Meet the new generation of Diana Award Holders
This year’s Diana Award recipients represent some of the most inspirational young people from across the UK and around the world. These exceptional young people have demonstrated their ability to inspire and mobilise new generations to serve their communities and create long-lasting change on a global scale.
As a member of the Gateshead Youth Council, Lucy is an inspiring volunteer youth worker and human rights advocate, training and supporting her peers to advocate for the human rights of others. Most significantly, Lucy has sourced funding and delivered holiday hunger activities for asylum seeking families, providing food packages throughout the holidays, English lessons for parents and fun activities for children. Additionally, she chairs the North East Board for Remembering Srebrenica. Lucy leads sessions supporting younger members to design and deliver their own projects including e-safety, racial tolerance and LGBT support, whilst also developing projects exploring feminism and equality with a group aged 12-16, to whom she offers mental health support.
Precious has embarked on a number of selfless services to help disadvantaged students in Nigeria. She started a scholarship for students in the Nigerian village of Ufodo and has also initiated a project that prepares students for their return to school by providing them with Back to School packages. In addition, she supervises mentoring sessions and an online academic support group. Precious has overcome challenges including sourcing the funding for her projects, requiring her to leverage on her social skills and inspire others towards her mission to strengthen Nigeria’s educational system.
After witnessing first-hand the physical struggles that disabled people go through on a daily basis, Mohamed founded Project Impactive. This student-led initiative mobilises the skills of engineering students – like himself – to support disabled people. Through the project, Mohamed develops products to help improve accessibility and mobility for those with disabilities. With his work Mohamed has raised awareness for disability rights and created a network of students and disability groups fighting for improved accessibility. Mohamed was celebrated in Future Leaders magazine and has received praise for his work from the UK Prime Minister.
Vihaan’s interest in Delhi’s pollution began in September 2017, when the Ghazipur fire caused a landfill to collapse killing two people. The news coverage showed how toxic fumes were entering the atmosphere and affecting local people living nearby. Vihaan realised that 30% of the waste that caused the fire could have been recycled and 50% composted. Thus began his journey to make his house zero waste and find solutions for his city thorough setting up an initiative ‘One Step Greener.’ He has since reached out to over 9,500 people and has collected and recycled over 11,895 kilos of paper and 5,500 kilos of cardboard, to name but a few. This has saved an equivalent of 262 trees 19,286 litres of oil, 358,176 litres of water and over 2,975 pounds of Carbon Dioxide and energy. This is enough to power 20,664 Indian households for a day.
Working tirelessly for several years to bring attention to both male and female breast cancer, the Altrincham Grammar School for Boys Prevent Breast Cancer Team are the pinnacle of professionalism, innovation and dedication. Led by the students themselves, the team have engaged the school body of 1,300 pupils in a vast range of exciting fundraising events and activities which have helped to raise £6,500 for the Prevent Breast Cancer Charity. Their activities have included Pink Days, a one-kilometre bike challenge, whole school presentations and work within the local community to spread awareness about breast and other cancers. Their enterprising and passionate approach has been an inspiration to countless others within the school and wider community.
Over the last six years Airyn has been on a mission to give the best she can to Douglas Academy through her volunteering. Airyn has struggled with her own health and is a carer for her younger siblings, but still manages to find the time and energy to become involved in numerous fundraising activities. She has clocked up an astounding 500 hours of volunteering and has fundraised £2,500 for her school. Airyn is an inspirational role model, not only to her fellow students but also to her teachers, as she demonstrates the true power of charitable giving.
Aarya is a climate justice ambassador and has taken the lead on many environmental campaigns and initiatives. She has taken part in ‘Clean Up The World’ for four years running, has encouraged her peers to join her in ‘Earth Hour’, participated in the UAE National Environment Week Tree Planting and has been in the ‘Walk for Education’ to name but a few. Her love and passion for her community can be seen in the many hours she has spent volunteering and spreading awareness for each of these causes, always with dedication and commitment.
Bana was determined to have her voice heard during the Syrian Civil War. Now, at the young age of nine, she is known worldwide for her tweets during the 2016 siege of Aleppo. Bana uses her voice to call for peace in Syria and to support all the children impacted by conflict across the world. Her tweets became daily dispatches to millions around the world, giving remarkable insight into the horrors of life in the city as her family endured airstrikes, hunger and loss. Now safely living in Turkey, Bana’s mission is to promote peace and help victims of war who deserve better lives.
Phoebe is dedicated to standing up to bullying and making a difference in her school community. She trained as an Anti-Bullying Ambassador because she wanted to be a role model; she didn’t like seeing people being bullied and wanted to create a kinder community. Her work has inspired students across her school to take a stand against bullying, helping to raise over £600 for Children in Need through anti-bullying week events. In a blue hoodie and cap, Phoebe is a visible presence on the playground which is welcomed by children and staff. Phoebe has established a benchmark for all future Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
Deryn trains and competes in British Judo competitions, as well as volunteering for the British Judo Association. Following the death of a friend and talented judo player in 2017 from a Brain Tumour, Deryn launched a ‘Judo Dream Team’ event, hosting team judo contests to take place as part of a memorial tournament. Deryn initiated and organised the event, inspiring participation from Olympians, World and European Champions to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity. Deryn has been instrumental in motivating judo legends, young people and a community of all backgrounds to exercise, have fun and raise vital funds for a cause close to her heart.
In 2015, when the worst natural disaster in the history of South Carolina hit, Cory organised 5,000 people to help support and rebuild the affected area. A local university study on the relief efforts found that Cory’s group saved 100 lives and recovered millions of pounds in damage to homes and property, for some of the most underprivileged communities who couldn’t afford renovations after the disaster struck. Since then, Cory has collected £200,000 worth of donated supplies for another city affected by a flood almost £500,000 of donations for yet another. After leading three disaster relief programmes, Cory has continued to give back and bring his community together.
Kanchan is a passionate anti-poverty activist, women’s rights advocate and social entrepreneur. She serves as a UN Women’s Global Champion for Women’s Economic Empowerment and is the founder of youth-led social enterprise, Sustainable Fish Farming Initiative, which works with rural Nepalese women to combat extreme hunger and poverty. Kanchan has co-led the Youth Assembly at the United Nations’ Resolution Committee and worked extensively with youths, grassroots advocates, survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking across South Asia. Kanchan is committed to inspiring and mobilising a new generation to serve their community, creating a world where nobody is uneducated or goes hungry, even for a single day.
After studying in the USA as part of the Future Leaders Exchange, Anastasiia returned to Ukraine with the drive to carry on working on youth engagement as that is what helped her gain her voice while abroad. She organised several English Movie Nights and City-Wide Discussions as well as a two-day conference called ‘Our Equality’. The conference looked at Gender Equality and inspired participants to stand up for their beliefs. As part of the national ‘Agents of Volunteering’ project Anastasiia has also organised three events to strengthen the Cherkasy volunteering community and has gathered a team to work on future projects together.
