The Diana Award 2016 Highlights

by | Dec 13, 2016 | Blog | 0 comments

What a year it’s been for The Diana Award!

 2016 has been an eventful year hasn’t it? Well it has been for us at The Diana Award too! We couldn’t be prouder of all that we have achieved in the last 365 days and we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon! Take a look back through some of our favourite moments from 2016…

We started off the year with exciting news – Diana Award Holder Ayrton is named the face and voice of new Vitabiotics Wellkid campaign… 

We kick started 2016 by announcing our partnership with Vitabiotics, the UK’s number one vitamin company.  Our aim was to inspire social action and wellbeing in young people throughout the country and twelve year old Ayrton was the perfect one to do it! Ayrton’sinspirational story is now featured on Wellkid and Wellteen vitamin packs as well as online.

In February we visited to see The Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace because #YoungMindsMatter

February was a very exciting month for us. On the 17th, our CEO Tessy Ojo accompanied our youngest Anti-Bullying Ambassador Solei Neal-Brown to Kensington Palace to meet with HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Solei was chosen due to her contribution to the Young Minds Matter blog, where she shared her experiences of bullying and the impact it had on her mental health. To read more about our visit to the palace click below!

Our CEO Tessy Ojo gets appointed to the BBC’s Appeals Advisory Committee!

In March we were delighted to announce that CEO Tessy Ojo was appointed to the BBC’s Appeals Advisory Committee (AAC). Tessy joined the panel as an independent expert due to her wide experience of the charitable sector. Find out more about  about Tessy’s appointment by clicking below.

…We surprised a young Welsh hero at her primary school in Pontypridd with Welsh TV presenter Matt Johnson!

March was a month full of honours. Nine-year old Mia Thorne received a surprise visit to her school from Welsh TV Presenter Matt Johnson who presented her with the prestigious Diana Award at her primary school in Pontypridd. Mia has the condition congenital hemiplegia (cerebral palsy) but this does not prevent her from helping other children. One particular child that Mia has supported is four year old Dewi James who is in the reception class at Mia’s school. Dewi has been diagnosed with Diplegia Spasticiity Cerebral Palsy. Mia raised funds which enabled him to have a vital operation.

INSPIRE Birmingham & INSPIRE Essex

In April we celebrated our 5th and 6th INSPIRE Series Events in Birmingham and Essex. That meant by April we’d held events in Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Belfast, Birmingham and Essex. It was privilege to see so many outstanding young people who had invested a huge amount of energy and time to improve the lives of others receive The Diana Award, in memory of Princess Diana. In addition to their awards, the young people in attendance also received specialized training in campaigning and community action. We gave them the tools to begin a yearlong social action initiative with their peers, to tackle social issues, make a positive change and contribute to a brighter future for themselves and others.

…Our Irish Anti-Bullying Ambassadors showed off their skills at Facebook Dublin!

Every year we, celebrate schools involved in the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors programme by inviting them to a showcase event at Facebook’s European Headquarters in Dublin. Schools from across Ireland applied for this opportunity and this unique event brings together policy makers, MPs, celebrities, Facebook’s Policy Team and schools to explore how together we can all stamp out bullying.

Barclays and Team Diana Award got #DaringForDiana at the #RatRace

We started May by being #DaringForDiana. Our #RatRacers spent Saturday May 12th running 20 miles and trucking through the mud, climbing giant hay bale pyramids and swinging on the world’s longest monkey bars all to raise money for The Diana Award! Spearheaded by the Barclay’s debt finance team, over 20 Barclay’s employees and 6 Diana Award employees ran this gruesome race and raised a whopping £40K for us!

We were estatic to be asked to join The Duke of Cambridge’s cyberbullying taskforce…

And the excitement didn’t end there! Also in May we announced our participation in a new industry-led taskforce – convened by The Duke of Cambridge – to support young people and their families affected by cyberbullying. Find out more about how our CEO Tessy Ojo is representing The Diana Award on the Royal Task Force panel.

We were extra nice for Kindness Day 2016 🙂 <3

Following on from the success of last year, we were very excited to partner with Penguin Random House for the second year in a row to celebrate Kindness Day 2016. Kindness Day is inspired by the bestselling novel Wonder, written by R J Palacio. Click the link below to read more!

HRH Prince William joined us for #StandUpToBullying Day

In July we ran our biggest campaign to date – national Stand Up To Bullying Day! We wanted to the entire nation to stand up with us, from schools to businesses to people young and old and we were NOT disappointed! Our supporter HRH Prince William released a personal video message about the importance of standing up to bullying which garnered international press coverage. The day had so many highlights – we trended all day on Twitter and Facebook and the #StandUpToBullying website crashed because we had SO much traffic. We ended the day with an amazing Anti-Bullying Showcase at Facebook London HQ. To learn more about the day click the button below – and don’t forget we can all #StandUpToBullying every day!

Earl Spencer attended INSPIRE London to give out The Diana Award in memory of his late sister for the first time!

July continued to be a very royal month for us as it marked the first time a member of Diana’s family presented The Diana Award in the UK. On the 4th July Earl Spencer, Diana Princess of Wales’ brother, presented 80 Diana Awards to inspiring young heroes from London and the South East at our INSPIRE London event at Barclay’s HQ. The Earl delivered a heart-warming speech about our name sake, his late sister, before personally handing out the awards to the recipients. You can watch his speech above. To find out more about the day click below!

One last INSPIRE Series stop for the 2016 Award’s season in the inspiring Leeds!

