Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

#70People70Years - Zahid Hamid

Zahid Hamid

Zahid Hamid - Chair of Programme & Resources committee (2019-2023), Trustee of the Peak District National Park Foundation (2019-2023)

Zahid Hamid chaired the Peak District National Park Authority's Programme and Resources committee (from July 2019), and before this was chair of the Audit, Resources and Performance committee (from July 2018). He was selected as an Authority member in 2013, by then Defra Secretary of State Owen Paterson, for his lengthy expertise in working with young people and voluntary groups, especially in and around the Peak District. He served his full term of ten years on the Authority to July 2023.

Growing up in Sheffield, Zahid first visited the Peak District as a child on a school trip in 1967. After university, he spent more than 20 years with the Sheffield education authority, working with young people, schools, colleges and communities.

He then worked for seven years with voluntary and community groups, and from 2006, he was regional co-ordinator for the Mosaic project, encouraging links between national parks and urban communities who would not normally access beautiful countryside.

Zahid welcomed the opportunity to make a difference, especially for young people, he said: "Though I live in Sheffield I am fortunate to live within 3.5 miles of the national park and I feel strongly that all parts of society should know about and experience the awe, power, peace and beauty of this place.

"I think we can do more to connect rural and urban communities, especially young people, so that there is a sense of the National Park belonging to everyone and all, then caring for it for future generations."

Zahid worked voluntarily for several bodies including the Learning and Skills Council; he is a trustee of youth homelessness charity Roundabout and has links with both Sheffield universities and the Youth Hostels Association.

In 2019, Zahid became a founding trustee of the Peak District National Park Foundation. The Foundation is a registered charity working to raise funds to care for the Peak District National Park and make it more inclusive.

Zahid said: "I am committed to the reasons why we have national parks and the importance they have for the nation, whilst recognising that they are interactive and ever-changing places of beauty.

"Having worked directly with the National Park, I am aware of the challenges in meeting the needs of the many individuals who all view the Peak District as 'part of their life'. For me, this diversity of demand and the amazing ways in which the Park fulfils so many roles is proof of why it's such a significant part of the UK."

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