Leeds Trinity University student recognised for community work in King’s Birthday Honours


Shamza Butt, a Leeds Trinity University student working towards her Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, has been named in the King’s Birthday Honours list and awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to young people.

A girl with dark hair and glasses in a purple vest smiles for a picture in front of trees and flowers.

The award is in recognition of Shamza’s work with the National Citizen Service (NCS) Trust's Youth Voice Forum, which amplifies the voices of young people to ensure their ideas, perspectives, feedback and experiences influence key decision making. 

After moving to the UK from Italy in 2017, Shamza signed up to Bradford City FC Community Foundation's NCS programme as a 16-year-old to help develop her skills in communication, teamwork and leadership. After completion, she stayed involved with the programme and volunteered on community projects with young people in Bradford to help create safer communities, raise awareness about the dangers of carrying weapons and educate them about the impact of crime and anti-social behaviour. 

At just 20-years-old, Shamza is the youngest person to be named in the King’s Birthday Honour’s list this year. 

Shamza said “This recognition is incredibly humbling and has filled me with immense pride for all I have achieved so far. I am proud to have been part of so many meaningful initiatives which gave me opportunities to speak about what young people need in order to develop and to gain confidence. 

“I am deeply grateful for the support and encouragement from my family, my manager at Bradford City Community Foundation, my friends and other colleagues. Their belief in me has been a driving force behind my efforts. I look forward to building on this achievement, embracing new challenges and continuing to work even harder to make a positive impact.” 

Pavan Sembi, Head of the Peer Action Collective Projects at the Bradford City FC Community Foundation, said: “I had the distinct pleasure of managing Shamza during her time working on the Peer Action Collective Project at the Foundation. Shamza stands out as an exceptionally driven young woman, brimming with enthusiasm and a relentless determination to succeed. Her commitment to positive community engagement in Bradford is unparalleled; she consistently took the initiative, inspiring and galvanizing others. Shamza's dedication to meaningful social action is truly commendable. She worked tirelessly to raise awareness on critical issues and guide young people towards making better choices. Her efforts have undoubtedly made a substantial impact on our community.” 

As well as her volunteer commitments, Shamza also works as a Police Constable for the West Yorkshire Police and is currently in the first year of her Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship at Leeds Trinity University. The work-based programme is designed to provide the essential knowledge, understanding and skills required to operate effectively as a modern Police Officer.  

Shamza added: “Having engaged in numerous volunteer roles and worked to improve Bradford, I aspired to become a police officer to continue making a difference and serve as a good role model. My education at Leeds Trinity has been instrumental, providing me with knowledge and experience that has helped me reach my current role.” 

Professor Charles Egbu, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said: “On behalf of everyone at Leeds Trinity University, I offer a huge congratulations to Shamza on her inclusion in the King’s Birthday Honours list. It is wonderful that she is having such a positive influence on the lives of young people and making an impact in the local community, particularly at such a young age. We are delighted to have Shamza as part of our community and look forward to seeing her continue to develop as she progresses in her career.” 

For more information on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship at Leeds Trinity, visit the University website. 

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