Mahmood Akhtar and Joe Harrison
Mahmood volunteers with Barnardo’s, providing individualised support to disabled children and young people from black and minority ethnic communities in Rochdale. Through his support, he helps families, children and young people to access local services, activities and opportunities within their communities, and enables disabled and non-disabled children to play and learn alongside one another.
Using his language skills, Mahmood also works with families in the area who do not have English as a first language access their local services. He also shares information relating to cultural or religious requirements with his colleagues, which helps the organisation to develop a more culturally-aware and sensitive service.
Joe volunteers with the ‘All About Children’s Centre’ in Essex, helping out with the Early Years Sessions. He identified a Lithuanian family who needed additional support and went above and beyond to make the service more inclusive to them.
Joe continues to work closely with the family, taking it upon himself to translate many of the story books used during the sessions at the Centre, despite having no prior knowledge of Lithuanian. He has also worked closely with the rest of the group at the Centre to develop their basic knowledge of Lithuanian so that they can ensure that their services are fully inclusive for the family.