Recognition for community stalwart Habiban at awards

A community stalwart has been recognised by the House of Lords for her work helping integration in Dewsbury.

Habiban Zaman, from Batley Carr, went down to London last week to receive a British Community Honours Award for her work regarding cohesion work in Kirklees.

Mum of two Habiban works as an engagement officer for Kirklees Council but it is her efforts to help the town during her spare time that have been lauded by the politicians.

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For more than 25 years she has been instrumental in providing support to women across the whole region, setting up support groups and dealing with taboo subjects across different cultures.

Habiban said:“I’ve been volunteering in the community for about 27 years now. I started as a very young person.

“A lot of work has been based around how we can get people to mix with those from other communities and we’ve managed to get Asian women and white women together over a coffee.

“My aim has been to break down a lot of the stereotypes and barriers that are still there on both sides of the community.”

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Habiban, 47, has no idea who put her forward for the prize as nominations are anonymous .

After being presented with a commemorative silver plate for the occasion she added: “The ceremony was fantastic.

“ I’ve come away inspired to do more.

“I’ve met some very inspirational people volunteering to do all kinds of projects.”

Last year, Habiban, who has helped thousandsof women in the district, was given the royal seal of approval for her work in the community by being rewarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with a British Empire Medals.

She received the award for services to women in North Kirklees.