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ACTOR GERARD MCCARTHY AND LORD LIEUTENANT OF COUNTY DOWN HONOUR OUTSTANDING YOUNG HEROES IN BELFAST

17 young people from across NI will be publicly honoured with The Diana Award for going above and beyond in their daily lives to create and sustain positive change.

23 November 2018

Today 17 inspirational children and teens, from across Northern Ireland, will be presented with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award. Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex.

 

Our award winners were joined by special guests in Belfast

 

These exceptional young people have demonstrated their ability to inspire and mobilise their own generation to service their communities through campaigning, volunteering, fundraising, tackling bullying or overcoming extreme life challenges. Although their causes and backgrounds are varied, what they all have in common is that they are changing their communities and the world as Princess Diana believed they could.

Young people include (full list at the end of release):

DANNY PORTER

LONDONDERRY_AGE 15

When Danny’s experienced the death of his mum he went to live with his aunt and uncle. In the years since then, Danny has been impassioned to use his experience to support others in situations like his. As a Junior Youth Champion with Kinship Care NI, Danny shares his personal story with children who have experienced the death of a parent and he gives his time to support them in establishing goals for the future. Through speaking publicly about his personal experience Danny has raised awareness of kinship care and has brought people in his community together to engage policy makers and social sector organisations to improve support for many other young people.

DANIELLA TIMPERLEY

BALLYMENA RANDALSTOWN_AGE 17

Daniella is determined to highlight the issue of domestic abuse in a positive and proactive way, as this is a cause close to her heart. Representing Women’s Aid on the BBC Children in Need Youth Panel, she voices the needs of the people who benefit from the work and the crucial role they play in supporting those experiencing abuse. Her role also involves visiting care homes to support intergenerational projects, helping in homework clubs and Volunteering on a summer scheme. Daniella has also raised money for the Centre of Hope in Romania, where she also volunteered over a summer leading activities and workshops for the young people who attended the centre.

BARTEK WYSOKOWSKI

BELFAST_AGE 11

Bartek is a committed Anti-Bullying Ambassador and Eco-Eagle, dedicated to making his school a safer and more environmentally friendly place. Bartek attends weekly school council meetings to share his ideas and to champion his class mates’ ideas. Bartek has overcome significant barriers with determination, including his autism. His parents are Polish, meaning he understands what it feels like to be a newcomer and helps new students to feel settled and at home in his school. Bartek has also campaigned and fundraised for children’s rights around the world through the UNICEF Outright Campaign.

“We congratulate all our new Diana Award Holders from Northern Ireland who are positive trailblazers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens, creating a positive ripple effect across communities in the UK and the world.  At The Diana Award we value and invest in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award

“I am constantly amazed at the energy and enthusiasm of all the worthy young recipients of The Diana Award. Northern Ireland needs a new generation of change makers and this recognition will help motivate them and others to drive action in their communities.”

Sandara Kelso-Robb MBE, NI Ambassador for The Diana Award

WHAT IS THE NOMINATION PROCESS?

Award Holders have been put forward by adults who know the young people in a professional capacity and recognised their efforts as a positive contribution to society. Through a rigorous nomination process, these nominators had to demonstrate the nominee’s impact in five key areas: Vision, Social Impact, Inspiring Others, Youth Leadership, and Service Journey.

There are 13 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each UK region or nation and a further two panels representing countries outside of the UK. Each panel consist of four judges; Two Diana Award Holders, an education or youth work professional, and a business or government representative. The panels have an important main purpose: to determine which nominations from each UK region/nation will receive The Diana Award.

Nominations are judged using the Criteria Guide and Scoring Guide which have been created to measure quality of youth social action. 2019 nominations for the Diana Award are open until Spring 2019 and can be submitted HERE

NORTHERN IRELAND ROLL OF HONOUR

COLEEN BERGANTINOS
ASHFIELD GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL
BELFAST_AGE 17
Coleen has selflessly been involved with many volunteering initiatives, encouraging others to become more invested in the community. Having grown her hair for over two years, Coleen donated more than 12 inches to the Little Princess Trust and is also giving her time to a local hospice. With a passion for gaming, Colleen has used this as a platform for social good, organising and running various fundraising campaigns. In school, she is a frequent volunteer and member of many clubs. These all make her an incredible role model alongside being a well-respected and admired member of her community.

DANIELLE CUNNINGHAM
OMAGH CHILD CONTACT CENTRE
OMAGH_ AGE 24
At the age of 15, Danielle had to leave her home and move into a Women’s Aid refuge with her mother and brother due to domestic violence. Now, inspired by her experience, she is working to support young people and vulnerable families as a volunteer with Women’s Aid NI and Omagh Child Contact Centre. She regularly guides young people living away from home in their relationships with their non-resident parents and provides support to those who have been affected by issues of domestic violence, addiction and poor mental health. She has spoken out about domestic abuse in radio interviews, and by using her voice she is improving understanding amongst policy makers and service providers to help shape and improve child support services.

