Natasha’s legacy honoured with curry event in Flitwick on Friday

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A big-hearted teenager who tragically died 20 years ago is having her legacy honoured once again with curry.

17-year-old Natasha Watson died following a heart attack in the 1990s. But one year before her passing she had started sponsoring Ojwang — a Kenyan boy then aged five — through the charity World Vision.

And now each year her family make a selection of curries which are available to order and collect from their home, to continue her legacy.

Tasha’s mum Debbie Watson said: “Tasha was a wonderful person and the sponsorship is a testament to her kindness.

“Tasha had found a part-time job so that she could afford the sponsorship. When she passed away, we, as a family, continued to sponsor Ojwang and then his sister Pamela, who’s now ten.

“This sponsorship is Tasha’s legacy, and focussing on fundraising helps us deal with the loss.”

Each year the event sees the community come together, with relatives, neighbours and friends joining forces to help.

This year, the curry event is taking place on October 11 - the International Day of the Girl, designated by the United Nations to highlight the challenges girls worldwide face because of their gender. The Watsons have seen first-hand the affect sponsorship can have, through letters exchanged with Ojwang and Pamela, and on a trip they took to Kenya to meet them.

Natasha’s sister, Michelle, who is a World Vision ambassador, said: “During our visit, we saw that so much had been done thanks to our support.

“World Vision’s projects provided families with cattle and mills so that farmers could sell their produce and be self-sufficient.”

The Watsons have now raised more than £20,000 in charitable activities that have brought the whole community in Flitwick together. The family routinely holds curry and raffle events and organises sponsored walks and Fun Days. Michelle’s son, Tyler swam the English Channel in a relay team in 2017 for World Vision.

Michelle added: “People are so generous. During curry days, local friends, family, schools and offices place big orders and some people give payment for a meal and they don’t want their change back.”

To find out more about Friday’s curry event, e-mail Michelle Watson at shellfish102@hotmail.com