Young Citizen Awards: Death of sister inspires former winner Bella Field, 10, to raise £100,000

Former winner of the Young Citizen Award Bella Field

Former winner of the Young Citizen Award Bella Field - Credit: Archant

As the Recorder relaunches the Young Citizen Awards today, former winner Bella Field shares her story – and mum Mel encourages others to nominate youngsters.

Bella was just five when her eight-year-old sister Molly died from a brain tumour in September 2010.

Since then Bella and her mum Mel, of Darnley Road, Woodford Green, have been raising money for Haven House children’s hospice, where Molly died.

Bella, now 10, told the Recorder: “We just started fundraising, at first we raised £8,000 and then we got a bit carried away.

“We kept on fundraising and so far we have managed to raise £100,000.”

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Bella explained the hospice looked after her sister when she was ill, and they also helped her – she now does counselling there.

She said: “We kept going because we wanted to keep Molly’s memory alive.

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“She was a beautiful, talented, just overall a brilliant person. She wrote a book while she was ill all by herself and dedicated the book to me.”

In 2014 Bella won the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen of the Year award, before being nominated for the prize for the UK and Ireland.

At a sparkling ceremony in Belfast Bella was victorious, and the President of Rotary International invited her to speak in front 17,000 people in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

“It was quite an emotional speech, I was very nervous at the start, but then I got onto the stage and realised it wasn’t so bad.”

Since winning Bella has carried on fundraising for Molly, and encouraged other Redbridge children to enter.

Mum Mel, 43, also spoke passionately about the benefits of the Young Citizen Award.

“Children get so much bad press for being naughty in school, it’s nice to hear some good news stories and show everyone how amazing and inspirational they can be.

“It really helped Bella meeting other people in similar situations and realising she is not alone.”

To nominate someone for our Young Citizen Awards email with their name, contact details and reason for nomination.

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