ONE of the most interesting and inspiring people we met while we were researching Deepest Somerset was Sayed Ahmad, the Bangladeshi-born owner of Poppadom, an Indian takeaway in Weston-super-Mare, who devotes much of his time to supporting homeless and disadvantaged people in the town and across North Somerset.
Sayed’s work, and that of the district’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network, has been recognised by the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The award was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Mrs Annie Maw, at a ceremony in Weston-super-Mare Musuem, fortuitously coinciding with Black History Month.
This prestigious national award is equivalent to an MBE in the voluntary sector. It puts Weston-super-Mare on the map as the North Somerset BME Network is apparently the only voluntary organisation in this sector and geographic area to receive such a high honour.
Sayed Ahmad is the chairman of the Weston-super-Mare BME Network, and is also involved in other voluntary organisations, which worked tirelessly throughout the COVID lockdowns supporting staff in the emergency services and NHS, and, apart from the pandemic, also provides a hot meal every day to the homeless in the town.
Pictured: Sayed Ahmed and his wife Saira with the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Annie Maw, and a spectacular celebration cake.