Woodford Green teen who helped clean up after London riots

A student who watched events unfold during August’s London riots and went into the mayhem to help has been nominated for a Young Citizen Award.

Mithra Vasanthan, a pupil at Beal High School in Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge, was first recognised for his community spirit by financial services firm UBS after his school nominated him to win their community award for his actions.

Now the 17-year-old is being nominated for the Recorder/Rotary Young Citizen award, sponsored by Exchange Ilford.

He said: “I was watching everything happening in London and I thought ‘why am I sitting here?’

“So a few of my friends and I went into Bethnal Green and helped people and cleaned up glass and debris that had been left everywhere.”

Mithra, who hopes to go into a career in the legal sector, said not only did it feel the natural thing to do, but he felt it would benefit his future career.

“It felt second nature as I’ve always enjoyed getting involved with things, and I wasn’t worried going into London,” he said.

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“When I go into law I will be able to remember what it’s like for people who lost their businesses through crime,” he added.

Mithra lives in Mornington Road, Woodford Green.

When he is not at school he volunteers at an Oxfam charity shop in Marylebone.

He is a prefect at school and is helping a girl in the year below him as she is starting a Christian group.