In 2017 we launched The Legacy Award to celebrate Diana’s life and legacy in the 20th anniversary year of her death. This November we led 20 new young change_makers through the Legacy Award Experience.

We asked them to share their most memorable moments.

12 December 2019

From building a campaign strategy and learning how to use technology for good to discussing their work with HRH The Duke of Cambridge at Kensington Palace and receiving their Legacy Award at a glittering Award Ceremony at The Painted Hall – The Legacy Award recipients had a busy time with us in London. Before the ceremony itself, they took part in a 4-day-long series of workshops and networking events, gaining new skills and knowledge to help them build on their personal and professional development.

2019 Legacy Award recipient George Mathias at the Legacy Award ceremony

George, 12 from Merseyside who received his award for raising over £800,000 for the hospital that saved his little brother’s life said his highlight was meeting all the other amazing winners and hearing their stories.

2019 Legacy Award recipient Erick Venant at the Legacy Award ceremony

Erick, 25 from Tanzania said his highlight was meeting The Diana Award team and attending various workshops. He says, “I was happy to meet some of the Legacy Award judges and get words of inspiration from different people throughout The Legacy Award Experience! Being in London for the first time was also another exciting moment!”

When it came time for the ceremony itself the Legacy Award recipients were well prepared and looked the part! The glittering 2019 Award Ceremony and dinner showcased inspirational stories, featured special guest speakers, and saw the 20 young awardees presented with the prestigious Legacy Award. All in the glorious setting of the Painted Hall, the centrepiece of the Old Royal Naval College.

2019 Legacy Award recipient Avye Couloute at the Legacy Award ceremony

Avye a 12 year old girls in STEM activist from London says she loved how each recipient’s story & mission was shared right before being presented with the individual awards on stage. “This really showed why everyone’s efforts and achievements were being celebrated.”

2019 Legacy Award recipient Maya Ballentine at the Legacy Award ceremony

Maya, who was awarded for her work protecting human rights in Northern Ireland said: “It was really nice seeing the presentations and videos of everyone’s work and seeing the whole magnificent room be filled with people clapping for them. Even for my own, I had just said a few words to the camera, and suddenly it was this edited video full of interviews of people saying lovely things about me. The whole night just really blew me away.”

2019 Legacy Award recipient Shomy Hasan Chowdhury at the Legacy Award ceremony

Shomy, who hails from Bangladesh and has taught water sanitation safety to over 70,000 people in her country summed up the night perfectly: “The Legacy Award Ceremony is the most inspiring event I have ever attended. What really was extraordinary was the Legacy tables on each of our names. As I sat on my table, a sense of responsibility truly dawned on me, given the title I would be carrying from now.”

After the ceremony we spoke to a few of our new Legacy Award winners about the impact receiving the award and taking part in the experience has had on them personally.

2019 Legacy Award recipient Kanchan Amatya at the Legacy Award ceremony

23 year old Kanchan from Nepal says: “The Legacy Award is an important impetus for me to continue Diana’s legacy with the work I am doing to serve my community in Nepal. Apart from the recognition, I am especially grateful for the access to a unique Legacy Award Development Programme which will equip me with the right tools to continue to become a positive trailblazer for my generation.”

2019 Legacy Award recipient Aditi Sivakumar at the Legacy Award ceremony

Aditi a women’s rights activist from Canada says that receiving The Legacy Award has given her the confidence that she can make a tangible difference in the lives of others. “This award has inspired me to do more and take on larger projects with confidence.”

2019 Legacy Award recipient Ben West at the Legacy Award ceremony

Ben campaigns for better mental health resources in schools after the tragic loss of his brother to suicide. He shares: “The energy this experience has given me has been like an adrenaline shot. Meeting the other recipients and hearing their stories makes it impossible not to feel inspired to do more. And as we head into a new year my targets generally have been massively impacted by that inspiration. Young people have the power to change the world and that’s exactly what we’re going to do!”

To find out more about these amazing young people, read their stories below:


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