Katie Hutchinson from Chingford won second place at London's Young People of the Year award ceremony on Saturday

Katie Hutchinson with finalist Zoe Fuller and deputy PM's wife Miriam Gonzalez

Katie Hutchinson with finalist Zoe Fuller and deputy PM's wife Miriam Gonzalez

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Waltham Forest

A teenager who helps provide respite for the family of a severely autistic boy has been recognised for her work.

Katie Hutchinson, 14, of The Drive in Chingford, was among 10 people in London to win second place at Saturday's John Lewis Young People of the Year (YOPEY) award ceremony.

The Highams Park School pupil regularly visits 11-year-old Freddie Haysman at his home in Chingford, where she plays with him, helps to feed him, and takes him swimming.

Freddie's mother Anne said: "Katie's really patient and has a good manner and really helpful as he's a very challenging child.

"Freddie recognises her and smiles at her and lets her be close, whereas he pushes some other people away."

Miss Hutchinson was awarded £100 at the ceremony attended by Nick Clegg's wife, Miriam Gonzalez, cabinet minister Justine Greening, Tottenham MP David Lammy and Waltham Forest mayor Nadeem Ali on London's South Bank.

Miss Hutchinson is donating her prize money to the Hamara Family Project, which support disabled children and their families in Waltham Forest.

On the evening, she said hearing the other finalists' stories was "truly inspirational".

"I want to carry on and never stop," she added.

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