A DOCTOR from Bolton who has raised £6 million for victims of violence in Syria has been named Man of the Year at an annual awards ceremony.
Dr Mounir Hakimi won the honour at the Fusion Awards, where Bolton came out with three winners at the North West ceremony, more than anywhere else in the region.
The awards recognise people from all backgrounds and cultures, with trophies on offer for the region’s best community champions, sports heroes and entrepreneurs.
Other Bolton winners at the event at King George’s Hall in Blackburn were homeless charity Urban Outreach, named Community Group of the Year, and 11-year-old kickboxer Aamir Mitha, who won the Achievement in Sport award.
Dr Hakimi, aged 37, established the charity Syria Relief in September, 2011, to co-ordinate help for victims of the violence in the country, and it has so far raised more than £6 million, assisting hundreds of people.
He has also visited the war-torn country seven times and said: “I have never won an award before, so it is a real honour and a privilege.
“Thank you to the Fusion Awards for giving me an opportunity to let people become aware of what is really happening in Syria.
“This award will motivate me to work harder and raise more money for charity. It is dedicated to all those who are suffering across the world.”
Young kickboxer Aamir has had a hearing problem since he was aged two, but with hearing aids and lip-reading he has overcome it to achieve his dream of becoming a black belt.
Aamir has trained at Morrison’s Black Belt School every week since he was five years old and became a black belt in January.
He said: “It is amazing and so good, the first time I have held a trophy.
“I have achieved what I wanted to do. To be a kickboxer you have to train hard and improve yourself.”
Bosses at Urban Outreach, which has worked with disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Bolton since 1990, tackling issues such as drug abuse, prostitution and homelessness, were pleasantly shocked at its success.
Chief executive Dave Bagley said: “I would think there are some great community groups out there who all doing some fantastic work.
“We are delighted to have won this award. It is a real honour. We are shocked.”