Chigwell teenager dedicates more than 100 hours to children with autism and ADHD

Rhianna Bongart with Ivor Baddiel and Steven Lewis, Jewish Care chairman. Picture: Yakir Zur

Rhianna Bongart with Ivor Baddiel and Steven Lewis, Jewish Care chairman. Picture: Yakir Zur - Credit: Archant

A 17-year-old volunteer has impressed her colleagues with the patience and care she has shown helping children with autism and ADHD.

Rhianna Bongart, from Chigwell, received two awards at the MIKE (motivation, inspiration, knowledge and education) Awards in recognition of her voluntary work at Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre, Sinclair House, Woodford Bridge Road.

The selfless teenager was also given the Above and Beyond Award at the ceremony, held at The Betty and Asher Loftus Centre, in Barnet, on Tuesday night, for putting in more than 100 hours of voluntary work for the MIKE youth leadership programme.

The Jewish Free School pupil will now be hoping to add another award to her collection after being nominated for the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award.

“It’s so nice to be appreciated and really good to give back what you have been given yourself,” said Rhianna.

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“I love working one to one with children. I really want to do a job that makes a difference and I’d like to go into social work with children so this is also really crucial experience for what I want to do later in life.”

The MIKE awards were presented by comedian Ivor Baddiel.

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He said: “We need more people like you. Without people like you, I fear for the future.”

Laura Baron, MIKE leadership co-ordinator, told them: “You all inspire me and make me love the job that I do, so a big thank you to all of our participants, volunteers, staff and parents.”

Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Awards are about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough.

They are 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 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

Or write to us with the nominee’s name, age, contact details and why you are nominating them. All nominees must agree to publicity.

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