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Young Citizen Award: Clayhall boy nominated for heartfelt poem about Grenfell Tower

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:47 10 August 2017

Tahmid Shalim. Picture: Tasnim Shalim

Tahmid Shalim. Picture: Tasnim Shalim

MARY RAHMAN [maryrahmanmrpr@gmail.com]

A 12-year-old boy who wrote a moving poem about the Grenfell Tower tragedy is this week’s nominee for the Recorder/Rotary Club Young Citizen Award.

Tahmid Shalim, a Year 7 pupil at Ilford County High School, Fremantle Road, Barkingside, was given an English assignment to write about a subject of his choice.

Having watched numerous news items and reports about Grenfell Tower, he felt compelled to pen a piece that could be read by others in years to come.

As a result, he wrote a poignant poem to encapsulate his feelings and reaction to the tragedy.

“The incident was very widespread and emotional, not just for the victims and their families but it also affected the whole nation and people of all ages, including young people like myself,” he told the Recorder.

“There was much media coverage and I learnt how this incident could and should have been avoided.

“Although we talked a lot about it in school and in current affairs I felt the best way to remember the victims of Grenfell Tower would be by writing down my feelings in the form of a poem which I could then share with others.”

The 10 stanza tribute provided a mature insight into issues surrounding the fire and gave a social commentary on wealth, politics and justice.

“The council done a cheap deal to make the tower nice,” he wrote.

“To make the rich neighbours happy. Putting a price on our lives.

“600 towers to test, government in serious panic.

“Theresa May versus Jeremy Corbyn. Nation going manic.”

His older sister, Tasnim Shalim of Clayhall, was so impressed she nominated him for a Young Citizen Award.

The award 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 aim of the scheme is to highlight all the good things that young people do in Redbridge

The overall winner 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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