Zish, aged 23 from Weston Super Mare, talks about receiving his Diana Award.
“I am Zishaan and I received the Diana Anti-Bullying Champion Award in 2007. Having noticed a few issues around bullying in local schools I wanted to raise awareness of them. I put together a show incorporating dance, drama, music and poetry to convey 3 messages to school management teams. After receiving the award I wanted to know more about the charity and got in touch, I subsequently held 2 roles, one being Chairman of the Young Anti-Bullying Alliance and the other being Chairman of the Youth Advisory Board.
When an opportunity came up to become a Trustee I instantly applied. I wanted to ensure that the charity was youth led at all levels and I felt it was important to represent the views of other Award Holders. I had a fantastic 2 years as a Trustee, making valuable contributions that were listened to from the very first meeting I attended and this was possible because of a number of reasons. There is a buddy system whereby an ex Young Trustee attended the first few meetings with me to help me get settled in and the Diana Award also sent me on a number of training programs that ensured I understood my role and could make an impact straight away.
The experience taught me how a charity is managed, the process of how decisions are made and the ability to develop a strategy. There is also an opportunity to sit on sub-committees which can allow you to focus and become an expert in a specific field. The board of Trustees have a vast range of business experience in a variety of sectors and the exposure to this at a young age allowed me to learn a lot throughout my time as a Trustee; opportunities that one cannot otherwise access. I enjoyed putting forward the views of Award Holders and also learning about a wide range of disciplines that I otherwise had little exposure to. Helping the charity to grow and develop was immensely enjoyable as was the exposure to the ‘other’ side of the charity.”
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Rhys Jones, aged 18 from Tonypandy in Wales. Diana Courageous Citizen
“I received the Diana Courageous Citizen Award for overcoming my disability and representing Wales in athletics while inspiring other young people to get involved in sport. I have overcome many obstacles in my life and it hasn’t been easy but I always give more than a hundred percent to everything I do.
I am Young Gold Ambassador for South Wales and I help promote sporting activities to schools in my local community. I am a keen footballer and coach the disability football team that I used to play for.
In October 2010 I was selected for the GB Paralympic Talent Squad. This year I made my debut at the London Paralympics Games and competed in the 100 and 200m races. Taking part in the Paralympics was an amazing experience, it is hard really to put it into words, but it was just incredible meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. It was a great feeling knowing that once I was on the track it was a rivalry with the other competitors but then when we were off the track we could be best friends, that was one of the best experiences.
I will not quit at any obstacle that life throws at me that is also why I believe Mrs Rogers nominated me for this special award. I couldn’t believe that I received the award I wasn’t expecting it at all. I hope I show young people that they can achieve their dreams and inspire more people to take part in sport.”
Alison Rogers at St John Baptist High School, nominated Rhys for the Diana Award, she said: “The Headteacher Dr S.M. Mitchell and the whole school community are extremely proud of Rhys and what he has overcome to achieve such excellence in his chosen sport. Congratulations Rhys!”