Helping promote healthy lifestyles

Our latest ‘Edmonton Youth Hero’ has been volunteering at a programme encouraging kids to eat and cook healthily food

Jessica Botchway picked up her award in a ceremony at Cineworld
Jessica Botchway (inset) picked up her award in a ceremony at Cineworld

A volunteer at an Edmonton youth centre was among the winners at the annual Ignite Enfield Youth Achievement Awards ceremony hosted by Enfield Council.

The celebration of the achievements of inspiring young people from Enfield highlights their success and commitment to the local community.

This year’s ceremony was held at Cineworld in Southbury and presented five awards. The winner in the ‘inspiring young volunteer’ category was Jessica Botchway, who has been volunteering at Exodus Youth Worx UK since the pandemic. She has been instrumental in developing and running the youth centre’s healthy eating and lifestyle programme, helping to show teens in Edmonton the benefits of home-cooked, nutritious food.

Jessica told the Dispatch: “We taught the younger years the benefits of eating healthily and about saving money on food. It was a six-week course with between five and ten people. On the last few days they pitched a main meal and dessert to make as a healthy option.

“It is about teaching them the value of money and being healthy with the ingredients they buy.

“During the lockdown in 2020 I was helping with parcel deliveries to local families and since the end of lockdown I have been in the youth hub teaching kids.

“I have gained lots of skills in how to communicate with people and helping them with different things.”

Jessica is now studying sociology and health and social care at St Anne’s Catholic High School for Girls and hopes to have a career in neonatal care.

Commenting on the youth achievement awards, Abdul Abdullahi, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I’d like to thank our inspiring young leaders for creating the Ignite Awards.

“It was a real privilege to be invited to the awards ceremony to meet so many amazing and committed young local people, each with their own personal story to tell.”

Dispatch readers are welcome to nominate their own ‘Edmonton Youth Hero’ – an inspirational young person (16 or under) from Edmonton who has made a valuable contribution to their local community. Simply email your nomination to [email protected]

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