Ilford student who helps young disabled people is March’s Young Citizen winner

Young Citizen monthly award winner Grace Davies

Young Citizen monthly award winner Grace Davies - Credit: Archant

An 18-year-old who helps young disabled people after being inspired by her experience with her autistic brother is our first Young Citizen winner of the year.

A panel of judges chose Grace Davies, a Year 13 student at The Ursuline Academy, Morland Road, Ilford, as the March winner of the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club award, sponsored by Exchange Ilford.

Grace has given up her time for the past three years to set up and then help to run the Truecolours project – a social club for disabled and non-disabled people at the Mildmay Community Centre in Albert Road, Ilford.

One of the judges, Eve Conway-Ghazi, the district governor of Rotary in London, said: “She’s an inspirational teenager. She’s used her own experience of helping her autistic brother and expanded that to help other young disabled people and realised the problem they face with having a social life.”

The A-level student, who wants to become a nurse, supported her older autistic brother Hugh, now 23, by volunteering at play schemes when they were growing up.

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Having pitched in with the Redbridge Forum charity’s holiday scheme for disabled children, Grace and four other volunteers were approached by the charity to set up a group for disabled teenagers.

Grace said: “Sometimes the young people, when they come, they’re very quiet and introverted. But they enjoy themselves and make new friends.”

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Chris Merritt, the director of Redbridge Forum who nominated Grace, said: “This is excellent news. She is a deserved winner and it is great to see her recognised for the hard work she has done.”

Grace has won £40 in vouchers to spend at Exchange Ilford and is now in the running for our annual award.

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