Oscar is a campaigner for disability rights and inclusion. Having grown up with cerebral palsy caused by neonatal jaundice, Oscar decided to share his experience to make a change for other young people. He has lobbied for standard testing to measure levels of bilirubin in the blood of new-born babies in the UK. His campaign has inspired the launch of ‘Project Oscar’, an initiative working to make simple photo-therapy available to treat neo-natal jaundice in rural Vietnam. By standing up and sharing his story publicly, he is seeking to create awareness of the dangers of neonatal jaundice and the simple solution available to prevent this cause of cerebral palsy.
Anubha empowers young women and those new to the technology industry to pursue careers in this field, founding her own organisation to support them to achieve their goals. Her organisation is India’s biggest tech community and has impacted more than 10,000 students through various initiatives. Anubha gives students hands on experience and provides them with opportunities including tech bootcamps and coding programmes to equip them for jobs that otherwise may not have been available to them otherwise. She raised funds by developing partnerships with over 50 companies, enabling her to supply students with learning equipment and materials to ensure that they could succeed while boosting their confidence.
As president of Liverpool Hindu Society, Anusha works hard to strengthen the community and provide a home away from home for local Hindu students. She nurtures eternal Hindu principles such as respect, cohesion and diversity through her role and has encouraged the growth of sewa (selfless service) for Liverpool students. Anusha also organised events including Diwali Ball, Asha (Charity Talent Show) and Holi (festival of colours), contributing to the positive outreach of the society. Her outlook is described as positive, yet realistic and constructive, and this has helped the group to achieve their first Green Guild Award this year and organise multiple highly successful events that raised awareness and rallied supporters.
Keira lost her father to cancer at the age of four, and so for the last three years has been fundraising for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice. She set up ‘Keira’s Wishes’, a fund to help pay for the last wishes of patients at this hospice, recently honouring one patient’s wish for one last trip to the seaside to dip her toes in the water. Keira engages with the local community and uses Facebook to help promote her cause. So far, Keira has raised over £14,000 by taking part in sponsored events and designing goods for sale, including dream-catchers and poem bookmarks.
Ascendance was founded in 2015 by four young people, starting its life as an ebook marketing team and now has become a worldwide online platform dedicated to producing empowering content for people around the world. Ascendance is helping to build the future by guiding young people as they start their own youth-led initiatives. The group work to engage disengaged Generation Z students, guiding them to be leaders of their communities. They have worked with over 1,200 students and are partnering with the Malaysian Ministry of Education to transform the lives of students in public schools.
As part of the Lang Scholarship programme, Efua has designed and led projects ‘ThisAbility’ and ‘SustainAbility’, aimed at reducing stigma attached to people with special needs. Efua works to create sustainable special educational teaching methods to underprivileged communities. Through sharing resources and techniques, implementing a summer school programme and designing a teacher-training course, Efua has successfully promoted more efficient learning and teaching environments. When working with students and teachers, Efua harnesses their creativity, empowers them to engage with technologically advanced teaching methods, and ultimately enriches classroom experiences so that all students can reach their full potential.
Aya, a volunteer and fellow, has empowered more than 200 young girls from more than 10 countries to embark on journeys in STEM and leadership by co-founding an award-winning initiative, All Girls Code, run by youth, for youth. Through supporting the education of marginalised youth and refugees by volunteering with the likes of the UN, WFP and a Malala Foundation-supported program, Aya’s work has helped many young people receive scholarships, win competitions, and most importantly, receive quality education. Aya strives in her advocacy for women in leadership roles and those who know her have sighted her as the ‘future CEO of Google’.
Alina helps women across Johar Town, Lahore, Pakistan, feel empowered when it comes to the health. Alina’s work focusses on conducting menstruation camps and seminars on sexual assault in areas where over 70 percent of women face inadequate medical services. This has helped protect and inspire young girls who have since followed her lead and now work for the project themselves. She is passionate about the rights of minorities such as transgender groups and through the project ‘Sanf e Masawat’, has helped a group of transgender people set up their own sewing business. Alina works day to keep her commitments to her projects during her studies.
Having suffered from an eating disorder, Sophia is now an advocate and campaigner. She has made it her mission to make others aware of how mental health issues and eating disorders affect many young people, reassuring them that they are not alone. She shares her own personal journey to enlighten and support others going through a similar ordeal, connecting with those ‘at risk’ and tackling the stigma surrounding mental health and eating disorders. Sophia has undertaken fundraising events, delivered speeches in assemblies and promotes these issues that are so close to her heart as Senior Prefect, Anti-Bullying Ambassador at her school and Foodbank Volunteer.
Hamza believes in the saying “a life not lived for others is not a life” and applies this to his own life outlook. This has inspired his work with the nonprofit ‘The Green Globe’ where he has organised food distribution in labour camps, awareness programmes in public spaces and plantation activities in local nurseries. He has also been involved in countless environmental activities, including cleaning up public beaches, planting trees in crèches, setting up events to save trees, giving talks on saving electricity and creating fun activities that encourage recycling.
Abigail is committed to putting a stop to bullying for good and helps make her school a kinder and safer place thanks to her work as an Anti-Bullying Ambassador. Her work led the ABA committee to create a workshop for Anti-Bullying Week entitled ‘all different, all equal’, where the students dressed in their school uniform on their top half and their own choice of clothing on their bottom half. Abigail has helped to raise several hundred pounds for charity, as well as fundraising for new playground equipment by designing a healthy eating competition where children were invited to design a healthy break time snack. Abigail is a role model for Anti-Bullying Ambassadors across her school.
Varnica has worked relentlessly to drive positive change in the environment, health, education and development of her community. She has led global community projects to develop communities in terms of healthcare, clean resources and education. With her go-getter attitude, she has started a new initiative to implement a mobile Breast Cancer Screening System in Ghana. As an aspiring surgeon, she aims to holistically deliver medical treatments to patients through improved technology and the creation of healthy, energy-efficient environments. Varnica successfully led global engineering projects such as the establishment of a clean water supply and hygienic defecation system in Zambia whilst she was the President of Engineers Without Borders at Boston University.
Maya embodies the values of integrated education, tirelessly campaigning on issues of social justice within her school and wider community. She is a leading member of the Gay Straight Alliance at her college, speaking publicly on national television to promote equality. Maya also works at the forefront of the Amnesty International Group within her college, proactively driving new initiatives. At just 16, Maya has addressed a crowd of 20,000 people at an equal marriage rally in Belfast and successfully joined the UK’s Amnesty Youth Council. By speaking out against injustice and promoting a culture of inclusion, Maya inspires others with her drive to fight for human rights for all.
