Award for Forest Gate boy, 8, who cared for mum as she battled terminal cancer

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 November 2017

Kajus Vaivadas receives his Diana Award from Wayne Sleep and Tessy Ojo Picture: Jack Moralee

Kajus Vaivadas receives his Diana Award from Wayne Sleep and Tessy Ojo Picture: Jack Moralee

Jack Moralee

Looking after a terminally ill parent at any age is tough, so imagine how it must be when you’re just five years old.

Kajus with his mum Ingrida Kajus with his mum Ingrida

That was the challenge little Kajus Vaivadas faced when his mum, Ingrida, was diagnosed with cancer in 2013.

As his mum’s condition worsened, the Forest Gate youngster continued to care for her every day while still keeping up with his studies at St Peter and Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Ilford.

Kajus, now eight, has been recognised for his selflessness by being presented with a Diana Award, which is given out in the name of the late princess to young role models.

He was nominated by staff at Barnardo’s indigo young carers project, which continues to support Kajus and where he helps other young people at the fortnightly young carers’ club.

Poignantly, he received the award close to the first anniversary of his mum’s death.

He said: “I loved looking after my mum and I really miss her. I just like helping other children like me so they don’t feel that they’re on their own.”

Kajus and his dad, who he now lives with, were accompanied by Barnardo’s project worker Alison Connolly to the award ceremony.

They were also joined by a former neighbour, who described how the youngster would often help to prepare food for his mum, give her medication and help to clean the home.

Alison said: “Kajus’s neighbour said his mum would have been incredibly proud and happy for him to receive this award, because she loved him so very deeply. I felt so proud and privileged to be there, it was wonderful and truly inspirational.

“Kajus is an exceptional boy. He brought so much joy to his mum’s life and gave her a reason to battle her condition.

“It was just the two of them in the house and Kajus did everything he could to help, never complaining that he couldn’t enjoy the things his friends could.”

Lynn Gradwell, director of Barnardo’s in London, added: “Kajus is an inspiration and we’re so pleased that his positivity and kindness to others have been recognised with a Diana Award.

“It feels especially poignant on the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, with Prince Harry and Prince William having spoken out about the emotional impact of losing their mum.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham News Stories


A tip-off at Forest Gate police station helped bring down a modern slavery kingpin.

Forest Gate

A Manor Park man who knifed his flatmate 18 times after “appearing jolly” together on social media together minutes before has been found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey.

UN Court

A pitbull attack in Plaistow left a woman’s dog with a missing tooth, head wound and gashes in his mouth and neck.


A street collection for the victims of the Rohingya crisis fleeing Myanmar has raised over £4,000.

United Nations

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now