For 25 years Rangzaeb Iqbal has helped people who have lost their loved ones by volunteering for Muslim funeral services.

Now his dedication to helping others has been recognised with the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Rangzaeb said: “Death is inevitable, something we cannot avoid or run away from and something which we don’t like to think about also.

“After the death of a Muslim person there is a certain process that has to be followed. Many do not know how to follow this process, therefore need help to prepare their loved ones to meet our lord. This is why I have volunteered for the last 25 years with Muslim funeral services to ease that difficulty for many people.

 “As a Muslim we have a duty of care towards one another and the wider community. This is my way of helping the Muslim community.

“To be recognised for my efforts in the community is a great feeling but most importantly I hope my Allah my lord the most merciful and the most kind is pleased with my efforts.”

He added: “I would like to thank all the people behind the community stars awards. I heard some amazing stories on the night and the participants are all winners.”

Rangzaeb was nominated by his daughter Amreen Iqbal, who said: “My father is a diabetic and suffers from kidney and liver problems and sometimes struggles to walk, but he still continues to work hard and give a lot back to the community, he is a great asset to a lot of people.

“He works as a bus driver and also does over a 100 hours of voluntary work by working alongside Muslim funeral service and helping people wash their loved ones.”

Rangzaeb has also devoted himself to educating the young about the dangers of speeding. He held an awareness event which was attended by 1,500 young people and which has been viewed by 50,000 on YouTube.

After being nominated he said: “I feel very honoured to have received a nomination. I serve the community to keep my late fathers legacy going and to please my Lord. 

“I feel happy that I’m  able to lift some weight off the shoulders of those people who have lost their loved ones.”

There were six finalists in the Volunteer of the Year category - all doing fantastic work to help other people.

Aminah Hussain is a volunteer at Bradford Doulas, a project which offers practical and emotional support to pregnant women and their families before, during and after birth.

Joshua Smith is a community first responder for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Mani Salim and Phoenix FC do valuable work within the community giving children and adults, including women and girls, the chance to play football.

Shummel Uddin gives his time to many projects such as helping to clean the local park, helping out at the local football club, taking part in bucket collections and delivering food parcels.

Emma Harrison runs an SEN support group for parents and a stroke survivors group. She also jointly runs a craft group and organises events for an older people’s lunch club.

Community Stars Awards winners

You can find out about this year's winners by clicking each award category below.