A BROMSGROVE Community Support Group (BCSG) volunteer has been celebrated as part of Refugee Week.
Mazen, who is known to many as Maz, is originally from Syria but moved to Bromsgrove four years ago and was quickly helped to get more involved in the community.
Maz became a BCSG volunteer when the pandemic broke out, helping them to provide support to the elderly and those who were shielding nearby.
His volunteer work has involved him delivering pharmacy prescriptions and shopping to around 300 vulnerable people’s households on his bike.
He also volunteers with a local support helpline, where he listens to residents who are suffering from poor mental health.
Maz has started his own business where he makes videos and documentaries on his Facebook and YouTube channels, Maz Broadcast, where he focuses on topics including local poets past and present, Refugee Action, mental health and support in the community.
In 2019, he received a Certificate of Excellence from Worcestershire County Council’s Adult Learning for his videos helping to promote Adult Learning Courses across Worcestershire, before scooping the ‘Make a Difference Superstar’ award from the BBC the next year for his voluntary work during COVID.
Last year Maz was named a local hero by Great Western Railway, which named a train after him.
He said: “The people here have been so good they accepted us and treated us with respect as friends.”
“As I look forward to the future, I will continue to dedicate myself to helping others in my neighbours and community, I find nothing more important.
I’d also like to do a PhD in journalism, taking an offer from the university to study a master’s degree. I’m keen to use my experiences and skills, which I gained in Syria, in journalism and art to serve adults and new generations.
“I’d like to run training courses for adults in journalism and art because I believe the investment in education is the greatest kind.”
Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for communities, Coun Marcus Hart added: “I speak for so many at the County Council, when I say how incredibly proud we are of the work and achievements Maz has made since he resettled in Worcestershire.
“Our resettlement team work tirelessly to help refugees like Maz, to ensure they can go on and create the best lives for themselves, and it is great to hear of their continuing success stories.”