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Award for Romford Good Samaritan who came to aid of robbed teenager in Barking

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 September 2019

Barking and Dagenham's chief executive Chris Naylor and council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell present Linda Evans-Packham with her Leader's Recognition Award. Picture: Sophie Morton

Barking and Dagenham's chief executive Chris Naylor and council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell present Linda Evans-Packham with her Leader's Recognition Award. Picture: Sophie Morton

Archant

A kind-hearted woman has received a Leader's Recognition Award after coming to the aid of a teenager who was robbed just minutes after arriving in Barking.

Melissa Watson. Picture: Melissa Watson.Melissa Watson. Picture: Melissa Watson.

Linda Evans-Packham was on her way home from work in May when she came across Melissa Watson, who was in distress after her phone had been snatched out of her hand.

She pulled over to help and discovered that the youngster had taken the train up from Devon as she had an audition at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts the following day.

At first Linda took Melissa to her hotel but after a phone call with the upset teenager's mum, it was decided that Linda would instead take her in for the night.

Linda, who lives in Romford, provided her with food, a shower and some money to get to her audition.

And after news of Linda's good deed made the pages of this paper, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council Cllr Darren Rodwell decided to honour her with the award.

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He said: "We know there's a lot of good people in this borough.

"It's really nice to see something great like this."

He and chief executive Chris Naylor presented Linda with a certificate and bouquet of flowers at a Barking Town Hall reception to thank her for her good deed.

Linda, who works in this paper's offices, said: "What a wonderful 'thankyou' and recognition for something that was a natural response to someone in distress.

"People do great things everyday and never get noticed. There are lots of positives happening all the time, we need to celebrate the good.

"I enjoyed the lovely atmosphere in the Town Hall, particularly the chocolate cake!"

It is just the fourth time in five years Cllr Rodwell has given out the award - and the second in the space of a month.

In August, he presented brothers Taylor Dodd and Harrison Happe with certificates after they raised the alarm when a fire broke out in Samuel Garside House, Barking Riverside, in June.

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