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

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 April 2013

Young Citizen monthly award winner Grace Davies

Young Citizen monthly award winner Grace Davies


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.

How to nominate

The Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award aims to find people aged 25 and under who deserve to be commended for their contributions to the community.

Each month, a winner will be chosen for the award, sponsored by the Exchange Ilford, and will receive £40 to spend at the Exchange Ilford retailer of their choice.

An overall winner will then be chosen next year and will receive £400 to spend.

To nominate a Redbridge youngster, email

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.

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.”

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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