Published Wednesday 5 February 2020 at 10:40
A young Blackburn student who wrote a speech that attracted international acclaim has won a major local award.
12 year old Sara Hussain will be this year’s recipient of the Leader’s Award, which was created by community group One Voice Blackburn.
The award is one of the Community Champion Awards to be presented at this year’s One Voice Blackburn annual dinner in King George’s Hall later this month.
The Leader’s Award is sponsored by Our Community, Our Future, the social integration programme for Blackburn with Darwen.
The public made nominations for the Leader’s Award, of people who have promoted community cohesion through integration and leadership. The winner has been chosen jointly by the Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Councillor Mohammed Khan, and One Voice Blackburn.
Dozens of nominations were submitted for the award with the majority putting forward Sara Hussain, in recognition of the speech she wrote when comforting a friend who was caught up in the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.
Blackburn born Sara talked about inventing a time machine so she could persuade Salman Abedi not to carry out the mass murders as fans left the Ariana Grande concert nearly three years ago.
Her speech, If I Could Change the World, won top prize in a schools’ public speaking competition and has been widely shared on social media.
A delighted Sara said:
I wrote from the heart and was overwhelmed by the response to it. This shows how important it is to be a part of such an amazing community and to belong. I wish I could do more to help the community of Blackburn with Darwen. With the support I’ve received from my schools and community groups such as One Voice Blackburn, I feel I can.
Chairman of One Voice Abrar Hussain said:
We are delighted that Sara is the recipient of this award. Her writing was provocative and empathetic. To articulate such poignant emotion at her age is a rare thing. She is a true talent and an inspiration to her peers.
Sara will be presented with the Leader’s Award by Councillor Mohammed Khan at the One Voice Annual Dinner in King George’s Hall on Saturday 22 February.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of the Council, said:
Sara touched so many people – and not just in our local community – with her passionate speech that spread a message of hope and love. It’s not surprising that Sara received numerous nominations in recognition of sharing this message to a worldwide audience. She is a credit to her family and to her teachers, and I’m sure they’re very proud of her – as we are.
She’s a remarkable young lady and thoroughly deserves this award for her role in encouraging cohesion and helping people to understand one another better.
For more information about the One Voice Annual Awards, visit www.onevoicenetwork.org.uk/annual-dinner or call 01254 676193.