Zafar Ahmad (16) from London was today welcomed by the Prime Minister for a reception at 10 Downing Street in recognition of the recent ‘Flood Hero’ award he and four others were presented by ITV Daybreak. Zafar and the other winners received the award live on the Day Break show along with a £5,000 prize to go towards his chosen charity by Sir Richard Branson.
During his half-term holidays in February, the sixteen year old from Southfields, London, joined volunteers from Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), a UK youth charity, to assist with the wider flood relief efforts being carried out across the country, including the Staines, Chertsey, and Somerset areas. Zafar spent almost every day helping however he could, whether filling and delivering sandbags, or helping with the massive clean-up operation of the St. Paul’s Church in Staines.
Commenting on the award and reception, Zafar said:
“I don’t consider what I did to be special, but simply fulfilment of my religious duty as a British Muslim to serve my country. I would like to thank ITV for highlighting the plight of those affected by the floods as well as Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite for offering such a kind donation, which I am donating in full to help the flood victims.”
”I was bit nervous about attending the reception, but was at the same time very excited to meet the Prime Minister. Young people are often highlighted for all sorts of negative reasons, but I would like to assure the Prime Minister that there are many positive young Brits who enjoy helping others on a daily basis.”
Jamal Akbar, the AMYA youth coordinator who was moved by Zafar’s selflessness to put his name forward for the award, said:
“In my mind, everyone who helped out with the flood relief efforts is a flood hero, whether they are from our own community, the local residents, the Army or the tremendous Sikh volunteers who worked tirelessly. The reason I nominated Zafar was because of his selfless dedication and the fact that he showed no hesitation in giving up his school holidays to help others. I’m very proud that he got through as there were over 120 nominations across the country. I think he is a great representative for young people across the UK”
Zafar’s volunteering efforts do not stop here as he is already looking forward to raise more money to assist with the massive clean-up required up and down the country. Next month he will be running 10K at the annual MKA-10K on 4th May at Battersea Park. If you would like to support his run and the relief efforts in Somerset, visit Zafar’s Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/Zafar-Ahmad-2014. More information about taking part in the MKA-10K can be found at http://www.mercy4mankind.org.