Gopaldas Popat, of Headstone Lane, Harrow was named winner of the International Volunteer Award and also the overall Volunteer of the Year 2008.
Mr Popat does many things for the local community, from visiting patients in Northwick Park Hospital and distributing fruit, to raising funds for international causes in India, Africa and Asia as patron of the Asian Foundation for Help.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, which took place at the Art Centre, on Wednesday, 7 May, he said:
“When I came here from Uganda I started this charity in 1984 and decided to do something to help society. I have been doing charity work for over 25 years and I feel so pleased that I received this award.”
The Asian Foundation for Help has donated 60 ambulances to India in the last 20 years and Mr Popat also travels to India every year at his own expense to check the funds are being put to good use. The Charity has raised more than £2million pounds for international projects and UK based charities including Mencap, Northwick Park Hospital and Brent Indian Association.
Councillor Anjana Patel, Portfolio Holder for Schools and Children’s Development and Trustee of the Asian Foundation for Help, said:
“Golpaldas is truly an inspirational and remarkable man who has made a difference to so many lives. People like him are the lifeblood of our community and remind us of the positive impact that individuals can make.”
Asad Ahmad, BBC London’s television presenter, who hosted the event said:
“Volunteers are not only an asset to the people they help, but they are also a foundation to a strong community. I was delighted to host such a special evening which marks the volunteer work of Harrow’s residents who give so much to so many people. They are all heroes worthy of recognition from the rest of society.”