"He never had a day off and he’s so inspiring.”
The One Show has organised a special talent show to express gratitude for an amazing charity volunteer, Akbar Khan, also known as ‘Super Aki’.
The segment titled, One Big Thank You on The One Show will be dedicated to Akbar on Thursday, 11 June 2020 at 7 pm.
Akbar has been working tirelessly for Bradford’s Phab Club charity for more than 35 years.
Comedian David Walliams has been sending messages of support to Akbar after he was nominated for the BBC’s The One Show surprise by a fellow colleague.
Bradford’s Phab Club has been supporting both disabled and non-disabled people through its work.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Aki has been delivering food provided by restaurants and wedding caterers to families every Wednesday and Saturday.
Not only that, but the super volunteer has also been hosting Zoom meetings every night to ensure people do not feel isolated.
Speaking about Akbar’s dedication and tremendous work, Phab Club colleague Rahail Tariq said:
“He has a full-time job and two young kids, but he’s managed to host this zoom every single day.
“It’s all down to his enthusiasm and energy – he never had a day off and he’s so inspiring.”
Neil Bateman, whose 21-year-old son Cory is on the autistic spectrum spoke about the great activities they have taken part in. He revealed:
“We’ve done talent nights, musical bingo, a cake competition, quizzes.
“The kids pop up online and they’re so happy to see each other. Everyone is so proud to be part of what Akbar has put together. We call it the ‘Phab family’.”
Explaining how the initiative came about, Akbar said:
“At the start of lockdown, I just thought I can’t leave them all to suffer on their own. Especially in these last three months the call on our charity has been immense.
“I’ve learned so much more about my members and it’s made me realise how hard it is for these families.”
In Akbar’s honour, The One Show is organising a virtual talent show at a workshop belonging to Rahail.
Upon Akbar’s arrival, a shutter will be lifted to revealed a large “Thank You” sign in lights.
The performances will then be played on a big screen while each act will be introduced by The One Show presenter Alex Jones.
She will also disclose that the national Phab team is awarding Akbar Khan with a special certificate of thanks. She says:
“Akbar, from all of them, and all of us, thank you!”
Neil’s son Cory along with his two brothers Sam, 11 and Toby, 8, will be seen performing in a band. Neil says:
“Aki always says see the ability, not the disability. I’m really glad he’s getting this recognition. The Phab Club has been amazing for our family.”
Meanwhile, other club members will sing and dance.
Akbar’s inspiring journey began at the age of eleven when he first joined the Phab team.
His two brothers suffered from muscular dystrophy and, unfortunately, both passed away in their teens.
Abkar’s willingness and motivation springs from the care and support his brothers received at Bradford’s Phab Club.
Recently, Aki has taken youngsters abseiling, rock climbing, archery and flying lessons.
He has even organised sports days and trips to places like Alton Towers as well as regularly fundraising.
Michelle Lyman-Carter, who nominated Aki for The One Show said:
“Aki’s a very caring, jolly, positive person. He puts Phab at the centre of his daily routine.
“Some of our members call him ‘Super Aki’ and you can definitely feel the love and respect for him and all he does for them.”
Be sure to catch the special talent show on Thursday, 11 June 2020 on BBC One at 7 pm.