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Redbridge College student nominated for Young Citizens Award for Grenfell Tower volunteer work

PUBLISHED: 16:01 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 28 December 2017

Charley Ann, 33, with son Ben, 16, who support Grenfell Tower families with the Tabernacle Christian Centre. Photo: Charley Ann

Charley Ann, 33, with son Ben, 16, who support Grenfell Tower families with the Tabernacle Christian Centre. Photo: Charley Ann

Archant

When hundreds of families were left homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire, a Redbridge College student came to their aid.

Performing arts student Ben Ann, 16, has been nominated for the Young Citizen Award by his mother Charley for his selfless work volunteering with Kensington-based charity the Tabernacle Christian Centre.

They were both moved to help the Grenfell families by the memory of losing their own home to fire 10 years ago.

In days following the Grenfell tragedy, Ben and Charley dedicated themselves to supporting the affected families by distributing aid and organising fundraisers, often sleeping on the centre’s floor.

“The survivors have been traumatised, especially the children, and I feel very deeply that the Grenfell families need our ongoing support,” said Charley.

“Me and my son are here for the long term to offer our support.”

A musician, Ben plays guitar with the Tabernacle congregation and organises a storeroom of clothing donations.

She said: “He is very entertaining and a real morale booster.”

He also suffers from Type 1 diabetes and continues to volunteer in spite of complications related to his illness.

“It has been a struggle for him. He has done really well,” she added.

Ben and Charley were left with only a few personal possessions after they lost their home in blaze 10 years ago.

“The start of healing is to have a permanent home. I remember that myself,” she added.

Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough.

It is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which will provide each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

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

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

Or write to us with the nominee’s name, age, contact details and why you are nominating them. All nominees must agree to publicity.

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