New Year Honours list: Apna Haq founder appointed MBE

Zlakha Ahmed, 52
Image caption Zlakha Ahmed founded Apna Haq more than 20 years ago

A women's rights campaigner is among those recognised across Yorkshire in the New Year Honours list.

Zlakha Ahmed, 52, who has been made an MBE, started Apna Haq in Rotherham 21 years ago. The group helps women from ethnic communities suffering abuse.

Ms Ahmed said she hoped her honour would be "positive" for Rotherham.

A damning report into child abuse in the town found at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited, mainly by Pakistani men, between 1997 and 2013.

"Given everything that's happened recently in Rotherham... this [honour] shows the work that we are doing is unique and individuals like myself have had the privilege of sort of learning and developing that work, and bringing that voice out," she said.

"That is something we need to fight and make sure we preserve in Rotherham."

About 45 women a week who are victims of domestic violence or being sexually exploited are supported by the organisation.

Ms Ahmed said she started up the support group because there were "no appropriate services" in her home county of South Yorkshire and now felt "humbled" to receive the award.

Image caption Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton has been made a dame

Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton, who has represented the area since 1997, has been made a dame for her political and parliamentary service.

She was appointed Labour chief whip in September 2010 when Ed Miliband took control of the party and kept the position after Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader.

Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn said on Twitter: "Congratulations to Dame Rosie Winterton. Richly deserved. True Labour through and through."

In West Yorkshire, 32-year-old Asad Razzaq, from Leeds, has been appointed MBE for transforming an old portable building in the deprived Harehills area of the city into a community hub offering activities to young people.

He said his Community Action to Change Harehills (Catch) project has helped to tackle youth crime and "overcome obstacles to develop a site of crime into a sports field".

Image caption Samantha Barlow said she had no idea her fitness group would expand from five to 650-plus members

In East Yorkshire, 49-year-old Samantha Barlow, from Cottingham, has been awarded a British Empire Medal after setting up a not-for-profit fitness group for adults and children in 2009.

Mrs Barlow, whose Fitmums and Friends (F&F) group helps 650 parents to take up running and walking while having fun with their children, said she was "absolutely delighted" to receive the honour.

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