the awards calendar.