Sixteen students from St. Mary’s Menston embarked on an incredible mission to one of South Africa’s poorest rural areas to deliver a leadership programme to South African students, teachers, sports assistants and volunteers. The group worked at Mnyakanya High School, Ntolwane Primary School and an orphanage where they used sport as a tool to promote education, health, leadership and global citizenship. The work of the St. Mary’s students was and still is truly special. The impact of their work on young people and adults in both the UK and South Africa is inspirational. Their commitment, dedication and passion has made a real difference to the lives of so many.
‘The Barlow Gift Team’ are a group of 24 pupils from The Barlow R.C High School, whose faith and beliefs are grounded in giving aid to those in need. Starting as a smaller team, their inspiring influence has helped the team and its outreach to grow. From fundraising for local, national and international health charities, fostering a supportive relationship with a Bolivian orphanage and supplying food parcels to local homeless shelters, the scope of their philanthropy is admirable. They have raised £4,500 for various organisations in the past academic year alone. Many of the students themselves come from underprivileged backgrounds, yet dedicate their time to performing countless selfless deeds.
Alfie raised over £6000 towards funding life changing surgery for a local boy called Leon with Cerebral Palsy, giving him the chance to walk and live a pain free life. Alfie was so moved after hearing Leon’s story that he decided to organise and complete a 100 mile charity walk. He gained sponsorship from local businesses, rallied together walkers, their food and water donations and hotel rooms for the route. Alfie continues to serve his community, volunteering on Christmas day to feed the homeless and supporting the elderly. Alfie’s enthusiasm and determination has a huge impact both on individuals and to the wider community.
After seeing so many children falling into the traps of the street, Eedee-Bari was inspired to take action. She made it her mission to empower children through education, giving them the best life chances possible. Since founding ‘Voice to the Street’, Eedee-Bari has supported over 1,350 street-children through counselling events, scholarship funds and the distribution of educational materials. Thanks to her hard work, and the coordination of over 50 volunteers, Eedee-Bari is building new futures for children throughout Lagos. Eedee-Bari used to find it hard to speak out but now she has gained enough confidence to see a wrong and opt to make a difference. And that difference is only going to keep on growing.
Hanna is a wonderful example of resilience, drive and kindness. Not to be defined by a difficult upbringing, Hanna now dedicates her time to improving the conditions of young people in care and uses her own experience as inside knowledge and expertise when guiding professionals. She volunteers in care centres, facilitates workshops to teachers, potential foster carers and social workers, and even sits on the Council’s interview panel for high profile positions. For all those around her and for those still in the care system, Hanna is a beacon of light and inspires others to realise their potential and not to be defined by circumstance.
The Be team was created with the belief that people don’t always have to rely on the government to change things in the society. They believe that young people could bring about a huge amount of impact if they got the chance. Believing in the small differences that add up to a huge impact, the team has worked to build a mental health platform and the country’s first crowdsourced missing people platform. They have also been successful in introducing computers to a remote area in Bandarban for the first time, impacting not only the children currently learning but future generations of children as well.
Emma is determined to ensure that young people in hospital get their voices heard by being a member of both the NHS and GOSH Youth Forums. As a GOSH Governor, Emma’s vision is heard for improving provision of care and experiences for young people at the hospital. A fine leader, Emma delivers presentations to change people’s perceptions and language used towards people with restricted growth. Emma has represented the GOSH Renal team for nine years at the British Transplant Games with the aim of promoting organ donation. This change maker works tirelessly to create a kinder environment for her peers.
Tabitha Bell was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at 10 years old. Yet, she was determined to continue to walk and is still walking to this day, with the assistance of her service dog. Tabitha knows just how life change a service dog can be, yet so many can’t afford one. Inspired to help others by her own life-changing experience, Tabitha founded Pawsitive Pawsibilities in 2013, an non-profit organisation that purchase and train service dogs for disabled individuals who cannot afford them. Since then, more than $130,000 has been raised through her fundraising events and nine service dogs have been placed.
Wadi founded her non-profit organisation at the age of 18, focused on improving the lives of women and children, and now uses her voice to amplify the issues surrounding education, peace and gender inequality. Wadi’s organisation runs four main projects and campaigns to empower marginalised and disadvantaged people. ‘Street to School’ focuses on free and inclusive education. ‘Girls Not Wives’ advocates against child marriage, ‘Love in the Midst of War’ rehabilitates survivors of insurgency. ‘SHEROES’ empowers young girls and women to be the best version of themselves, helping them to dream beyond their present and become great leaders. Wadi’s work is changing the lives of young people across Nigeria.
The Bereavement Support Group was introduced to support students in Year 10 who had all experienced the loss of a parent. Four members of the group had all lost a parent within four months of each other in 2017, and all to cancer. After a few months of therapeutic work, the students wanted to give back to charities that had offered solace in their time of need. The students have since raised over £3,000 for charity through a variety of sporting and other large-scale fundraising events such as a concert and a whole school 5km race.
Rishab is following in the footsteps of Princess Diana, helping young people with HIV/AIDS and autism to live their lives to the fullest. Rishab supports orphanages across the UAE and his home country of India, bringing over 100,000 Indian Rupees and countless volunteer hours to those most in need. But his work doesn’t stop there; Rishab is also an active environmentalist. As president of his school’s environment club, Rishab has collected over 100,000 kilos of newspapers, 450 mobile phones and 300 toners, as well as helping the school cut back on their energy consumption. Rishab is dedicated to making the lives of others better, any way he can.
Soham has a vision, to make the world a better place through the work of science. His remarkable leadership and entrepreneurial abilities have instilled a love for STEM amongst underprivileged children throughout India. So far, Soham has supported over 350 underprivileged children and 15 local teachers, whilst mobilising over 20 volunteers and organising countless activities to support his mission. His work has helped children to improve their academic performance whilst inspiring them to see a better future through field trips, science fairs, mentorship schemes and training days. Soham has adopted a novel approach, leveraging existing ecosystems and the power of technology. Soham’s innovation knows no bounds.
Madison is an inspiring and exceptional volunteer, mentor and changemaker. A compassionate, caring individual making genuine and tangible change in Australia. Madison works to further equality, inclusion, social justice and youth mental health, with a positive vision for Queensland. Over the course of a decade of service, Madison has developed engaging programmes and events, supported numerous charities and recently represented Australia at the Global Deliver Conference as a WD Young Leader. She has broken down the stigmas surrounding mental health, strengthened gender equality, and advocated for social change through her public speaking and campaign work. Madison has achieved so much, showing young people really can change the world.
