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Ilford teenager hopes to influence hospital change

PUBLISHED: 12:30 30 September 2016

Vanessa Madu has been nominated for a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award

Vanessa Madu has been nominated for a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award

Vanessa Madu

A teenager who “loves” helping younger pupils understand the complexities of maths and championing issues which affect youths has been nominated for a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen award.

Vanessa Madu, 16, who attends the Ursuline Academy Ilford, has been on the gifted and talented register since Year 7 and is part of the Redbridge Young Cabinet.

Not only does the teenager, of Wellesley Road, Ilford, donate some of her free time at school helping pupils aim for A* grades in maths, but she is also – through her role as the cabinet’s health and social care member – campaigning on an issue affecting young people in hospitals.

“[I noticed] when you’re 15, you go to the children’s part of King George Hospital, but when you turn 16 you go to the adult part,” she said. “This happens around the country.”

Vanessa, who has brought up the issue at the Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group’s Patient Engagement Forum, said there are stark differences between the “friendly and encouraging” atmosphere of children’s departments, to the “coldness” of adult ones.

“I wasn’t happy with that so brought it up in the meeting about how it affects people,” she said.

“One of my friends has a heart condition and is always in hospital.

“Parents are allowed in any time in the children’s hospital, but in the adult hospital can only visit during visiting times. She’s only 17.”

The teenager is calling for more information to be provided to youngsters facing this change.

“People who are going to turn 16 should know what this is and how it’s going to affect them,” said Vanessa, who hopes to make a “bit of a difference”.


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