Eve, 14, who channelled grief over Bilal into helping others gets top award

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Eve Whitaker, 14 Eve Whitaker, 14

A Bradford girl whose best friend was killed by a hit-and-run driver has won a prestigious volunteering award.

Eve Whitaker, 14, took up volunteering as an outlet for her grief after 12-year-old Bilal Khizar died in October 2012.

In the past year, Eve has created a memorial garden for her community, raised funds for funeral expenses, and is now setting up a project promoting road safety to school pupils.

An awards spokesman said: “The experience has inspired a dedication to supporting her community and for proving what great things young people have to offer society.”

Bilal was killed when he was knocked down by a driver fleeing police in Rooley Lane, Bradford.

Eve has been named regional winner for Yorkshire and Humber in the ‘Best Young Volunteer’ category.

Youth worker Pauline King, 56, won the ‘Outstanding Contribution by a Youth Worker’ category. She has been working as a youth worker for more than nine years.

Previously, Pauline followed a more corporate career to help fund her three children’s higher education, but she decided she needed a new direction and chose youth work.

With eight years of work with young offenders in Bradford, her most recent post is with Brathay Trust, a charity supporting young people through a variety of programmes.

Pauline said: “It’s such an honour to be presented with this award. You don’t do youth work to get awards – knowing you’re helping young people is enough motivation. But it’s great to know that people appreciate what I do, and I hope that this might inspire other people to get involved.”

The third winner was NCS Bradford, which won ‘Most Outstanding NCS Team’.

The team consisted of 14 young people from a wide range of backgrounds and from different parts of Bradford district. Having never met each other before, this group of young people came together to develop skills, make new friends, gain more confidence and give back to their local community.

They visited residential homes, fundraised for a variety of charities and supported local food banks.

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