Always-striving- to-go-the extra-mile Rizwan Rafik won Volunteer Manager of the Year at our awards ceremony earlier this year.

Rizwan who worked for five years as part of the Yusuf Youth Initiative, as a Taught By Muhammed Project Manager was believed to be an outstanding winner due to his welcoming and comforting nature. For instance, his nominator Dena El-Anis maintains Rizwan has had a lasting impact upon volunteers. He is popular due to his calm, compassionate character, where he pays close attention to each volunteer’s experience, whilst creating a team environment within the food bank or support cafe projects. This family environment has positively impacted the projects limiting turnover of volunteers within Taught By Muhammed.

Some examples which demonstrate Rizwan’s award-worthy help include an incident where Rizwan visited a volunteer who lost his mother to pay condolences and check on the volunteer’s well-being. He also regularly invites foodbank volunteers for lunch at a drop in cafe to maximise their experience. Furthermore, he has attempted to improve lives in sensitive situations; TBM has several refugees who have led tough lives, and Rizwan has encouraged their help in the cafes, Curry Kitchen and checked in on their families. He has even comforted them by learning some Arabic words and supported them with cooking their own cultural foods in the cafes and curry kitchens.

Rizwan is a notable Volunteer Manager winner, as his help has gone beyond improving community volunteering and has assisted in achieving the aims of Yusuf Youth Initiative in the long run.

Rachel – Media Volunteer at Volunteer Dundee.