Taylor is an exceptional young person who works tirelessly to empower and create a cohesive community. An advocate for empowering women and girls, equality, inclusion, youth engagement, social justice and humanitarian issues, Taylor is particularly passionate about assisting women and children experiencing domestic violence. Taylor has a deep passion for serving her community, with her primary mission to help others, show respect and treat all people with dignity. She is determined to create a community where everyone is valued. Taylor has led countless campaigns, is a sought-after presenter at community events, is a tireless fundraiser and will stop at nothing to empower her community. She has a heart for justice.
Passionate about putting gender equality at the heart of economic development, Meganne started providing free coaching to people applying for fellowships. With her association Sephis, she set up ‘The SEPHIS National Tour for Women Empowerment.’ In the last two years, they have raised more than $30,000, and trained more than 1,800 young women. She is dedicated to providing young women with the opportunities to further their career, for example, she gave free French classes to English speaking participants at a fellowship gathering 100 young people from West Africa. She has also worked on big events like the Africa CEO Forum and The Next Einstein Forum.
Compassionate and driven, Chloe has dedicated her time to fundraising, raising awareness and fighting for a fairer world. Spurred by her passion for helping others, she mobilised her friends to start team Help4Homeless, raising £2,500 for local charity ‘Maundy Relief’ through collections and a sponsored sleep out. As well as her work for the homeless, Chloe assists with the organisation of the NW Eco-Schools sustainability conferences, has addressed a group of MEPs about children’s rights and human rights on a trip to Brussels, and has raised £1,000 for an orphanage in India. Her efforts have inspired her peers to follow her lead and selflessly commit their time to those in need.
As Sports Captain at her school and a dedicated fundraiser, Katy supports younger pupils and raises awareness for various charities within her community. She runs a weekly club for dancers of all levels, increasing participant’s creativity, confidence and wellbeing. Katy frequently gives up her lunchtimes to organise annual sporting events to promote the importance of good health and supports PE classes in her free periods. In addition, Katy fundraises for a range of charities, including Macmillian Cancer Research, organising and hosting a coffee morning at her school, and initiated a ‘Make-Up Free Friday’, donating funds to The Glasgow Women’s Aid.
Brenda is wholly committed to inspiring, motivating and empowering young women to be the best they can be. Brenda is the founder of ‘Ephphatha Transformation Academy’, an initiative offering opportunities for underprivileged youths and women through study, service, mentorship and skills training. Brenda empowers participants to make positive changes in their communities using education as a tool to break the poverty cycle and encourage individuals to solve social issues. She tailors and personalises training courses, scholarships and bursaries online to share with students facing financial barriers. Brenda’s project has educated nearly 40,000 youths across the world, supporting students to gain over $1.4 million in scholarships across Africa and Canada.
Luis is a social activist fighting against the stigma of mental health and for those living with HIV. Through his #NoEstásSolo mental health campaign, Luis managed to reach his entire nation. His motivation to contribute to his community has led him to create an NGO called ‘Váyalo Foundation’, which aims to empower young people just like him to overcome the struggles of the current economic, social and political crisis taking place across Venezuela. Through his work Luis inspires countless young people to maintain a positive attitude in the face of severe adversity.
The BWA Interact Club carry out volunteering and fundraising activities throughout the school year. As part of their work they volunteer to serve lunches to the elderly members of the community and have also given up time to fundraise for both local and global charities. They raised funds from bag packing at a supermarket on a Saturday and along with money raised from a disco and cake sale, it was split between the Salvation Army, Water Aid and a local animal charity Coningsby Kennels, which will use the funds to buy equipment for the dogs they look after.
The S6 Befrienders dedicate two hours each week to befriending an elderly member of the community. This commitment is unswerving, despite other pressures on their time. They foster strong links with their befrienders and routinely ‘go the extra mile’ to help and support members of the community. This can range from helping with basic tasks, ICT advice, or just having a ‘tea and a chat’. The befriending project has a very high profile in Calderglen High School and in the local community, leaving a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of everyone involved.
The Cape Town Diabetes Initiative is made up of four medical doctors who planned and successfully carried out a community research and health promotion project, all whilst studying as busy medical students. The scale of the project was enormous, seeing 467 people, nurturing community relationships and providing a springboard for further intervention. Projects of this size are usually undertaken as large PhD or Masters projects with much larger budgets. Their success is a testament to their hard work, determination, creativity and resilience of spirit. The nature of the project demonstrates a deep love for community medicine and fierce commitment to make a difference.
Tyler’s campaign ‘I DONUT need a reason to thank a cop’, a mission to thank Police Officers in America for their efforts, started in August 2016. His aim? To support Police Officers in his local community and nation-wide. By 2018, he had reached 47 states, and donated more than 90,000 donuts. He has been featured on the TV show Steve Harvey, National News Network and in Women’s World Magazine. Tyler has spoken at conferences, including giving a speech to a room of more than 1,000 people, all of whom had lost an officer in line of duty, and at National Police Week in DC. He also uses social media to promote his cause and connect with people from all over the world.
Demileigh is an active volunteer within her school and community, participating in numerous extracurricular activities. Demileigh is a Sports Leader and Ambassador for her school, working with younger pupils to encourage them to stay active and healthy. As House Captain, she represents the views of her peers in the pupil council, enhancing the council’s principles and displaying them on a daily basis through her leadership and mentoring activities. Demileigh also volunteers weekly, supporting vulnerable young people with their literacy and numeracy skills, sharing her own knowledge and experience with them.
Growing up in his London community, Shaheem witnessed the effects of poverty and inequality in society first-hand. His experience motivated him to take action to challenge the way young people are portrayed today. Working with a Wellbeing Project, Shaheem hashelped to support 300 young people with their emotional wellbeing, occupational and stability needs. Shaheem carried out research exploring how social, health and racial inequalities affect young men’s wellbeing and has contributed to responses for government on issues such as serious youth violence and education. He is dedicated to ensuring that marginalised voices and stories are heard and has spoken with senior policy makers at the House of Lords and London’s City Hall.
Priscilla has overcome significant barriers in her life including struggling with mental health and facing homelessness as a teenager. But through these experiences, Priscilla has dedicated herself to uplifting other young people at a homeless hostel by openly speaking about her own struggles, creating a space for homeless youth to come together to feel valued and listened to. Priscilla also organises mental health events, and even raised funds for a young man who was facing deportation to pay for his citizenship application and secure him a safe place to live. Priscilla’s mission is to ensure no young person ever feels alone and has inspired and empowered her peers by doing so.
Tahiris is a passionate volunteer for numerous NGOs. Motivated by her own experiences, Tahiris taught English in underserved Latin American communities. She also liaises between private donors and these communities to provide up to three years of school supplies. Tahiris is an activist for democracy, human rights and political prisoners. She protested against a socialist dictatorship in her country, leading to her fleeing Nicaragua across the border. Tahiris continues to fight for others and is meeting the US President to represent Nicaraguan families, students and political prisoners who could not leave Nicaragua. A cancer survivor herself, Tahiris has also completed extensive fundraising for children with cancer.
