A POLICE sergeant has become the first person to receive an honorary award from Bury College's university centre.

Sgt Abed Hussain has been given the award in recognition for the "significant contribution" he has made to the borough since joining Greater Manchester Police in 1994.

Since joining Greater Manchester Police in 1994, Sergeant Hussain has actively worked as a community champion, leading on initiatives to bring different faiths together.

These include Collabor8, an annual event held at Bury College which brings together more than 1,000 young people each year.

He played an instrumental role in coordinating Bury's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Rainbow Walks, which led to the town's first ever Pride parade.

He also set up the Bury Muslim Forum and, for the past few years, has helped to plan a multi-faith collaborative event with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, aimed at tackling hate crime.

Sgt Hussain declared himself "very proud" to receive the accolade, adding: "The feeling and emotion I felt to receive an award from the community I serve is quite moving.

"I think it is great that Bury College delivers higher education within Bury, as this adds to our local pool of talented individuals with higher-level skills who are vital to the future prosperity of the borough.”

In December 2018, Sergeant Hussain was recognised nationally when he received the Queens Police Medal (QPM), an award which is presented to police officers for distinguished service.

Sergeant Hussain was bestowed with the prestigious award for this work in building relationships between members of the police force, faith leaders and young people.

Last year, Sgt Hussain was also nominated in the national Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA) awards for his outstanding contribution in promoting inclusion, equality and diversity.

Charlie Deane, Bury College principal and chief executive said: “The Bury College University Centre Honorary Award identifies and celebrates an individual who has made a significant contribution to the local community.

"Sergeant Hussain has made such a positive impact on the borough and this award reflects the hard work and dedication he has continued to show to Bury.

"It is our privilege to welcome Sergeant Hussain into the Bury College community and we look forward to further collaborative working in the years to come.”

The Bury College University Centre graduation ceremony will take place today with graduates parading from Market Street to the Met Theatre.