Young Citizen: Zak, nine, nominated for hosting fundraising day in Clayhall Park in memory of his mum

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 October 2017

Kay with Zac. Picture: Spencer Cohen

Kay with Zac. Picture: Spencer Cohen


A brave nine-year-old, who raised more than £1,000 at a fun day in memory of his mum, is this week’s Young Citizen nominee.

Ian Keen and family at the fundraising day. Picture: David SolomonIan Keen and family at the fundraising day. Picture: David Solomon

Zak Cohen, of Hainault, hosted a fundraising dog fun day, with the help of with Stacy Ismael, owner of Paw-fect Grooming, in Clayhall Park.

The community came out in force to support the event, off Longwood Gardens, Clayhall, which included a doggy kissing booth, auction and lots of fun and games.

Zak said: “Just after I turned five, my mum got cancer and she died when I was seven.

“My mum was so brave, but I don’t want anyone to go through what she went through.

Emmerdale actors Jeff Hordley, left, and Zoe Henry, right, with Zak Cohen, Stacy Ismael and dog Petal. Picture: David SolomonEmmerdale actors Jeff Hordley, left, and Zoe Henry, right, with Zak Cohen, Stacy Ismael and dog Petal. Picture: David Solomon

“I want to make lots of money for Cancer Research UK so that they can get a cure for cancer and no one gets cancer again.”

The day raised £1,350 for charity and it all came about after Stacy and the Cohen family took a boat trip.

“There was a beautiful sunset and Your Song was playing,” said Stacy.

“Zak said it reminded him of his mum and that he would like to put on a charity day – I said let’s do it.

Zak’s mum, Kay, lost her battle with cancer 18 months ago at the age of 37.

He hopes to organise more events to raise money in her memory, so that no other child loses a parent to cancer.

He is also becoming an ambassador for Grief Encounters, a charity which supports bereaved children and their families.

“Zak is courageous, kind and has an enigmatic personality, despite the loss of his mum,” Stacy told the Recorder.

“He thinks of others before himself.”

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

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