Pudsey teenager who helped pensioners during Covid lockdown is honoured with award

A Leeds teenager who befriended and helped lonely elderly people  during the Covid pandemic has been honoured for her selfless work in the community.

By Mark Lavery
Friday, 31st December 2021, 4:45 am
Roxana Tuinea-Bobe of Pudsey with her British Citizen Youth Award.

Photo: Gary Longbottom
Roxana Tuinea-Bobe of Pudsey with her British Citizen Youth Award. Photo: Gary Longbottom

Roxana Tuinea-Bobe of Pudsey went out of her way to keep elderly residents' spirits up and run errands for them.

Roxana's mum Cristina said pensioners living nearby became like family for her daughter, who was not able to travel to see her own grandparents in Romania for 22 months.

Roxana, 17, who is studying for A levels at Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Leeds, has been honoured with a British Citizen Youth Award.

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Roxana Tuinea-Bobe of Pudsey Photo: Gary Longbottom

The awards are designed to recognise the individual endeavours of young people who are positively impacting their communities, helping charities or undertaking exceptional activities in support of others.

Cristina said Roxana would go out after school and speak to elderly neighbours through open windows at a safe distance.

Roxana would also do their shopping, pay bills and do cooking and baking.

Cristina, who is a scientist and works in research and innovation at Bradford University, came to the UK from Bucharest in Romania in 2007.

Roxana Tuinea-Bobe of Pudsey Photo: Gary Longbottom

Roxana travelled from Romania to join her in 2014 when she was aged nine.

Cristina said Roxana did not speak perfect English when she first arrived in the UK and had problems interacting with other children.

Roxana worked hard to get involved with when she was a student at Pudsey Crawshaw Academy.

Cristina said Roxana promoted the school food ambassador programme and encouraged other children to eat healthier foods.

Roxana was also part of shaping the school's student forum and student parliament

She ran a mentoring scheme in year eight to help other students.

Roxana started volunteering at Leeds Central Library before the pandemic.

And she is involved with charity UNESCO Romania to help raise awareness in education, equality, diversity and inclusion.

Cristina said: "The drive to communicate with other lonely people is because she was missing her grandparents and her dad.

"The elderly people in her neighborhood were like her surrogate family.

"The pensioners were very happy that somebody spent time talking to them and listened to their stories.

"Roxana learned so much about Pudsey by listening to their stories.

"She was mesmerised to find out that the Sainsburys in Pudsey town centre used to be the old picture house."

"She gave so much support to local people in her community.

"I'm very proud of everything that she has done. She is a force of nature. I'm so grateful that she is my kid."