EAST Lancashire's unsung heroes were some of the winners at an annual North West awards ceremony.

Yaqoob Hussain, from Audley Boxing Club, Canon Chris Chivers based in Blackburn Cathedral and Shabnam Naz Khan, from Nelson, picked up top awards in their nominated categories at Fusion Awards 2008.

Fusion 08, held in the Premier Suite Ewood Park, Blackburn, on Saturday night was a celebration of unsung heroes and heroines who contribute to their communities across the regin.

Christina Nicolaides, of Manchester marketing agency Gencia Media, hosted the evening.

A fashion show, a team of Bollywood dancers and comic Shazia Mirza provided entertainment.

The awards give community workers who are not normally in the public spotlight the recognition they deserve.

Nominees included people and groups from all walks of life and cultures.

Yakoob Hussain from Audley Boxing Club was awarded Mumtaz Ellahi Community Coach of the Year, which was created in memory of Mumtaz Ellahi, a Ju Jitsu instructor, who died aged 46.

Mr Hussain said: "I am very privileged to receive this award."

Canon Chris Chivers won Man of the year. He said: "I have two people to thank. Anjum Anwar who has done a fantastic amount of work for community cohesion and to my wife who hasn't seen enough of me."

Shabnam Naz Khan, who owns Maria's Cash and Carry and has farms on the outskirts of Colne, won Entrepreneur of the Year.