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Local Newspaper Week: Former Young Citizen winner Bella Field on how the award changed her life

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 May 2017

Bella Field receiving her Young Citizen award from mayor Cllr Ashley Kissin at the Mayor's Community Awards 2015. Picture: Redbridge Council

Bella Field receiving her Young Citizen award from mayor Cllr Ashley Kissin at the Mayor's Community Awards 2015. Picture: Redbridge Council

Redbridge Council

In celebration of Local Newspaper Week, which runs until Sunday, three community figures have shared their thoughts on how the Recorder’s work has made a difference.

Bella with former Rotary International president Gary Huang in Brazil. Picture: Rotary Bella with former Rotary International president Gary Huang in Brazil. Picture: Rotary

Bella Field, winner of the 2014 Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award, reflects upon her achievements since taking home the prize.

When I was nine years old, I won the Young Citizen Award for Redbridge through Rotary and the Ilford Recorder. I really wasn’t expecting to win because I was up against some amazing young people. This was a very big achievement for me and I was honoured to receive it.

I was then put forward for Young Citizen for Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, by the now president, Eve Conway. This time I was up against hundreds of other nominees and I told myself that even if I didn’t win, it’s amazing to be nominated. Little did I know I would win that too!

Former Rotary International president Gary Huang then asked my mum if I would speak at his convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil! I spoke in front of 17,000 people. I was nervous, but when I received a standing ovation, I realised what an achievement it was.

Bella, 10,  speaking at the Rotary International convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Rotary Bella, 10, speaking at the Rotary International convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Rotary

It is so important to me to raise money for Haven House Children’s Hospice because they gave us the time we needed to say goodbye to my sister Molly, when she sadly passed away in 2010.

They continue to support me, by giving me free counselling, and I also attend the sibling support group. We feel like we could never thank them enough, but by raising over £100,000, we hope we have shown how grateful we are.

Everything I have achieved since winning the Young Citizen of Redbridge award has made a massive impact. I now look at life very differently and it will continue to give me the strength I need to deal with life. I will always think of others, just as my sister Molly did.

Tomorrow, hear from Saint Francis Hospice’s chief executive Pam Court.

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