Flood hero from Southfields honoured on national television

Wandsworth Guardian: Zafar Ahmad preparing sandbags to help flood stricken residents Zafar Ahmad preparing sandbags to help flood stricken residents

A public-spirited schoolboy has been declared a ‘Flood Hero' by the ITV morning show Daybreak.

Zafar Ahmad, 16, rushed to the aid of flood-hit victims in Staines and Chertsey after persistent rain saw the Thames burst its banks.

He spent four days helping the Army and local residents fill sandbags, before loading them onto trucks to be distributed in the area.

The Saint Cecilia’s secondary school pupil also gave out information leaflets to people affected.

Zafar, who lives in Southfields, gave up his half-term holiday in February to muck in with the relief effort.

His actions saw him named a Flood Hero, and he was invited onto Daybreak on Friday March 14 along with four other winners.

He is also set to meet with the prime minister later in the year.

He said: "It was a very humbling experience to see those who are affected, but I am glad that the communities quickly came together to help.

"It’s also great to have raised some money from the Flood Relief Appeal."

Wandsworth Guardian:

Zafar on Daybreak

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson then appeared by video-link to praise Zafar and his fellow flood heroes.

He said: "Congratulations and well done for all your fantastic work.

"I was inspired and moved by how you just got out there and helped, without being asked to help."

Zafar carried out the work with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.

As part of the prize he was given £5,000 to donate to the Flood Relief Appeal.

In total Zafar and the AMYA have raised £10,000 for the charity.

He was nominated for the award by Jamal Akbar, one of AMYA's regional coordinators.

Mr Akbar said: "In my mind, everyone who helped out with the relief efforts is a hero. The reason I nominated Zafar was because of his dedication of time and his passion to just get out there and help in whatever capacity he could.

"I don’t know many 16 year olds who would do that during their holidays."

Zafar said: "I helped out because as an Ahmadi muslim and a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, it is my duty to serve mankind.

"I don't consider what I did to be special, it was an effective use of my time."

"I am really excited to meet David Cameron, I didn't expect this at all."

The charitable teenager is set to raise even more money for flood victims.

On May 4 he will walk 10k as part of the Mercy for Mankind Charity Challenge at Battersea Park.

You can make a donation by visiting his Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/zafar-ahmad-2014

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