On Friday 30 June 2023: The Diana Award put the spotlight on over 180 young people receiving the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.
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, HRH The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex.
These exceptional young leaders are transforming their communities, driving lasting change and creating a fairer, more equitable society for all.
Their causes and backgrounds are varied, but they are united in their innate desire to affect positive change, mobilising and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.
Young people being honoured with the Diana Award include:
• Melissa Cassidy, 16yrs, from Scotland is an advocate for inclusiveness and voice for disabled individuals. Melissa has quadriplegic cerebral palsy affecting her speech and movement. Through her blog and magazine column, she shares her experiences. Promoting unconditional acceptance allows her to leave an indelible mark on the world as a courageous and resilient young person.
• Sanya Sharma, 21yrs, from India is an activist and founder of 'Scarlet Udaan', a global youth organisation that raises awareness on female genital cutting (FGC) and empowers young people to take action. Sanya has been recognised by the UN for their efforts and is a Gender Equality leader with UN Women.
• Yusuf Babatunde, 22 yrs, from Nigeria is a pharmacy student who focuses on addressing AMR in Africa, inspired by his upbringing where he witnessed poor sanitation and unhygienic practices contributing to the spread of resistant bacteria. He has collaborated with communities and policymakers, and established his own initiative called 'Alliance Against Antimicrobial Resistance'.
CEO of The Diana Award, Tessy Ojo CBE, added:
“We warmly congratulate our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and across the world who are changemakers for their generation. These young people demonstrate that young people have the power to change the world; a belief also held by Diana Princess of Wales. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own changemaking journey.”
Notes to Editors
For case studies/interviews, please contact Emma Pelling: 07958558172, firstname.lastname@example.org
BY THE NUMBERS_
· 189 young people will be honoured from 31 countries around the world
· 28 from across the UK
· Over 150 international. Countries include: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Egypt, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, UAE, United States, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe
AWARD RECIPIENTS INCLUDE_
Roll of Honour with all biographies: diana-award.org.uk/ROH2023
CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE_
Earlier this month, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex joined alumni in Los Angeles for the first international in-person ‘Conversations for Change’, a cornerstone programme designed to bring young people together around a key social issue. Before the discussion, he surprised four of this year’s Diana Award recipients with their certificates.
The afternoon brought together young humanitarians and activists from around the world to discuss innovative approaches to social change. The Duke participated in a powerful session led by Legacy Award recipient Vee Kativhu that explored alumni and recipients’ inspirational work, inequality, and the online world.
Tessy Ojo CBE, CEO The Diana Award.
Tessy is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for fostering positive change in the lives of young people and the impact it has on communities around them. At the heart of her work is the belief that with the right support and investment, young people are the best instigators for achieving real, sustainable change in their lives, their communities and the lives of their peers.
About The ‘Award’
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, The Diana ‘Award’ is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. It is the longest running award for young people that is given to individuals and groups through a retrospective nomination process only. We believe this is special: young people do not work towards our award, rather they demonstrate their suitability through their actions, without expectation of reward.
Successful Award recipients will be invited to attend a virtual celebratory event, receive a personalised certificate and gain access to a network of like-minded young activists through the Development Programme. This programme aims to further increase their already proven capacity for innovation, leadership and social change through access to resources, opportunities and training, both face to face and online.
About the charity – The Diana Award
The Diana Award was set up in memory of HRH The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better.
The charity fosters, develops and inspires positive change in the lives of young people through four key programmes which include; a mentoring programme for young people at risk, a youth-led anti-bullying ambassadors campaign, a collaborative Changemakers programme that aims to reimagine mental health support for young people with black and black mixed race heritage and a prestigious award which publicly recognises young activists – The Diana Award.
What is the nomination process?
Award Recipients 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 20 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each region or nation both in the UK and internationally. Panels consist of three judges who understand the value of young people, including one young person representative. The panels have an important main purpose: to determine which nominations from each region or nation will receive a Diana Award.
Nominations are judged using the Criteria and Scoring Guide which have been created to measure quality of youth social action.
The Diana Award are privileged to be invited to the ‘My Life My Say’ Next Gen conference on the 25th November. We will join around 500 young people and a series of renowned speakers from the world of activism for an exciting day that will explore youth-led solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society.
Five young people share their thoughts and feelings about bullying in their own words, including one of our very own Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
Due to the ongoing support of our incredible corporate partners, The Diana Award were able to expand our anti-bullying efforts across 2023. This Anti-Bullying Week, we wanted to spotlight a few partners, highlighting how they have helped The Diana Award stand up to bullying across the UK.