Two nine-year-old twin boys who have been picking up litter on the streets of Smethwick since they were two years of age have scooped the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Outstanding Young Citizen Award.
Haaris and Mustafa Ali have been going out every weekend to clean the streets in their area, to make it a better place for people to live and work.
The pair can be seen wearing hi-vis jackets and holding bin bags and litter pickers on Sunday mornings between 10 – 11am as they take to the streets with their dad, to rid it of rubbish.
The twins, who live nearby in Edgbaston, have been working to keep the streets free of rubbish for more than 7 years. They tackle one or more streets every weekend and have sometimes been known to return with more than 4 bin bags of waste.
Both boys attend St Matthew’s school and are motivated to do the work because they believe the area should be kept clean and tidy. The lads attend a community organisation known as the Abrahamic Foundation in Smethwick and it’s through their attendance there that the litter picking is organised.
The Outstanding Citizens Awards are held each year and this year they were attended by the PCC’s Victims’ Commissioner, Nicky Brennan.
The twins award by PCC Simon Foster recognises the hard work they’ve been doing, for as long as they’ve been able to walk.
Haaris and Mustafa Ali, said: “We have been cleaning the streets with rubbish pickers and bags.
“We choose to clean the streets to make a difference in the city. To make it a much better place.”
Meanwhile Anwar Khattak, who runs sports, mentoring and educational classes for children at the Small Heath and Saltley leisure centres picked up the PCC’s Outstanding Community Project award.
Anwar, 40, established the Birmingham Youth Sports Academy in 2002 and runs classes up to five times a week for kids from Small Heath, Alum Rock, Sparkbrook, Saltley and Sparkhill.
Around 400 children, including 60 girls, regularly attend the sessions, often receiving life skills from guest mentors including accountants and lawyers.
The aim is to raise aspiration and help the young people reach their potential.
“It gets a bit emotional at times,” said founder of Birmingham Youth Sports Academy, Anwar Khattack.
“You think to yourself, wow, someone is noticing and watching what I do and they can see that good work is happening.
“The real credit, though, should go to the other volunteers who keep our organisation keep going.”
Whilst the PCC handed the Outstanding Citizen Award to Stu Bratt from Dudley.
After losing two friends to suicide, Stu decided to set up a mental health charity to help men in the emergency services, military and grass roots sports clubs cope with mental health pressures.
His charity, Tough Enough To Care, focuses on male dominated environments.
Stu said: “Initially I was shocked. I felt humbled and excited.
“I don’t do it for awards or a pat on the back, but when you are recognised in this way it makes you realise you are making a real difference.”
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “All of the winners of this year’s Outstanding Citizen Awards should be so proud of themselves.
“They all thoroughly deserve the recognition they are getting. What they all have in common is they’ve helped other people in our fantastic region with acts of selflessness, kindness and compassion. All that they do, makes the West Midlands a better place for us all to live in.
“On behalf of the people and communities that they have helped, I’d like to thank each one of them for their generosity and kindness.”Back to News Archive