Forest Gate volunteer always helping others

A MATURE student at the University of East London has been honoured with a top volunteering award.

Postgraduate law student Turab Abbasi, 37, of Forest Gate, was presented with Volunteering England’s Gold Award for his efforts.

Mr Abbasi is originally from Pakistan, where he worked as a lawyer, and began studying a one-year masters course in law at UEL’s Stratford High Street campus in February 2009.

It was during this time that he founded the UEL International Students Society to advise overseas students on financial, welfare, visa and employment issues.

He also helped organise students’ union events, such as the annual summer ball.

He told the Recorder: “This was the first time in the history of the university that this kind of award has been given to students for their volunteering activities.

“I am quite happy that my volunteer work has been acknowledged in a memorable way, which will encourage new volunteers to come forward in the future.”

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Since graduating last year, Mr Abbasi has continued his volunteer work for organisations such as the Newham volunteer team and the National Blood Service.

He also helped out with the fund-raising efforts following the disastrous earthquake in Haiti last January.

Volunteering England is an independent charity dedicated to promoting and supporting volunteering across the country.

The Gold Award recognises achievement, dedication and leadership among those at university or college.