A New City College teacher has been honoured in the BBC Radio London’s Make A Difference Awards for his fundraising efforts to support struggling families in East London.
Mentesnot Mengesha walked 100 miles barefoot last year to raise money for a local community association that runs food banks, provides clothes and holds after-school clubs for low income families.
He personally raised almost £1,500, and by recruiting others to join him on his epic trek, he managed to bring in more than £10,000 for the Bonny Downs Community Association in East Ham.
Now his efforts to help some of the most vulnerable people in the community have been recognised with a Highly Commended Make A Difference Award which he received from BBC Radio London in front of his proud son and brother at a presentation at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.
Mentesnot said: “It is an honour and a privilege for me to receive this award. It has inspired and encouraged me to do more fundraising and I am now thinking of what I can do next to help other people.”
A teacher of employability skills at New City College Hackney, Mentesnot sought asylum in the UK more than 30 years ago after being imprisoned in Ethiopia for ‘political activism’ at school. After arriving in London, he built a successful life for himself, studying for four degrees and developing a career by working in local authorities, the NHS and then as a teacher.