Outstanding Firoza Wins Premier Achievement Award

Firoza Mohmed has been announced as the winner of the John Roberts Outstanding Achievement Award 2023, sponsored by Let’s Foster.

The John Roberts Outstanding Achievement award recognises an individual whose career has been distinguished by a continued commitment to excellence. Leadership will have been demonstrated by the individual’s achievements and sustained commitment to building a vibrant community. The individual or group would also be supportive of the most vulnerable in society.

Firoza will be presented with the prestigious accolade at the 1V Awards Dinner in late February 2023. She will receive her award from sponsors Let’s Foster.

Firoza has been at the forefront of the battle to support vulnerable females, particularly from marginalised communities, who have been victims of domestic abuse and honour based violence.

The trustees of One Voice Blackburn made the decision earlier in the year to give the award to Blackburn-born Firoza Mohmed. 

The ex-Billinge High School student and mother of two left her job in social housing as she felt that the needs of BAME women were not being met. She joined the charity Humraaz in 2004. When she first joined the charity there was just one refuge property to house females who were victims of domestic abuse and other forms of violence.

Over the next 18 years Firoza set about understanding the needs of the women, but also to create projects and life skills for them to be able to utilise once they left the refuge.

As well as general support Firoza was also instrumental in ensuring women received educational help, immigration support and psychological assistance. Peer support is another initiative that was brought in by Firoza.

Humraaz also make it a priority to work with organisations in terms of mental health and well-being. Some of the skills they teach women include: driving skills, herbal and natural medicine use and technology skills. These skills enable them to progress and break the cycle of deprivation of any sort.

The work of Humraaz has been praised locally, regionally and nationally and is often seen as a blueprint for working with marginalised groups when dealing with this incredibly sensitive subject matter. Humraaz, who celebrated their 20th birthday in December 2022, could not have delivered their service without the inspirational and dedicated Chief Officer Firoza Mohmed. 

Abrar Hussain, chair of One Voice Blackburn and the 1V Awards panel praised the award winner. “We have observed the work of Humraaz for a number of years, and in particular the dedication shown by Firoza Mohmed to supporting some of the most vulnerable in our communities and in society. The trustees and I agreed that she was the outstanding choice for 2023, especially as the charity celebrated its 20th anniversary with Firoza being part of the charity for most of its existence.”

Service Lead, Placements, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Children’s Services, Louise Helm said, “I would like to personally congratulate Firoza on receiving this award, it is clear that Firoza’s commitment to supporting and advocating for women of BAME is inspirational and is invaluable to some of our most vulnerable women in the community. I would like to offer thanks on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen for Firoza’s unending commitment and drive in this area.”

On hearing news of being the winner of the John Roberts Outstanding Achievement Award a truly humble Firoza said, “I’m truly overwhelmed. I really don’t see what I do as a job. I feel passionate in wanting to support women that are in need and I feel honoured to be able to help these women. It’s not something that I want recognition for I just want to do it because I love to help people, especially women.”

The John Roberts Achievement Award

John Roberts was a great local activist, a great politician, and a great man. The local councillor was a massive supporter of the 1V Awards Dinner. He attended the event in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2017 he was taken ill and could not attend. Sadly a few days later he passed away. He was a passionate advocate of One Voice Blackburn and attended the event each year. He encouraged and supported the charity into making the Awards a central part of Blackburn with Darwen. In return the Trustees announced in 2018 that the 1V Outstanding Achievement Award would be renamed in his honour.