Friday, 24 May 2019

Teenager receives community award for charity work

Teenager receives community award for charity work

A TEENAGE girl has won a community award for her charity work.

Emma Woods, 14, of Passey Crescent, Benson, was presented with the Bob Griffiths Shield at the village’s annual parish meeting by parish council chairman Bill Pattison.

She was recognised for raising money and awareness of Anti-Slavery International and the Red Box Project, which aims to support young people during their periods by providing schools with red boxes filled with free sanitary products.

Emma, who attends Wallingford School, said: “I was so happy because I never expected it. Having the recognition is really good but I don’t do any of the charity work to get everyone patting me on the back and saying ‘well done’. I do it for people who really need it.”

Emma ran a stall in the parish hall at a Christmas fair in December where she had a donation box and handed out leaflets to raise awareness of modern day slavery.

She said: “Raising money is important but not as important as raising awareness.

“It’s still happening, which is really terrifying. There were even some people who had experiences of it or knew people who had gone through it.”

Emma raised £90 for Anti-Slavery International, which is enough to fund the education of three girls for a year in poorer countries.

She said: “The reason they get into slavery is they are not educated enough to get a qualification for a job.

“I’m always trying to learn stuff about current affairs and I’m a big fan of Stacey Dooley who did a documentary about it. I also saw a Ted Talk on it which I came across on YouTube.”

Emma said the Red Box Project’s work was important. She said: “There are lots of girls who when they are on their periods can’t go to school. Their families have to decide between food for the week or pads and tampons and I don’t think that’s fair.

“There should be a donation point in town where people or students can donate products to go to the charity.”

Richard Irwin won the Don Fletcher Community Award for maintaining the flower beds around the village’s war memorial to a high standard.

He was unable to attend the meeting to receive the trophy.

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