A Chigwell teen has been commended for her work feeding rough sleepers, combatting drug use and knife crime.

Hannah Chowdhry, who works tirelessly to make a difference in her community, was named Redbridge Young Citizen of the year.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the 16-year-old has beens on the frontline helping at a daily project to feed the homeless and vulnerable in Ilford.

Hannah started volunteering at a food bank in January 2020, which included cooking meals for the rough sleepers and putting herself through a food safety course.

At secondary school, Hannah became aware that some pupils were using legal highs, so she started a campaign that led to the creation of a borough-wide reporting portal to help map drug-related crime.

She is also a long-term campaigner against knife crime and now sits on a youth reference panel for the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime.

Last year, Hannah organised a knife crime summit involving local police and crime prevention organisations as well as relatives of victims of knife crime.

Hannah said: "As a passionate anti-knife crime advocate, I am extremely concerned about the rising level of violent crime we are seeing on the streets of London and Essex. I feel very honoured to receive the Rotary Young Citizen Award. I know that rotarians are doing their hard work to defeat polio around the world. And then for them to notice me doing my work for the community makes me feel special. So I'd like to thank them for giving me this award.”

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