Unveiled: The last of our Young Citizen Award 2016 finalists
PUBLISHED: 13:36 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:40 03 January 2017
With the winner of this year’s Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award set to be crowned in March, we unveil the last of our inspirational finalists.
For Floriane Fidegnon, scooping the Recorder’s August Young Citizen Award was proof that she was on the right track.
The 17-year-old Ursuline Academy pupil, who lives in Newbury Park, enjoys science, technology, engineer and math (STEM) subjects so much, she is even ambassador for the topics at her school.
The teenager said the nomination means “a lot” to her.
She said:”I feel like my work has been appreciated and validated and for that I am grateful.
“I believe community service and giving back to the people who’ve given me so much is important and I am glad that I have.”
Floriane was nominated for the award by teacher Rosemary Russell.
The monthly award for September went to Aniqah Darr for her inspiring story of caring for her mother and brother while studying for her A-levels.
The 19-year-old Woodford Green pupil got the required grades to win a place at Goldsmiths University, despite not attending school for nine months to care for mother Jilly.
The former Forest Academy student was nominated for a Young Citizen award for looking after mum Jilly and her disabled brother Zee, 26, as well fundraising for brain cancer research.
“Caring is second nature to us,” Aniqah said.
“Mum keeps improving, but it is going to take a while. Zee is OK but he really misses mum.”
October’s monthly Young Citizen award went to Charlee Lambourne, a tenacious 19-year-old who spent much of her adolescence battling an unknown back condition.
Despite being in constant pain, the Redbridge College student maintains a 96 per cent attendance.
“The doctors cannot tell me what’s wrong,” Charlee told the Recorder.
“Just that I am in constant pain all the time.
“I was kept in hospital for a week, they couldn’t identify what was wrong with me.”
But despite not knowing the cause of the pain, Charlee is determined to battle through it and complete her course.
“I’m literally in every day, all day,” she said. “I try not to let it beat me.”
Renee Stafford scooped November’s award when she put her day-to-day difficulties aside to raise cash for charity by singing in front of thousands of people.
In October, the 12-year-old from South Woodford joined other children and X Factor’s Nicole Scherzinger to sing two songs on the SSE Arena, Wembley stage.
The youngster, who battles the effects of the rare Hirschprung’s Disease, formed part of the Rays of Sunshine’s choir.
Renee’s difficulties have done nothing to dampen the caring youngster she is today.
“Raising money is a big deal for me,” she said. “Some people don’t have any money so for me, raising money will help them.”
The final winner of a 2016 Young Citizen award was 11-year-old Tiharna Vaja-Bathram , who has raised more than £5,000 for good causes.
The youngster, of Eccleston Crescent, Chadwell Heath, raised a total of £5,136 through holding 10k walks, dress-down days and cupcake sales at her former school, Barley Lane Primary.
She also asked her mum to use some money her family had been saving to send her to university to sponsor two African children.
“I feel really happy and proud that I’m doing something,” she said.
“People should try fundraising.
“Some people have to walk miles and miles to get water and go to school.”