A CHARITABLE foundation set up by a community champion to honour the work of his granddad has nominated its first charity of the year.

When Dudley taxi boss Shaz Saleem decided to set up the foundation in memory of his granddad, Mohammed Saleem, he could not have expected the progress it has made to date.

Early on Shaz enlisted the services of former Dudley Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Steve Waltho and his wife and Jayne to be chairman and secretary, and recruited a board of trustees including former Miss Black Country Alexandra Darby.

The foundation was then granted charitable status in April 2019 and since then it has it has focussed on topical awareness campaigns on subjects including mental health, breast cancer, domestic violence and dementia producing award-winning short films.

Members have also been gathering funds to use for the benefit of others.

Shaz said: "The success of my foundation idea in honour of my grandad who spent his life serving others has already surpassed expectations.

"We are now in a position to support other causes and will be shortly announcing a small grants regime focussing on younger people that individuals can apply for to further develop their projects that have community benefit to others.

"Meanwhile the trustees agreed to nominate a charity of the year and decided on the leukaemia fund which supports the Georgina Unit at Russells Hall Hospital.

"Throughout the year we'll be holding sponsored events to raise money for this wonderful cause. Steve and I have recently climbed Ben Nevis in memory of Dudley peace campaigner Bert Bissell to give the fund a start and I've just decided to do a parachute jump from 15,000 feet in February 2021 and can be sponsored via my facebook page. I also welcome anyone who'd like to join me."