Ilford fundraiser with an ‘I can’ attitude

AN “I can” attitude is what is spurring on a teenage fundraiser to trek one of the world’s most iconic structures after two loved ones died of meningitis.

Hussain Manawer has already climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, raising more than �6,500 for the victims of last year’s Pakistan floods.

A concert organised by the 19-year-old at Valentines High School, Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, raised more than �1,600 for Comic Relief in 2007 and he is part of an anti knife crime campaign.

Hussain’s fundraising work has earned him a nomination for the Recorder/Rotary Young Citizen Award, sponsored by The Exchange Ilford.

The teenager, of Endsleigh Gardens, Ilford, lost a friend to meningitis in November, and a cousin also lost their life to the illness.

In September he will set off on a nine-day trek of the Great Wall of China in the hope of raising thousands for a meningitis charity.

He said: “It’s a really good feeling to help other people.

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“It’s amazing – I think we all should do it.

“We’re all in a position where we can. We all have five senses.

“Why not give time to people who can’t help themselves?

“I’d like to think if I was in need, there would be people out there who would want to help.”

In 2008, Hussain travelled to Botswana where he helped build a school classroom out of tyres, a playground and a farm.

With the The Poetry Society he visits young people to deliver an anti knife crime message.

Using the spoken work and MCing, he and other volunteers take to the stage in estates and theatres across the region to vividly illustrate the purge of knife crime.

Hussain, who has two sisters and one brother and is studying quantity surveying at Westminster University, said of his charity work: “I do it simply because I can.

“My friends and family thought I was mad at first, but I’m getting good grades at university at the same time and everyone is really supportive now.”

The monthly winners of the Young Citizen Award will each receive �40 to spend on The Exchange Ilford retailer of their choice.

The overall winner will receive �400 to spend on The Exchange Ilford retailer of their choice.

To nominate a deserving Redbridge youngster, aged 25 and under, fill in the coupon in each week’s Recorder and send in to the Recorder office, accompanied with a description of no more than 150 words explaining why they should be commended.