Tanya is a grass-root level social worker and rehabilitator working to protect underprivileged young girls living in slums from exploitation and sexual abuse. Her initiative ‘Saheli’ has benefitted more than 65,000 mothers and daughters in slums across India, providing them with free medical checkups, counselling and education surrounding sexual health and gender exploitation. Through her initiatives she has inspired and sensitised others towards social injustice and gender equality. Her role of Gender Champion at her college further facilitates an environment of equality and safety in her fight to end discrimination and stop violence towards women and girls.
Edward is part of the Youth Engagement programme run by BulliesOut, aiming to engage and inspire young people, particularly those who have been bullied, to join and assist the organisation with it’s anti-bullying work. As a Youth Ambassador, Edward has worked tirelessly in his local area to raise awareness of bullying, through fundraisers, running a regular vlog and delivering presentations and workshops. He has also attended a local youth provision, supporting young people with their mental health and wellbeing. Edward passion for making a difference has already seen him achieve his Bronze Youth Achievement Award with BulliesOut, and he’s well on his way to Silver.
Charlotte has been an Anti-Bullying Ambassador at her school for the last five years. She has organised a range of regular activities across the school to promote happiness and the anti-bullying message. This year, she has been the chairperson of the Anti-Bullying Ambassador team. She has improved her public speaking by talking at assemblies, taking the upskill training and at the Anti-Bullying conference in Blackpool last year, where she addressed the stage with a probing question regarding the absence of specific guidance regarding bullying in the national curriculum. She has also organised cake sales, raising £300, and is of great value to her school community.
The Children That Care (CTC) have nurtured an environment of harmony and support amongst their fellow pupils. They meet with other children who have problems in school and support them to tackle issues using the restorative approach. The CTC are a safe place for their peers to come to for support chats. They hold a number of activities, such as a weekly Social Club and Anti-Bullying Week, and they support pupils from across the years with school work. They make a real difference in their school and are the first port of call for children that need help resolving any issue. They are conscientious and committed to making school life better for everyone.
Matt is on the autism spectrum, but he has not let this hold him back in any way. Matt acts as a role model for other young people with special needs, showing that they too can play a role in sport. “I get so much out of sport I want other to have the same opportunity. Just because you have special needs does not mean you cannot play sport and have fun”, says Matt. He plans coaching sessions from a disabled participant’s point of view to ensure they progress at a pace suitable for them and organises dedicated tournaments for his peers. Matt constantly pushes himself out of his comfort zone to change perceptions for people with disabilities.
Since the age of 12, Ayush has been engaged in human rights, the UN SDGs and creative methods of presenting the need to be an active citizen. He has organised activities at his school and made videos outlining a real-life application of his own experiences of the benefits of education. Ayush also delivered a powerful speech at the UN Youth for Human Rights International Annual Summit, demanding that no one can sit on the sidelines. Combined with his public speaking and his initiative SDGs For Children, he has reached thousands of people of all ages to inspire them to learn and take action against injustice.
Hannah has achieved a monumental number of admirable feats and become a linchpin of her local community of Redbridge. Her enterprising accomplishments began at age seven when she undertook a five year project to install a £50,000 replica mammoth head at her local museum. Through her campaign work at ‘British-Pakistani Christian Association’ Hannah has helped a grooming survivor to exit Pakistan safely and has dedicated her time to fighting against drug-related crime to make her local streets a safer place for young people. Hannah’s peers are continually inspired by her work and encouraged to work towards a happier and safer community.
Shomy is a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Activist who has dedicated her life’s work to ensuring clean water and sanitation for all. After losing her mother to diarrhea, Shomy realised how critical WASH is in saving lives. She turned her pain into purpose and reached out to vulnerable communities to raise awareness of different aspects of WASH among sex-workers, sewage workers, slum dwellers and underprivileged people. Her WASH Talks include sessions such as how to filtrate water at home, maintaining good personal hygiene, breaking the stigma around menstruation, proper hand washing techniques and food safety. Over the past 7 years she has benefited over 70,000 individuals through her WASH talks, ultimately saving lives.
The NSS group have been working to change healthcare and education in India, one project at a time. This group of young people came together to start a new education department, where students provide free education to underprivileged children. The NSS know the role that education can play in changing a child’s life outlook and work to not only educate children but to train them to become strong leaders. Alongside their education work, the NSS are promoting blood donations, by connecting donors and recipients through technology and live donation drives. Over 15,000 young minds have volunteered with the organisation to date, with each helping hand creating tremendous results across India.
ConnectHear is a social start-up incubated at the Nest I/O in Pakistan working for inclusion of the deaf community through sign language interpretation services. Pakistan has approximately 10 million deaf individuals, and less than 1% have sign language interpreters. ConnectHear’s remote and instant video sign language interpretation service is the first to cater to these individuals located throughout the country. The start-up is also involved in sign language training and certification of professional sign language interpreters. Through their services, they promote inclusion in the community’s academic institutions, professional environments, and social events.
At the age of seven, Avye became aware of the gender gap in STEM education and careers, and now works tirelessly to create opportunities for young people, and girls in particular, to explore coding and physical computing in supportive volunteer-assisted settings. Avye blogs about her experiences and participates in other public events, visibly representing girls and inspiring them to give STEM a go. By dedicating her spare time to developing workshops to share her tech skills, Avye has raised money to provide girls with inspirational books and physical computing kits. Avye enables girls to explore STEM activities at home and beyond, whilst establishing herself as a young female role model.
Amber’s impact and achievements almost speak for themselves. After her brother tragically took his own life, Amber has since dedicated her time and highly skilled expertise to supporting adolescents struggling with their mental health throughout the country. She is one of the founding trustees of the Invictus Trust, which was named Cornwall’s Charity of the Year, is a trained Mental Health First Aid practitioner, set up ‘Student Minds’ at Cambridge University and regularly consults on mental health in the UK, as well as advocating for greater awareness and action. Such advocacy led to the first ever under 18s mental health unit built in Cornwall and over £250k raised for her family run charity.
Katie has been volunteering with her local Brownies for the past four years, helping the group to develop their creativity and self-confidence. Katie aims to pass on the skills she learnt through her time as a Brownie, facilitating a safe and fun environment for the young people to learn, develop and make new friends. Katie plans and organises weekly sessions, ensuring the efforts of the group are rewarded through the badge system. She has taught skills such as crafts, cooking and leadership, in addition to organising day trips. Through obtaining badges and learning new skills, Katie has introduced the group to a world of new challenges, opportunities and fun.