CLIONA DEEDS
AN DROICHEAD IRISH CENTRE
BELFAST_ AGE 17
Cliona is a committed volunteer and an enthusiastic advocate for youth volunteering. She has taken on strong leadership roles with a number of youth organisations, including An Droichead, National Citizen Service and Belfast YMCA’s Into Leadership and Youth in Government programmes. Through her work she has supported young people on several residentials and has spoken out about young people’s issues at Stormont and on youth panels. She has completed her Millennium Volunteer 100 hour award and has become a role model for other young people, encouraging them to get involved in volunteering and to have a voice within society.

AIFA GOUGH
KIDS TOGETHER & YOUTH INITIATIVES
BELFAST_AGE 15
Aifa is a committed volunteer, dedicating hundreds of hours to designing and leading support programmes for vulnerable children with social, mental, emotional and/or physical needs. She is a peer mentor on ‘Kids Together’, bringing together able bodied children with disabled children, and has contributed to an 8 week youth led programme with Never Underestimate Teen Spirit (NUTS) working with disaffected young teens in West Belfast. In her role as an #iwill Youth Ambassador, Aifa actively encourages her peers to volunteer their time and speaks passionately about the need to break down barriers, believing that no child should be excluded or left behind in her pursuit of social inclusion for all.

MEGAN HART
KINSHIP CARE NI
LONDONDERRY_AGE 15
Megan shares her own personal experiences to help other young people come to terms with the death or separation of their own parents. Megan represents her peers as their chosen Youth Champion and meets with the Mayor and senior policy makers to discuss the work of Kinship Care and its impact on service users. She organised an event to raise awareness for the charity, in which she planted a tree to symbolise resilience alongside 13 other volunteers. Megan has demonstrated her own resilience, overcoming any limitations her rare eye condition has brought her way. Megan’s caring and supportive nature doesn’t end with her volunteering; she is also a young carer for her Grandma.

DANNY PORTER
KINSHIP CARE NI
LONDONDERRY_ AGE 15
When Danny’s parents passed away, he had to leave his home and move in with his aunt and uncle. In the years since then, Danny has been impassioned to use his experience to support others in situations like his. As a Junior Youth Champion with Kinship Care NI, Danny shares his personal story with children who have experienced the death of a parent and he gives his time to support them in establishing goals for the future. Through speaking publicly about his personal experience Danny has raised awareness of kinship care and has brought people in his community together to engage policy makers and social sector organisations to improve support for many other young people.

TAMMIE-LEE MCILWRAITH
KINSHIP CARE NI
LONDONDERRY_ AGE 11
Two years ago, Tammie-Lee was placed in the care of her grandparents. Since then, she has started working with Kinship Care NI and has been instrumental in supporting other young people who have been placed in kinship care as well. With the charity she provides practical support to young people and has worked on over 30 summer activities for 441 children. She has helped organise workshops in different areas of Northern Ireland and has raised over £600 for the charity to boost their work. Tammie-Lee hopes to continue supporting young people in the future and aspires to be a teacher so she can make this dream a reality.

DANIELLA TIMPERLEY
LOUIS GRAMMAR SCHOOL_
BALLYMENA RANDALSTOWN_AGE 17
Daniella is determined to highlight the issue of domestic abuse in a positive and proactive way, as this is a cause close to her heart. Representing Women’s Aid on the BBC Children in Need Youth Panel, she voices the needs of the people who benefit from the work and the crucial role they play in supporting those experiencing abuse. Her role also involves visiting care homes to support intergenerational projects, helping in homework clubs and Volunteering on a summer scheme. Daniella has also raised money for the Centre of Hope in Romania, where she also volunteered over a summer leading activities and workshops for the young people who attended the centre.

BARTEK WYSOKOWSKI
LONGSTONE SPECIAL SCHOOL
BELFAST_AGE 11
Bartek is a committed Anti-Bullying Ambassador and Eco-Eagle, dedicated to making his school a safer and more environmentally friendly place. Bartek attends weekly school council meetings to share his ideas and to champion his class mates’ ideas. Bartek has overcome significant barriers with determination, including his autism. His parents are Polish, meaning he understands what it feels like to be a newcomer and helps new students to feel settled and at home in his school. Bartek has also campaigned and fundraised for children’s rights around the world through the UNICEF Outright Campaign.

GROUPS

COLIN GLEN VOLUNTEERS
COLIN GLEN TRUST_BELFAST_AGE 16-17
The four members of Colin Glen Group are determined to break down barriers and bring communities together through their social action work. This includes park cleans, volunteering with young people who have disabilities and additional needs, facilitating outdoor activities, submitting funding applications for programmes, influencing policy on the rights of the child and creating a youth forum. They have been incredible advocates of youth voice and go above and beyond to support members of their communities.

TEAM KINSHIP CARE
KINSHIP CARE NI_LONDONDERRY_ AGE 9-12
Team Kinship Care is made up of four remarkable young people who are using their own lived experiences of kinship care to raise awareness and support for other vulnerable young people. They have held activities to uplift the community, such as a Summer Family Walk and a Pen Pal Project with elderly people to alleviate loneliness and social isolation. The team have also volunteered at countless events and worked with other organisations to support disadvantaged children. Through their work, Team Kinship Care have made a huge impact on those living with their extended family and are always striving to create a positive lasting change on the people they work with.

© 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.