July drew to a close with one final INSPIRE Series. Seventy-five inspirational young people, from across Yorkshire and Humber were presented with The Diana Award at an award ceremony at Leeds College of Music, sponsored by Talk Direct & Denham. This marked the last top for an incredibly successful tour across the UK celebrating young people for the commitment to bettering their communities.

We went #Back2School for with our Anti-Bullying Campaign and took a few famous friends with us…

September was a very busy month for us at The Diana Award. With the end of summer came the beginning of the new academic Year. We wanted to support young people returning to school by launching a ‘Back 2 School’ campaign. Rio Ferdinand, James McVey from The Vamps, Marcus Butler, Jessie J, Riyadh Khalaf amongst a host of other celebrities supported #Back2School. And, MP’s from all parties, across the UK, joined the campaign as well!

Our campaign also featured ground breaking research as we surveyed nearly 2,000 adults about their experiences of bullying in school and the workplace. The research was conducted by YouGov and revealed the shocking impact bullying can have on individuals even after many years.

We made it #CoolToBeKind with our #HOLLAgram ‘Thank You’ campaign  

September also saw the launch of our new mail service HOLLAgram for young people. This special service is all about spreading kindness and letting someone know that they are appreciated. Sending a HOLLAgram can also be the first step in nominating a young person for The Diana Award. If you know anyone special you’d like to give a shout out to click the link below!

Another royal visit – this time with Prince Harry in Scotland for Mentoring training!

Looks like we’re going to need to send out a Royal #HOLLAgram for 2016, as in September we were joined by our third member of the Royal Family! On 20th September our supporter HRH Prince Harry visited our #MyMentor programme in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He jumped right into activities with our trainers and mentees and also had the chance to speak with business mentors and Diana Award Holders. Prince Harry shared how his mentor helped him through a tough time which was an excellent revelation for our Mentoring Campaign!

We celebrated our 17th Birthday at Downing Street with friends, supporters and our young people!

We love October because it’s our birthday month and this year we turned 17! On 19th October we were joined by our young people, supporters and trustees at 11 Downing Street for a birthday celebration. The exciting night of celebration was hosted by Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP and we looked back on our year of incredible achievements which included premiering three brand new videos! We also revealed some of our big aspirations for the next twelve months.

Our incredible Mentors and Mentees wowed us at the 2016 Mentoring Showcase…

Aside from our birthday festivities, we also held our 2016 Mentoring showcase where we celebrated mentoring and its power to unlock potential and improve life chances. We were joined by some of our mentors and mentees from a range of schools and businesses, to showcase the brilliant work they have achieved together. It was an evening full of smiles and we were joined by Dame Julia Cleverdon who reminded us of the importance of self-belief and our potential to help others.

We launched our Be Strong Online Ambassadors Training with Vodafone!

Finally, in October we launched our Be Strong Online Ambassador Programme with training events in Gateshead, Walsall, Cornwall, London, Glasgow and Oxford! These fun, informative and interactive training events saw students from the local area trained as role models for online safety and skills in their schools. They were given the tools and skills they needed to run an engaging Be Strong Online campaign to raise awareness and share knowledge with other students.

We used our #PowerForGood with our young anti-bullying ambassadors in Blackpool and London for 2016 #AntiBullyingWeek

November was a very big month for two of our campaigns. Firstly, the Anti-Bullying Campaign trained over 600 young Anti-Bullying Ambassadors aged 5-18 from across the UK at our Anti-bullying Week London and Blackpool events. These young people participated in a hands on event designed to inspire young people to creatively explore bullying issues through drama, singing, photography, rap, graffiti art and public speaking. We had an overwhelming amount of support from top social media companies and Blackpool Council, as well as celebrity talent who led the workshops.

Our Mentoring Campaign received a bid from The Careers and Enterprises Company!

The Mentoring Campaign also had its fair share of success in November. We received a massive funding boost of £400K, from the government-backed Careers and Enterprise Company, for our successful Mentoring Campaign to support thousands of vulnerable young people across the county. The funding will allow us to expand the Mentoring Campaign into four major regions, covering areas such as Birmingham, Solihull, Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, York and North Yorkshire.

Our very own Alex Holmes found out he is a ‘Queen’s Young Leader’!

November ended on a very high note for the Head of our Anti-Bullying Campaign! The Head of our Anti-Bullying Campaign, Alex Holmes was awarded the ‘Queen’s Young Leader. He was the only young person in England to receive this prestigious award.  Alex received The Diana Award in 2004 for tackling bullying in his school and community after being bullied at school. Since its inception over ten years ago, this successful peer-led programme has trained more than 20,000 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in schools and communities across the UK and Ireland.

And… we capped the year off with our first two 2017 INSPIRE Series events in Wales & Scotland!

We’ve ended our incredible year with events in Scotland and Wales to present over 120 inspirational young people with The Diana Award. The INSPIRE Series events took place at and Emirates Stadium in Glasgow on 5 December 2016 and Cardiff City Hall on 8 December 2016 – all the young people receiving awards and training have invested a huge amount of time and energy to improve the lives of others and their communities. We even had a few familiar faces presenting The Diana Award like Britain’s most decorated female Olympian of ALL TIME – Dr. Katherine Grainger CBE! Other celebrity guests included One Show presenter Jean Johansson and MOBO Award singer Lurine Cato.

Our mission is to inspire and recognise social action in young people.

© 2016 The Diana Award. The Diana Award is a registered charity (1117288 / SC0141915) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales number 5739137.

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