Award nod for teen leading on care package project for Ukrainian refugees

Kirushan Suthakaran

Kirushan Suthakaran - Credit: Haaroon Shaffie/NCS

An Ilford teen has been nominated for an award after leading a project to provide care packages to Ukrainian refugees arriving in east London.

Kirushan Suthakaran, 16, led other teenagers from Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering in raising money to buy essentials for those fleeing the war with Russia.

He is the latest nominee for the Ilford Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Young Citizen Awards, which bid to recognise the outstanding achievements of young people in the borough aged 25 and under.

The teens, who have spent the last eight months with youth programme NCS, worked with the North London Collection Centre in Barking who are delivering the packages to refugees in east London.

Kirushan also helped to lead the organisation an event at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford at the end of April.

This saw almost 200kg of clothes, baby food and toys donated to the cause.

Kirushan said: “I decided to lead this project to see what we could do for Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK.

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"I wanted to be able to work on a project that could impact not just the local community but people from another part of the world. So I decided to take charge in this and take part in something truly special.

“We ended up receiving massive donations of clothes and ended up filling all our boxes to the point we had to go out and get more."

He felt it was important young people take charge of charitable efforts such as this.

“As young people we aren’t really expected to do much other than work for future aspirations and not worry about the big picture.

"But in reality we care just as much, if not more, due to how the future will be dictated by the actions of the present."

The overall winner of the award will receive £100 from Redbridge Rotary Club and will, along with the runner-up, go through to the national Young Citizen final run by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. 

To nominate someone, contact michael.cox@archant.co.uk at the Recorder or visit www.redbridgerotaryclub.org/contact giving information about the nomination and contact details.