AAWAZ an Accrington based support group for Asian women held an awards ceremony at Accrington Town Hall on Thursday 6th March. The turnout resulted in a full house with local dignitaries being present including the Mayor of Hyndburn Judith Addison.

This support group ably led by Zulekha Dala, Chief Officer of AAWAZ , must be highly commended for putting on such a professional event which lasted 3 hours. Zulekha was assisted by compere Stephen Glover of the Eaves Brook Housing Association.

AAWAZ was formed in 1997 and thanks to Zulekha and her team hundreds of Asian women now lead more independent lives after improving their English. It was very much stressed by Zulekha that Asian women must learn English so they can then participate in the community in a meaningful way. In addition the women are taught to read and write. Zulekha said “It’s been a phenomenal success and we have seen so many women participate. By speaking English confidently then you can speak for yourself and don’t need to depend on anybody”.

The awards ceremony included a presentation by the Headmaster of RhyddingsHigh School Paul Trickett and Carmel Cunliffe Business Manager at the School who with students are engaged in an Heritage project and trophies were presented to 3 students who have excelled in this project. Their involvement is very much appreciated by the organisers of AAWAZ.

The success of AAWAZ in Accrington has meant offices opening in Preston, Pendle and Rossendale. In addition this organisation is attracting attention throughout the United Kingdom.

Besides the speeches and the presentations there was dancing, singing and poem reading carried out by young Asian men and women which ensured nonstop entertainment.

The highlight of the awards ceremony was the selection by AAWAZ members of 3 people who the organisation considered had been prominent in the community of Hyndburn, one of these was Doreen Lawton the President of the Rotary Club of Church and Oswaldtwistle, Doreen has spearheaded the Rotary Club in so many ways in getting involved in the community through projects in Primary and Secondary schools, Reading for the Blind, crocus planting, gifts to local charities, the Christmas Sleigh and the Annual Charity Walk.

President Doreen commented that “ She was very impressed by the work thatZulekha and her staff are doing and that the awards ceremony was a great success. Rotary wants to get involved with AAWAZ as we can help each other”.

Michael Jackson

The photo shows President Doreen receiving the award from Judith Addison Mayor of Hyndburn.

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