MEET THE ANTI-BULLYING AMBASSADOR GETTING READY FOR THE ROYAL WEDDING
Elsa Arnold, Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassador, will be joining the Royal Wedding celebrations on 19th May
14 May 2018
I first came across The Diana Award during their 2016 Anti-Bullying Week event. The following July, I volunteered in their office which I have to say was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I have done anti-bullying work in my school and local community since Year 7 however discovering The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign has been amazing and the staff have been really supportive of my passion.
Getting to know The Diana Award
I also volunteered at the 2017 Anti-Bullying Week event in November 2017, which I really enjoyed largely because I got to meet lots of passionate young people from other schools across London as well as last year’s inspiring national youth board. Currently I am on the 2018 National Anti-Bullying Youth Board, which is a massive honor, and I have already made some amazing new friends who are passionate about making a difference to the lives of others and helping people through the campaign. I am really looking forward to what this year will offer on the Youth Board and continuing to work with The Diana Award.
I chose to get involved with The Diana Award because they are a charity who largely inspires me and push me to do more and follow my passions. Not only does The Diana Award recognize young people who are making a change and doing good things in their community but personally, I have always been someone who has been active in raising awareness about bullying and mental health in my school and community and so coming across The Diana Award and getting involved with a charity who shared the same passions and had such a great Anti-Bullying Campaign seemed to be the right way forward. From my first encounter with them all of the staff supported my work massively and I saw how they had supported other young people with their passions too, which made me feel comfortable to expand my work with them.
“Since first volunteering with The Diana Award my life has completely changed!”
A Lifelong Impact
Whilst I have always been extremely passionate about campaigning against bullying, The Diana Award gave me the confidence to be able to take this forward and believe in my ideas. In September, we set up a ‘safe space’ at lunchtimes in order to support people not only with bullying but any problem they feel they may be having taking into account the fact that many young people seem to feel much more comfortable talking to people their own age. This is very popular, particularly on Fridays because I bring in some biscuits and cakes and of course the legendary sunshine game! I have been able to run this effectively due to the skills I learnt with The Diana Award in July and November 2017 including leadership, confidence, teamwork, adaptation skills and many more! I feel I have more support and overall I am a lot happier with my life than I was before working with The Diana Award. My experiences of bullying had a very negative impact on me, but through my work and through helping other people who are going through similar things, it has really helped me with accepting myself and being happy. Furthermore, one of the best things that has happened to me through working with the Diana award is the amazing people I have met. I have made SO many new friends, on the 2017 Youth Board, Supercell Youth Board, 2018 Youth Board and worked with some incredible staff. Everyone I have met has inspired me and I am so privileged to have worked with such amazing teams and groups of people. I can honestly say that I’ve made friends for life.
I share a belief with Princess Diana that young people can change the world. Whilst I wasn’t alive during her life, I know how widely regarded she was across the country and the world. She did incredibly inspiring things to change the conversations about things that were generally feared by the public. Her work with the AIDS community I find extremely inspiring and through all of her work and her life she demonstrated incredible bravery and courage. These are qualities that I admire and I am extremely privileged to be a part of continuing the legacy of such an important life-changing role model.
The Royal Wedding Invite
Honestly, I can’t remember it that well! It was all such a blur but I was still in bed and I remember jumping out and screaming the minute I put the phone down. It was the most surreal phone call I’ve ever had! I was just so excited; I think it was lucky no one else was home! It was a lovely moment though and it is an honor to have been chosen as one of the Diana Award’s seven young people to attend. I’ve never been so excited about anything! I’m really looking forward to sharing the day with the other young people and Diana Award staff. I think that it’s going to be an unforgettable day. Can’t wait!