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Honored for his 37-year volunteering services

Oldham Volunteer Inspires Youngsters to Improve Their Communities

Coming to the UK at the age of four, Idris Ali dedicated the majority of his life years to serving the community.

Today, after receiving a BET (British Empire Medal) for 37 years of voluntary work, he hopes to inspire youngsters to help improve their local neighborhoods.

“I am proud, happy and grateful. The first thing that comes to my mind is all the people that have supported me and believed in me. Above all I want to thank almighty Allah without whom nothing is ever possible,” he said, Asian Image reported.

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“My faith also got me through some of the toughest times in my life. I want this award to inspire others to take up voluntary activities and do good work in the community and make a difference in people’s lives.”

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Other Muslims named in King’s Birthday Honors include Ehsan Shahid Choudhry, a British Pakistani who has been honored with the British Empire Medal for his services to the low-income residents of the Hounslow area of London.

Muslim educator, author, and community leader Dr. Maysoon Salama has also received Order of Merit in recognition of her services to the Muslim community and education.

Inspiring Youngsters

Idris insists he wants to inspire youngsters and have a positive impact in all areas of Oldham.

“I want to change younger people’s focus towards sport and positive community activities to turn them away from drugs and the streets,” he said.

“In Oldham’s Bangladeshi community, there has been a positive impact due to my community work. The only way to tackle the drug problem and anti-social behavior is through the kind of work I have done such as mentoring, football, other activities and establishing good role models.

“The government needs to do more as well. As a father of three, my biggest fear above anything else is if my sons start taking drugs. It is every single parents’ worst nightmare.”

Passionate about football, Idris co-founded a football team Red Star Bengal, organized tournaments, mini leagues and is also a qualified FA football coach.

“I became a mentor for youngsters from deprived backgrounds in Oldham for a while. It’s really challenging to see the difficulties our youngsters go through,” he said.