ASIAN women in East Lancashire will be commended for their voluntary and community work at a special awards ceremony.

AAWAZ – The Voice of Asian Women across the Nation – based in Accrington, are preparing for the annual Achievement Awards Ceremony 2011 on Wednesday, March 9, in Accrington Town Hall.

Currently the centre has received 49 nominations from across the area about women who have carried out voluntary work for the benefit of the wider communities.

This year there are five categories which include awards for Voluntary and Community Work, Young AAWAZ awards, Carer award, Lifetime achievement and Bringing Communities Together award for an individual woman and the joint AAWAZ and CVS award for the Group of the year.

Bosses at AAWAZ organised the ceremony as a reminder of the important role women play in the family, neighbourhood and society.

AAWAZ chair Saeeda Farooq said: “AAWAZ hold the awards ceremony during the international women’s week of celebrations and we are very fortunate to have a good working relationship and support of so many statutory, voluntary and community sector partners who work with us to make the awards a success.”

This year the judging panel is chaired by Christopher Taylor, a retired senior officer at Hyndburn Council, and is joined by a whole host of judges.

They include Carmel Cunliffe, business manager from Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School, Christine Fish, chief officer of Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Council for Voluntary Services, Karen Newbigging, principal lecturer in International School for Communities Rights and Inclusion at the University of Central Lancashire and Jawad Bhatti chair of Kehkashan Community Group.

AAWAZ patron Mrs Jean Battle added: “AAWAZ is an independent voluntary group based in Hyndburn since 1997 and working across the country.

“AAWAZ through all its projects help women and families to work towards integration in wider society and help create a better understanding between communities.”