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Newbury Park teenager Shivam leads the way by launching charity for deprived children

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 October 2017

Young Citizen nominee Shivam Sharma. Picture: Paul Bennett

Young Citizen nominee Shivam Sharma. Picture: Paul Bennett

Archant

A 16-year-old who organised charity events and raised more than £1,700 is this week’s Young Citizen nominee.

Shivam Sharma, of Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, treated members of his community to four days of singing and shared food across the Navratri festival on September 22, 24, 26 and 28 at Victory Hall, Chigwell.

After travelling to Delhi in 2012, Shivam was inspired to support deprived children in India. The A-level student began by setting up the Wake Up and Help charity with his parents.

Shivam told the Recorder: “I started with organising some events across the Hindu festival Navratri. We got singers and people to donate food and everyone came together as a collective.”

The Hindu festival lasts for nine days and is a time of worship and sharing food. Donated money normally goes towards supporting the temple and other religious institutions.

However, Shivam wanted to organise an event where people could volunteer and support Wake Up and Help.

Mum Savita Sharma said: “Each one of the days a different family cooked for around 120 people at the event.

“We invited Councillor Deborah Barlow and she took a moment to applaud Shivam, acknowledging how he was able to put the whole event together.”

Savita explained that Shivam likes to keep active. In June 2017, he organised a Jog for Cancer. By running a certain amount of steps he raised more than £300 for Cancer Research UK.

The student has plans to continue fundraising and hopes to organise an event for children during Diwali in October.

Shivam said: “There have been lots of events with adults and this time I’m planning to do something for children. We will have quizzes and games, activities that will bring all of the age groups together.”

The Young Citizen Awards are run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club and are sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which provides each monthly winner with a £30 
gift card.

The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at next year’s Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing ralph.blackburn@archant.co.uk

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