An ice cream man who has raised thousands for charity has been shortlisted for a national award.

Raheim Iqbal, who runs Martin's Whippy, said he was 'overwhelmed' to be one of three people to be named as a finalist in the ‘Mobiler of the Year’ award by the Ice Cream Alliance.

The three-day Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show will take place in Harrogate and will culminate in the awards on Wednesday, February 7.

The showpiece event celebrates the work of ice cream vendors as well as food specialists.

Raheim, from Chorley, said: “It is very difficult to be nominated and I am proud to be representing the region at the events.

“I came second in 2023 which was a huge achievement.”

Raheim covers his home town and surrounding areas in his classically-decorated ice cream van, serving sweet treats to hungry customers.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Whilst Raheim has been commended for his achievements in the ice cream business, he was also praised locally for his involvement in various charitable initiatives.

He said: “It is something I am really proud of and want to give back to the community as much as I can.

“My commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond just selling ice cream, but giving back and supporting those in need.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Rahiem raised more than £2,000 in two days for Derian House Children's charity by visiting local nurseries and care homes last year.

He said: “I turned up and handed out free ice creams and just asked people to donate whatever they could.

“I can't thank everyone enough. I never thought I would be be able to raise that amount, but it worked wonders.

“This will help children and young people, whose lives are too short, to make happy memories. I am extremely proud of the work they do and will always support them

“The total count was £2,071.10; not bad for a few hours each day.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

He was also invited to surprise centenarian Elsie on her 103-year-old birthday.

He said: “It was amazing to meet Elsie during my rounds and she was so inspiring.

"All she wanted was fish and chips and an ice cream from an ice cream man. How British is that?! Two staple foods in our British cuisine.

"Her family got in touch, so I decided to get everything in the van ready and go out to surprise her.

"The excitement on her face was unreal. I played happy birthday chimes and even put her name on my screen. I wanted to do this as a gift for her, but her family insisted on paying by buying one of the t-shirts I was selling for Derian House.

"She is an amazing woman and has a lot of banter."

The Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show is the only trade event specifically catering for both Ice Cream and Artisan food markets in the UK.

It attracts more than 2,500 trade industry professionals, and is run by the Ice Cream Alliance, the only membership trade association for the ice cream industry in the UK.

Founded in 1944, the body supports its more than 250 members who power the £1.4 billion industry.