Kate is a committed volunteer who has been volunteering every week over the the last three years at her local Rainbows unit. Through her work with the group, she has become a role model for young girls and has supported them in building their personal development skills. She has organised a wide variety of activities, such as day trips and camping trips, working alongside the girls to develop their independence, confidence and creativity. Through her support, Kate is helping girls to overcome the challenges that they may face.
Isabelle is an inspirational young person who aims to positively change the lives of others less fortunate than herself. Following the death of her grandfather to cancer, Isabelle wants to ensure that money is not a barrier to people receiving medicine or support, and that families are able to access help when needed. Through fundraisers such as car boot sales and sponsored events, Isabelle has raised £2,512 to date for various charities, including Cancer Research, Bairnecessities Baby Bank and her school’s laptop fund. Through her work she is making a difference and supporting the causes which need it the most.
For the past 7 years, Evando has been volunteering with school projects within his community and campaigning for education. As part of a school support team, he campaigns to bring donations, including food, toys and clothes, to asylums, orphanages and other disadvantaged students in the city. After dedicating his time to learning English, Evando also acts as an interpreter between American volunteers and the local people. He engages cultures and creates a better understanding of their way of life, including teaching communities about traditional instruments native to Brazil.
Madhav founded ‘Green the Gene’, an environmental club in school, when he was just 8 years old. Since then, he has inspired over 7,000 young volunteers to join the organisation and scaled it to one of the world’s largest completely youth-run environmental non-profits, with projects in 62 countries. He has raised over $1.1 million in funding over the last year to support Green the Gene initiatives and activities including innovative water filtration devices. Madhav is constantly developing technology and data intensive solutions tailored to address specific yet acute and immediate environmental crises faced by local communities, and particularly young people, across the world.
As a young person living in kinship care with her grandmother, Mia has volunteered her time to support other young people through her work with the Roots Foundation Wales. As part of her role as a young volunteer, Mia acts as a Peer Mentor, runs the Youth Club and has participated in numerous fundraising activities to raise awareness surrounding what it means to be a young person in care. She has used her own personal experience to help other young people to build their confidence and self esteem, whilst challenging the stigma attached to being a young person who has experienced being in care.
A passionate ambassador, fundraiser and supporter within the charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS), Rebekah raises awareness within her community and empowers NICHS service users. Rebekah volunteers her time to foster an inclusive environment and resilient support service, which in turn educates others, reduces isolation and increases confidence. In spite of her caring responsibilities for her family and balancing her university studies, Rebekah remains dedicated to putting the needs of others before herself.
Dea wants to inspire the next generation of individuals to undertake careers in STEM and ultimately work towards answering some of the most pressing issues of our time. She founded Novel Girls, an international non-profit which initiates book drives in schools and libraries based in America. Books about coding and STEM are collected and then sent to schools, libraries and women’s shelters around the world in over 10 countries. Novel Girls has sent over $500,000 worth of books through Dea and her team’s fundraising efforts. Dea is also part of the Girls Who Code #SISTERHOOD Advisory Council, advocating for women’s rights through the programme and spreading her love of coding.
Because of his belief in equal opportunity for all, Dewan has worked tirelessly to help people with hearing impairments. He has learned British Sign Language to support and volunteer with ‘Deaf Rhinos’. Dewan assists with applications for funding, prepares seminars and gets involved with sporting activities. Dewarn has also publicised the work and causes of the organisation, and works hard to raise awareness of the ways in which hearing impairments can affect people’s physical and mental health, as well as employment opportunities.
In a technology-infused world, computer and coding skills are critical, but unevenly distributed. Recognizing that Hyderabad’s socioeconomically disadvantaged face barriers to obtaining this skillset, Siddharth launched the ‘Breaking Barriers – One Line of Code At a Time’ initiative, localising material from the ‘Hour of Code’ initiative to teach coding to Hindi and Telugu-speaking students. By partnering with the India Literacy Project, running over 100 hours of workshops with over 157 underprivileged government school students, overcoming power cuts, language and infrastructural challenges and training teachers to ensure sustainability, Siddharth has worked relentlessly to bridge the technology divide, with exceptional feedback.
Orla is an exemplary student and outstanding leader at Jordanhill School. She takes an active role in numerous campaigns and extracurricular activities, such as being part of the Jordanhill Anti-Bullying Group and LGBT+ group. She has taken on numerous roles in her school and has demonstrated her passion for change by encouraging others to get involved during whole school assemblies. Orla is a dedicated student who demonstrates empathy towards others, leading her peers effectively and inspiring them to take action. She is admired across the school community for her knowledge and advocacy for the rights of others, making her a true role model for other young people.
The Downfield Primary School Equalities and Inclusion group have been sector leading in their work around LGBT inclusion within their school and the wider community. Through their work, the group have helped the school to become the first ever primary school in Scotland to achieve an LGBT Charter mark award from LGBT Youth Scotland. The group have been working hard to introduce the de-gendering of disabled and staff toilets, a gender-neutral school uniform policy and the development of an equalities policy. As a group they have changed their anti-bullying policy to reflect the Equalities and Inclusion Act 2010 so that their school is a welcoming place for everyone.
Siva Durga is a passionate environmentalist and humanitarian campaigner in her community. For the past three years, she has motivated her peers to combat climate change, living by her motto of ‘Go Green Before Green Goes’. She leads the voluntary group ‘Green Stars’ to spread environmental awareness and encourages young people in her school and wider community to partake in volunteer events to protect the planet. She has led various campaigns to spread awareness throughout the community, including initiating a Car Free Day, planting trees, and participating in an Earth Hour Walk.
The Egypt Centre Young Volunteers group dedicate their time every Saturday and during school holidays to deliver vital services for the museum.They greet and guide visitors, demonstrate public activities and bring ancient Egypt back to life for all. The young volunteers keep the museum clean and safe, are trained to deliver gallery activities for visitors and communicate with the public. Their work widens participation, challenging obstacles to higher education and making heritage more accessible for all. Through their roles, they engage the community, educating and entertaining in an innovative way, enabling more visitors to experience an ancient culture.
Kennedy’s work addresses the scourge of female genital mutilation (FGM), gender-based violence and the stigma attached to menstruation in Nigeria. He established the Calabar Youth Council for Women’s Rights and, through research and advocacy, worked with partners to establish and run safe houses for victims of FGM. His work distributes menstrual products to Nigerian girls unable to afford them – focusing on children at risk of dropping out of school, and prisoners. Additionally, his work seeks to empower women: the safe houses are also schools for the residents, and he has worked with The Girl Generation in Nigeria to help bring STEM education to schoolgirls.
Emma runs her school’s cookery club, working with younger pupils to give them the skills to make different recipes in a fun and safe environment. As an avid cook herself, she is passionate about nurturing this interest in other young people and giving them practical knowledge about food hygiene and safety which will benefit them in later life. Through her club, she has developed her own skills as a young leader whilst also supporting others to grow in experience and confidence. Emma is helping to build the next generation of young adults.
