A star volunteer at Burnley Leisure’s Active Streets project has reached a major landmark for the hours she donated to local projects and events.

Earlier this week 17-year-old Zara Mahmood clocked up 500 dedicated hours of volunteered work – more than 41 days – beating the previous record of Volunteer Burnley initiative.

The inspirational teenager has been praised by the leisure trust for her commitment and hard work. To mark the milestone she was presented with a platinum certificate.

She said: “I’m very happy to receive the certificate and it feels great to be recognised.

“I joined the Volunteer Burnley initiative three years ago and I enjoy working on many different events and projects, which helped me boost my confidence and gain new skills.

“Because I like to challenge myself, I’ve decided set my bar even higher and reach 750 hours of volunteering before I graduate from school.”

Zara can be seen delivering Active Gannow sessions in the community, assisting at Easter and Halloween events, delivering holiday club activities to children and supervising kids’ roller discos.

As well as volunteering, the ‘super’ teen is studying hard for her A-levels at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School.

Zara hopes to attend university when she graduates from grammar school and is preparing for a career in teaching.

Between studying and volunteering, Zara has also completed many training courses in line with her continual personal development.

She has passed Community Sport Volunteering Level 1 and 2 courses with flying colours and is currently working towards a nationally recognised Sports Leaders Award Level 2.

Waheed Rashid, project development officer at Burnley Leisure and a lead for Volunteer Burnley said: “I am really proud of what Zara has managed to achieve since joining Volunteer Burnley.

“She is making a real difference to the local community by giving her free time to help Burnley Leisure strive towards providing more leisure opportunities in the borough.”

Volunteer Burnley initiative has been running since 2007 and is attracting 100 youngsters each year.

The scheme is always looking for young people who want to develop their skills and gain volunteering experience in sports coaching, outdoor sports, children’s holiday clubs, and project management.

It also offers opportunities for youngsters who want to develop their skills in art, video filming and editing.

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact Keiran Adamson on kadamson@burnley.gov.uk or call 01282 425011 ext. 3229.

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