A 16-year-old student has received high praise after organising a charity dinner last week confronting the issue of forced marriage.

Arifa Nasim, a Year 11 student at Walthamstow School for Girls, spearheaded the dinner for 130 people.

In her GCSE year she helped organise special guests Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal, a former student of Walthamstow School for Girls who gave an ‘inspiring’ speech, Stella Creasy MP, women’s rights activist Jasvinder Sanghera CBE and actress Aiysha Hart who appears in the film Honour, about an honour killing.

Stella Creasy was in the end unable to attend due to a late running bill at parliament but she said: “Arifa is great and we think she has a very bright future ahead of her.”

Arifa, the granddaughter of the late Mohammed Miskeen Nasim, who was Mayor of Walthamstow, said they are still counting money but a figure of around £5,000 will go to the Karma Nirvana charity which aims to stop forced marriage and honour-based violence.

Walthamstow School for Girls Head Teacher Meryl Davies said: “I’m so proud of Arifa and full of adminration for her achievements organising and running the Karma Nirvana event.

“Months of hard work and dedication went into preparing the dinner, entertainment and educating the audience about the work of the charity.

“It was a real joy and privilege.”

Arifa said: “It was fantastic. There was a real buzz going around the school and everyone was looking forward to the event.

“A few years ago it was just a dream and I’ve been able to see it through with the help of others.

“Baroness Scotland gave an incredibly inspiring speech and afterwards everyone wanted to do more to promote awareness.”

Arifa added that she wants to get a bigger budget for a future event to make it more successful and less stressful.