Awaz FM, the voice of Glasgow’s ethnic communities, has become the second community radio station in the UK to win The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups. In 2009, Angel Radio, from Havant, Hampshire, was announced as one of 95 volunteering groups from across the UK to win that year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
This prestigious National Honour recognises outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups voluntarily devoting their time for the benefit of others. It sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of those awarded being judged of the highest standard.
Attracting more than 200,000 listeners a week, Awaz, which translates as ‘voice’ in Urdu and Hindi, is the only media platform where information and services can be delivered in a multilingual format.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recognises the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups in the UK voluntarily devoting their time for the benefit of others. It is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities.
Ali Malik, director at Awaz FM said, “We are honoured to win this very prestigious award and accept it on behalf of our many volunteers, without whose support the voice of Glasgow’s ethnic communities would fall silent.
“In accepting this award, I would like therefore to acknowledge the tremendous support Awaz FM has received from volunteers, local organisations and business and, of course, our many listeners. I am confident that this recognition of our achievements will help ensure that Awaz FM continues to provide an important community service to Glasgow’s ethnic communities for many years to come.”
Awaz FM will receive a certificate signed by the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by the Lord Provost of Glasgow Bob Winter at a special ceremony. The station has also received an invitation for representatives to attend a Royal Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the summer.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Main Award Committee Chair and former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said,
“Outstanding volunteer groups across the UK all too often go without recognition for the truly amazing work they do, despite the vital part they play in helping bind our communities together. It’s a great pleasure to celebrate the efforts of Awaz FM with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and help raise awareness of all they do for the benefit of others.”
One of the first community radio stations in the UK to win a license and operated by more than 50 volunteers ranging in age from 11 to 65, with even its directors working on a voluntary basis, Awaz FM employs only three full-time staff. Amongst its many community initiatives is a ‘Basic Radio Skills’ media training course aimed at anyone interested in developing new skills for further education or to give them confidence to enhance their employment opportunities.
Awaz FM serves the Asian and African community in Glasgow, delivering entertainment, community information, local, national and international news broadcasting in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Swahili and English. It works with many organisations including Glasgow City Council, Greater Glasgow Health Board, Community Planning Partnership, Strathclyde Police, Fire Brigade, Scottish Government, Cemvo, Gara and West of Scotland Racial Equality Council in delivering their services to the Asian and African Community.