On Monday 11 October the Muslim Council of Britain held its third Young Muslim Beacon Awards 2010. The ceremony hosted at the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace of the House of Lords saw three organisations awarded for their outstanding contribution to young Muslims in the UK.
The winners who came through stiff competition to triumph were Positive Start for the Local category, Nida Trust for the Regional category and MADE in Europe for the National category.
The nominations were judged by a distinguished panel of three led by the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain Farooq Murad as well as Neil Jameson, Executive Director of London Citizens and James Carthcart, Chief Executive of the British Youth Council.
The ceremony saw over 150 young people come together including many of MCBs youth affiliates, representatives of faith communities, civil society organisations and others. Also in attendance were notable parliamentarians from across the House to celebrate the work of the successful youth organisations.
Lord Sheikh of Cornhill, Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum who hosted the event said `It is so brilliant to see the great work taking place. You are great role models for our country and I am honoured to join you in celebrating beacons of hope and inspiration for our country'.
Newly elected Labour MP for Glasgow Central, Anas Sawar MP said `We face big challenges throughout the UK. We have chosen this country; our education matters to us, our good health service for our parents matters to us. And it matters to us that we have opportunities for our young people and this is something the MCB has always championed. Young people are the future and it is fantastic to see so many young faces. Now is your time to reach for the very best'.
Simon Hughes MP, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats said `The future of Britain depends on young people, particularly in our minority ethnic and faith communities, seizing every opportunity to be the leaders of tomorrow. The reality is that Britain will be setting an example to the World if the next generation shows that no matter what your background, your faith, your class, your region, your geography, or your family history, you believe this is a society in a world worth working and contributing to.So the salute is to sisters and brothers in Islam in the younger generations. You are changing Britain, you are changing Britain for good, the country salutes you and this parliament of yours salutes you'.
Also in attendance were Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green and Simon Danczuk MP.
Speaking after the event, Kawsar Zaman, Vice-Chair of the MCBs Youth Affairs Committee who coordinated the event said, `it was a fantastic night to see so many young people converge at the Houses of Parliament, many of whom had never visited Parliament before, and celebrate together what both the winners and nominees have achieved, often with the most limited of resources. They are perfect examples of the Big Society in action. I really hope these awards encourage them to continue contributing to our communities and further inspire others to follow in their footsteps".
Dr David Atkinson, Director of Development at The British Institute of Technology and E-commerce who sponsored the event said `We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic cause and I would like to send my heartfelt congratulations to the winners of these awards'.
Representatives of the three award winning organisations spoke of their delight and asked for support from all in their voluntary work for the good of the nation.
In his keynote address to the reception, Farooq Murad, the Secretary General of the MCB emphasised that excellence is very central to Islamic tradition and highlighted by the term 'Ihsan'. He said `This is what these awards are trying to encourage. They also encourage creativity in ideas and expand what we call good practice on how we can help young Muslims. It is through creative solutions that we can move forward. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees'.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK's largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
2. Young Muslim Beacon Awards 2010 is a project of the MCBs Youth Affairs Committee. There are only three winners each year and they are awarded solely on the basis of the application form they submitted.
3. Winners and Nominees:
Local winner Positive Start is a small local community organisations based in Rossendale, Lancashire which was established in the living room of their founder trustee. Positive Start hosts a wide range of activities for its local community with over fifty different activities delivered each year for young people.
Regional winner Nida Trust based in London runs a Leadership course for people of different faiths focusing on raising the aspirations and achievements of young people. It provides free skills and training with a specific focus on leadership development and has produced many successful individuals through its programme.
National winner MADE in Europe is a UK-Based NGO mobilising young Muslims to take a leading role in the fight against global poverty. The NGO provides overseas volunteering opportunities on issues such as maternal health, climate change and trade justice. MADE seeks to address the under-representation of the Muslim and ethnic minority communities within the sector and facilitate the recognition and contribution of faith in international development.
The other shortlisted nominees who narrowly missed out were Global Pindd, Unwind Summer School, and the Muslim Youth Helpline.
5. For interviews with any of the winners of the awards or picture requests email
6. The event was kindly sponsored by The British Institute of Technology and E-commerce and hosted by Lord Sheikh of Cornhill. The MCB Youth Affairs Committee is further grateful to Aliways for their media services.
For further information please contact the MCB:
The Muslim Council of Britain,
PO Box 57330,
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079