A few years ago, this school was a really difficult place to be an individual and even more so if you identified as LGBTQ. The Enclude group connected over their determination to help others, encourage diversity and make their school a place to shine for who you are. Since their formation, Enclude have been the force behind Ipswich’s biggest PRIDE festival, become trained Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, campaigned on period poverty with the Red Box project and consulted on the school’s transgender and anti-bullying policies. Their work has inspired individuals across Ipswich to make the community a more inclusive place. Enclude truly are standing up for what they believe in.
Woodside’s Equality and Diversity Group are campaigners for equality within their school and wider community. Through their campaigns, the students have educated their peers on important issues, such as racism, islamophobia, homophobia and mental health discrimination. They have supported charities through fundraisers and inspired their community to embrace difference through campaigns. The group is made up of tireless workers, giving up their breaks and lunches to make a difference in their school. Through this incredible effort, they have have collectively shaped a whole school ethos of inclusion and support, benefiting not just the students, but staff, parents and visitors to the school.
Esi is passionate about creating equality of opportunity for young people in rural Ghana and building the momentum for other young people to take up the mantle of change. Whilst organising a summer programme which teaches English and Maths to primary school children, she raises awareness of menstrual health and developed a menstrual hygiene management programme which has educated 200 young girls in Ghana. To achieve her success she has had to overcome challenges such as the stigma around menstrual health and the language barrier during in local communities. Esi demonstrates a genuine concern for the vulnerable in society and a commitment to providing opportunities for young people.
When he was nine years old, Hamza contracted typhoid in his village in Pakistan. He recalls that he was not the exception but the norm in his village where several children fell ill each year due to contaminated water. Years later he moved to the US and started his project, Bondh E Shams. Hamza’s vision has transformed from an idea into a global team that has already provided 10 million cups of water through an environmentally-friendly, solar-powered water extraction and filtration system. Through Bondh E Shams, Hamza is currently serving 45,000 people across 13 remote Pakistani villages. His vision is to reach every single one of the 1.2 billion people who are currently devoid of safe water.
Abigale is an avid volunteer, dedicating her time to various community run initiatives to support those who are disadvantaged. Abigale founded the campaign ‘The World Through a Kaleidoscope’, spreading positivity and motivating students through speaking out about issues including bullying, mental health and women’s empowerment on her social media page. Abigale has also successfully spread awareness around spotting the signs and symptoms of breast cancer through her ‘Pink Campaign’. Additionally, Abigale volunteers at a special needs centre in Dubai and home for the elderly. An active member of her school and wider community, Abigale is passionate about giving back.
Sana is a determined young person, dedicated to supporting others in any way she can. She has helped children with special needs, campaigned to protect the environment, strives to promote inclusiveness in society with her motto ‘We All Are One’ and has donated her hair to breast cancer patients three years running. Sana has always felt unhappy about the way society can treat children with disabilities and is determined to bring about a change. Through her volunteer work with the Manzil Centre, Sana mentors children with special needs and visits the centre every week to meet with her mentee or assist the teachers there. Sana is forming a more inclusive society for all.
“Neither I, nor my sister, nor my friends will live what my mother lived.” These were Francheska’s words after deciding to change her story following her mother’s experience of sexual and physical violence. Francheska now represents around 1,500 girls across Nicaragua, counselling them on their rights, guiding them out from bullying situations, coaching them on self-protection and self-care tools, and connecting them with mental health professionals to help protect their futures. Francheska is determined to break the cycle of family violence and her work is leading her community towards long-lasting change, meaning this dream will soon be a reality.
As a baby, a road traffic accident left Bethany permanently paralysed. Making sure nothing gets in her way, Bethany has become an active and dedicated volunteer for Back Up’s under 18 services. Bethany volunteers in many ways, including mentoring other young people to help them adjust to life after a spinal cord injury. She has taken on various fundraising challenges, including swimathons and participating in ‘The Snowdon Push’, to raise money for Back Up. Bethany’s commitment ensures support from Back Up can continue, giving other children and young people a voice as well as increasing their independence.
Amidst the realisation that so many Children in Ghana do not have access to basic education, Freda works to empower young people with soft skills in rural communities to achieve their full potential. As founder and director of Inspiring Young Achievers Network (IYAN) Africa, she has touched the lives of over 10,000 children and parents in 17 communities across Ghana. This has included the construction of a Youth Centre in the Wassa Amenfi Central District which has a library and mentoring club for unemployed youth. Freda is passionate about developing local leaders to solve their local problems.
The Anna Freud Young Champions are working to ensure that young people across the UK have the best support and information to improve and maintain positive mental health. Alongside Anna Freud, the Young Champions feed into important work to ensure that professionals are engaged in young people’s mental health training and help to develop innovative mental health services. They share their personal experiences at conferences, workshops, in blogs and on film, and feed into toolkits so teachers can better support their students. By stepping up to share their voices, the Young Champions are inspiring change in support services and helping others to overcome the challenges of mental health.
The students at Aylsham High School have had a transformative impact on their peers and community and are leading the way in peer support and anti-bullying work. Forming a group called ‘Friendly Faces’, these students offer wide-ranging support to students who may be uncomfortable speaking to an adult or who need a little extra support, either mental or physical. The group also makes the most of Anti-Bullying Week and have led workshops for students on bullying prevention, diversity and inclusion, and mental health awareness. This group has proven to be inspirational, resulting in over 100 applicants for 40 anti-bullying positions within school and a clear culture of tolerance and positivity.
When Tanatsei had to stay home because her school fees became unaffordable, she developed a passion for writing poetry. Aware that the social injustice that undermined her education was something faced by many of her African peers, she harnessed her creative energy for a social purpose: founding the 25 May Movement, which aims “to build a vibrant, dynamic and sustainable creative sector that contributes to development in Africa”. To date, the organisation, which runs workshops, creates short films and catalyses dialogue around pressing socio-political issues ranging from masculinity to colourism in Africa, has reached over 60,000 viewers online.
Aaditya strives to inspire others to make a difference. An avid reader, Aaditya established the Go-Getters Library, containing over 1,000 books, at his home to encourage reading and involve his local community through humanitarian initiatives. As a compassionate philanthropist, Aaditya volunteers and fundraises to support underprivileged children in their education. He is also a published author and highlights social issues through his stories and articles. Further afield, Aaditya has campaigned for breast cancer awareness in the UAE, Russia, Czech Republic and India, and is also a dedicated eco-warrior. Aaditya is determined to make a positive impact on the world, in any way he can.
