Caring Ilford teenager gains nomination for award

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:08 06 July 2016

Zoe Barry has been nominated for a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award. Photo: Anthony Michael

Zoe Barry has been nominated for a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award. Photo: Anthony Michael

Anthony Michael

Some people find it hard to deal with life’s challenges but one teenager takes overcoming day to day difficulties all in her stride.

Young carer Zoe Barry, 16, of Wanstead Park Road, Ilford, helps her mum take care of her severely disabled grandmother who first became ill in 2006 with breast cancer.

After going into remission, she then developed Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“She cannot weight bare at all,” Zoe said. “We have always lived together and it’s just what you do. I love her.

“She used to sing me to sleep.”

Ever grateful for cancer specialists for helping her grandmother beat the disease, Zoe turned her hand to raising money for charity.

“I have fundraised for Cancer Research UK for the last 10 years,” said Zoe.

Her next fundraising plans include taking part in one of the national charity’s obstacle course race events during the summer.

The teenager, who is studying for her GCSEs, was nominated for a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award by the school’s learning support assistant, Frances Murphy.

Mrs Murphy said: “Zoe is an inspiration of what can be achieved despite adversity. She is a wonderful example of how British teenagers can be portrayed.

“I have nominated Zoe because she has many difficulties in her life. She is a carer to her grandmother and has great patience.

“She does so much for the community and always puts others first.

“Zoe never complains about how difficult life is.

“She was recently diagnosed as a diabetic, however she gets on with life with a smile.

“She is an inspiration to all around her and will, I am sure, succeed in life.”

Zoe also donates some of her free time helping Highlands Primary School pupils learn to sew.

“My mum volunteers there,” said Zoe who used to meet her mum at the school in Highlands Gardens, Ilford.

“I used to sit with them and got into it that way. It’s really nice.”

Zoe said her nomination came as a shock.

“I was really surprised,” she said. “I’m not going to lie, it’s really nice for people to see that you do things but it’s not why I do things.

“But it is nice to be noticed.”

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