Young Citizen nominee happy to take to Chigwell stage to help children’s hospice

A 16-year-old who turned his passion for drama and music into gala nights raising �3,000 for a children’s hospice, is the latest nominee for our Young Citizen Award.

James Harrington, a student at Chigwell School in High Road, Chigwell, had been looking for a way to help Haven House Children’s Hospice ever since he volunteered there aged 14.

As an A-level drama student, he decided to use his stage talents and has now directed and produced two gala evenings at his school in aid of the High Road, Woodford Green charity.

With about 18 fellow pupils, aged 14 to 17, he organised plays, comedy sketches and musical performances. He did a solo sketch miming playing instruments as they were played off-stage.

He said: “Drama and music are my passions, I’ve always enjoyed getting on the stage.”

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He is in the running for the monthly Exchange Ilford-sponsored Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award.

James, who lives in Buckhurst Hill, said: “I was impressed how they care for the children, how much thought goes into it and how much time and love there is for the children. And how much support they give to the families.”

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He and fellow pupils, Kurran Gujral and Ramana Ahilan, did a bucket collection and he is doing work experience at its Chingford

He first visited the hospice, which cares for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, as part of a school volunteering day and helped out in its garden.

He held the first fundraising night at the school’s drama centre in November and followed it up with an even more successful evening, which raised �1,900, on October 5.

His efforts for the charity go further though because he and two fellow pupils, Kurran Gujral and Ramana Ahilan, did a bucket collection for the cause and he is doing work experience at its Chingford office.

Mike Palfreman, the hospice’s chief executive said: “James has pulled off a great event.

“It’s heartening to see young people giving their time to help other, less fortunate youngsters in their community.”

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