She’s a mum in a million

Najmah Shah, who has been described as an inspiration to women, with two of her children (s)
Najmah Shah, who has been described as an inspiration to women, with two of her children (s)

A BURNLEY mum-of-five who managed to complete a university degree while caring for her children and sick husband has been shortlisted for a top national award.

Najmah Shah (46) was nominated for the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards by her sister, Mubeen Azam, for being an inspirational role model to her children, family and community and her story was chosen from thousands across UK.

Despite having left school almost 30 years ago, Najmah has just completed a degree in community leadership at the University of Central Lancashire with first class honours.

Just before the start of her second year, Najmah’s husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer but with his encouragement she continued her studies.

She has even found time to help the community, running a series of inter-faith events for children.

Described by her sister as “the backbone of my family,” Najmah has now been offered a bursary for a masters degree.

A panel of celebrities, including Olympic athlete Denise Lewis, choreographer Arlene Phillips, TV presenter Emma Forbes and Ultimo founder and Celebrity Masterchef star Michelle Mone will join blogger Tara Cain to decide the winners.

If Najmah is selected by the judges to be one of the eight winning Tesco Mums of the Year, she will be treated to a full makeover and her own Tesco magazine photo shoot, before being presented with her award, in front of friends, family and celebrity guests, at the 2012 ceremony.

Arlene Phillips said: “I am delighted to be involved with the judging for the 2012 Tesco Mum of the Year Awards – although I think it is going to be a very difficult job. There are so many remarkable stories of brave and inspirational women including Najmah’s. It is fantastic that the Tesco Mum of the Year can celebrate these amazing women in this way.”