A social enterprise in Oldham which helps struggling families and migrants has been recognised with a national award.

Upturn, which specialises in helping disadvantaged people find work, won the Community Spirit of the Year at the British Muslim Awards 2024.

Anwar Ali OBE, co-founder of Upturn, said the award is a reminder that "our aims are the same" as he encourages Oldhamers to "remind ourselves of shared values and work together for a better borough and a peaceful world".

Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to The Oldham Times’ morning and evening newsletters as well as our breaking news alerts 

He continued: “Most of the major faiths and philosophies are built upon the same tenants of compassion and charity and whilst this is fantastic recognition from the Islamic community, it gives us the opportunity to say again compassion is not exclusive to any one race, gender or sexuality.

"We are all in this together.”  

The non-judgemental enterprise not only has a multicultural workforce but engages with migrants who are new to the area.

Recruitment experts provide advice on education, housing and work, helping people to find work placements while assisting with CVs to help the new residents stand on their own two feet.

Upturn is also about to tour some of Oldham's most disadvantaged areas in a "campervan of hope", offering health, wellbeing and financial support in its new converted VW Buzz van.

Anwar added: “We do not stop and question the whys and wherefores of poverty or their background, we deal with the need, because that is right and will be the basis of a better society where everyone matters.”

Now in its eleventh year, The British Muslim Awards serve as a platform to acknowledge the tireless efforts and dedication of British Muslims who have enriched society.

Upturn beat off challenges from similar organisations across the country, from Falkirk in Scotland to London and Cardiff.

Anwar himself was also celebrated as a nominee in the Social Leader of the Year award category.

He said: "It has probably become a bit trite to say, 'this is not about me', but genuinely the spirit of social enterprise in Oldham is being noticed on a UK level.

"And that is due to not only our superb team, but all the schools, businesses, funders like Children in Need and social enterprises that support Upturn and our borough.

"We do not seek out recognition like this but welcome the kudos it brings for all of those people.” 

If you have a story, I cover all things Oldham from food reviews and local business news to music and events, pubs, education, crime, property, health, community concerns and much more. Please email me at Olivia.bridge@newsquest.co.uk or send me a message on Twitter @Livbridge with your news.