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Young Citizen: Gants Hill pupil Fatima, 16, volunteers to stop gang crime

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 October 2017

Fatima Tijjani, from Valentines High School, is this week's Young Citizen nominee. Picture: Anthony Michael

Fatima Tijjani, from Valentines High School, is this week's Young Citizen nominee. Picture: Anthony Michael

Anthony Michael

A caring 16-year-old Gants Hill pupil, who spends much of her spare time volunteering to help others, is this week’s Young Citizen nominee.

Fatima Tijjani is an ambassador for Youth Against Crime Not Crime Against You, a member of Newham Youth Council and she also organises fundraising days for Gaza.

Fatima, who studies at Valentines High School, Cranbrook Road, is very concerned about young people in her community.

Youth Against Crime Not Crime Against You which works with young people at risk of becoming gang members, and is particularly concerned about mental health.

She said that the recent death of a peer inspired her to think more about how poor mental health often goes unnoticed.

Fatima told the Recorder: “Younger people now definitely have to cope with a lot.

“It’s important to let them know that everything is going to be ok. They need guidance, and not always from the teachers”.

It is therefore unsurprising that the Newham teen has peer mentored Year 8 children at Valentines for exam board AQA.

She said: “I’m just trying to improve their life at the school and make them feel better”.

She recently organised a bake sale for people in Gaza, in which her peers worked together to make more than 500 cup cakes in one evening, raising £200.

While volunteering for Newham Youth Council she helps create work placements for teenagers with local businesses to help them find the confidence and skill set to apply for jobs.

She proudly explained how “a lot of young people that applied now have weekend jobs”.

Fatima also volunteers as a reading assistant to young children and with various charities such as Muslim Aid.

In future she wants to become a human rights barrister.

The Young Citizen Award is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club and sponsored by The Exchange Shopping Centre, 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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