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Young people from Redbridge meet TV presenter Natasha Kaplinsky at Barnardo's annual summer event

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 July 2019

Natasha Kaplinsky and children from Barnardo's Wellbeing Hub in Ilford. Picture: Wind and Foster

Natasha Kaplinsky and children from Barnardo's Wellbeing Hub in Ilford. Picture: Wind and Foster

Archant

Children and young people from Barnardo's services in Redbridge had the chance to meet celebrities and politicians, including the charity's new president, TV presenter and journalist Natasha Kaplinsky OBE, at its annual Summer Parliamentary Reception.

MP Steve Reid, Kiran Dhillon, Natasha Kaplinsky, Javed Khan and MP Will Quince. Picture: Wind and FosterMP Steve Reid, Kiran Dhillon, Natasha Kaplinsky, Javed Khan and MP Will Quince. Picture: Wind and Foster

Three young carers from Barnardo's Wellbeing Hub in Ilford attended the reception on Monday, July 7 and made special flags for the occasion.

Kiran Dhillon, 26, from Ilford, a Barnardo's volunteer and care leaver, gave a speech alongside Ms Kaplinsky.

In her speech Kiran told the audience how she had contacted Barnardo's Redbridge Leaving Care service, run in partnership with Redbridge Council, earlier this year for support for her two younger brothers who are 21 and 24. Kiran said: "Barnardo's have been great. They have helped my brothers get used to living independently as care leavers. Barnardo's has helped them with their housing issues and provided fantastic support. They have told us our rights and what support we are entitled to. Without that support, it felt like I was fighting a losing battle.

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"It was amazing to meet Natasha Kaplinsky. She's inspiring me to reach my full potential and I look forward to working with her. She'll be a great new president for Barnardo's."

Ms Kaplinsky said she was delighted to be the charity's new president.

She said: "There are so many challenges for children these days. It must be frightening growing up now. They have so many concerns, environmental changes, the internet, difficulties breaking into jobs, and believing they'll never afford a house.

"It's even harder for the most vulnerable children Barnardo's supports - like children growing up in the care system.

"My aim is to visit as many services as I can and meet as many young people as possible to learn more about the challenges they face and how the charity is helping them."

Natasha was welcomed by Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan and joined by ambassadors and supporting, including Woodford Green former Towie star and foster carer Debbie Douglas, former Made in Chelsea star and TV presenter Sam Thompson, actor Priyanga Burford and TV presenter Anila Chowdhry.

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