Vidhya was struck by the hardship induced by water scarcity in her hometown, prompting her to take action on environmental issues more broadly. She has done this through participation in activities such as fundraising, plantations, and recyclathons organised by various environmental organisations, spreading awareness at school through her leadership, debates, artwork and taking hands-on action, such as contributing 20 kilos of recyclable material in a recent recyclathon. Additionally, Vidhya endeavours to make education more accessible for poor and disabled children, partnering with charities, donating approximately Rs 12,000 to provide scholarships and educational material such as books to socioeconomically disadvantaged youth.
When Krishna lost both his brothers in car crashes ten years ago, he turned his grief into a force for good. With his father, he set up and runs ‘Laxmi Pratisthan’ a non-profit organization that supports vulnerable communities across Nepal. Through his work, he has supported the distribution of earthquake relief materials to 900 families across various districts, the building of 44 houses for earthquake victims and the organisation of a medical camp benefitting over 3,000 patients. Krishna is now helping setup and run a free hostel through which shelter, food, clothes and quality education are provided to 164 children from marginalised communities.
Carlos is Ecuador’s representative in numerous international spaces, such as the United Nations Programme. Carlos’ vision is to teach others how conserving the area we live in is the best gift we can give to the planet. To date, Carlos has trained 400 student leaders through lectures on environmental education and created a programme where employees from various companies volunteered to support activities such as reforestation and training women in entrepreneurship.
The Girls Giving Back group began their fundraising journey delivering presentations at school and organising regular annual fundraisers. Their fundraising activities include bake sales, movie nights and garage sales. The group has continued their efforts by forming their own business ‘Princess Boutique Designs’, selling handmade beauty products in person and via their online store. Through their various initiatives, they have raised over $23,000, some of which has been used to buy items for the Women’s Interval Home as well as being donated to the Canadian Cancer Society and Plan International.
Concerned by the rise in suicide rates and depression amongst youth in Kenya, Phyllis uses her artistic talent to engage with Kenyans about mental wellbeing. She set up Afyakili, a non-profit organization that uses Art Therapy to generate awareness around mental health problems and empower people to unlock the mental health benefits that come with creative expression, engaging with schools, churches, and hospitals to deliver programmes adapted to the needs of different beneficiaries. Through their activities Afyakili can reach up to 300 people at a time and reaches 100-150 people daily through the daily tips posted to its WhatsApp platform.
Rona, a Kaytetye woman, is the founder and CEO of Common Ground, a not-for-profit working to share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to a variety of audiences across Australia. Through its online platforms and targeted campaigns, Common Ground records the stories of First Nations communities to bridge gaps in knowledge and create an Australia that celebrates and embraces its First Peoples. Aiming to increase appreciation for the oldest continuing cultures on earth, Common Ground works across Australia to share stories that are 80,000 years in the making. To date, 120,000 Australians have accessed Common Ground’s online platforms to learn more about First Nations cultures and history.
Samantha coaches young people at the Isle of Anglesey Friday Fitness Project, running sessions delivered by and for young people. Samantha delivers sports programmes and organises steering groups in primary and secondary schools, leisure centres and throughout her community. She attends training and workshops to improve her sports leadership skills in order to maximise her impact. Samantha is passionate about getting more women and girls active and has inspired hundreds of young people across the local authority. She has worked with key partners on a national level, obtaining grants and ensuring community voices are heard, in order to tackle obesity and encourage an active lifestyle.
Passionate about supporting her peers, Saška led a local youth club in collaboratively creating a theatre play against bullying and hate speech. The play ‘Kosti Nema a Kosti Lomi’, became a great success in Montenegro and the group travelled the country to perform in many schools, promoting positive communication and fighting against bullying. It explored the phenomenon of empathy and its necessity to the human experience, encouraging viewers to support each other. Saška has helped many young people express their struggles and reach out for support. Strong willed and creative, Saška believed in the potential impact of this play and successfully fought for the support of local authorities.
Brandon evokes hope and opportunities through his life mission to help under-served populations through advocacy, public speaking, and fundraising. After founding the 321life+1 Foundation, aged just 18, Brandon has provided life-changing experiences and funding for young people, including disadvantaged migrant communities and those with Down’s Syndrome. Serving on the Board of Directors for the National Down Syndrome Society and in his position as college Student Senator, Brandon has impacted and inspired over 500 individuals reaching far beyond the walls his school, awarding his peers’ community achievements with his own Diamond Awards scheme. His message of hope, acceptance and kindness have resonated throughout America and he has demonstrated that possibilities are endless despite personal obstacles.
Since becoming ill with cancer in 2013, and again in late 2017, Bradley has been passionate about having young people’s voices heard. His experience has inspired him to volunteer for various charities and organisations and become a member of the NHS Youth Forum as well as a member of Youth Cancer Europe’s General Assembly. Through his work he has changed government policy in the UK and at EU level and helped develop services for young people in healthcare. Furthermore, he has founded his own youth led charity, Alike, which tackles isolation amongst young people with cancer by providing them with a national peer support app and UK-wide peer support groups.
Being from Southern India himself, Viraj has pioneered an environmental and humanitarian project in the most drought-prone part of India where people have little access to water or food. He launched a daily door to door waste garbage collection system and the discovery of a machine which turns 14 trucks of waste into sand/ compost, which is sold to large industrial companies. With the money raised, he feeds 4000 children in schools every day, develops school sites and donates plants throughout the towns that he works in. Forging meaningful relationships with the communities who he strives to aid, he has educated and inspired many young people in environmental and social activism
When Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico’s electrical grid and most of the cell towers, leaving people without means of communication and basic resources like food and water, Salvador saw the alarming need for humanitarian aid in his country. In response, Salvador launched Light and Hope for Puerto Rico, which raised over $160,000 to buy and distribute 5,500 solar lights, batteries, and 1,500 portable washers to Puerto Ricans all over the island. Currently, Salvador is partnering with a solar organisation to design and implement smart energy usage to fire stations. He is described as an inspiration to the community for his work, which also empowers others to take action.
Aysha has shown an extraordinary dedication to helping others, both in her community and beyond. A true champion of education for all, Aysha founded SprEducation, supporting disadvantaged children in India through the donation of books and funding awards. At home in the UAE, Aysha has helped over 500 migrant labourers through funding and food supplies, offering a friendly face during the Holy month of Ramadan when many labourers are away from their families and unable to celebrate. Aysha is always willing to pitch in for the good of her community, both in her birthplace of India and her new home in the UAE. Aysha applies her energy and optimism to everything she does.
Hicham has a number of serious and complex health conditions, meaning he is often unwell, in serious pain, and uses a wheel chair. Despite these challenges, Hicham is relentlessly positive and ready to champion the needs of others, especially other SEND young people. Within his ACE group, Hicham helps to shape programmes and services for SEND youth and their families in his local council which included the first SEND fun day. This accessible event took away the limitations of choice for families with children who have complex needs. Regardless of the challenges he faces everyday, Hicham is determined to make his voice heard and make a difference.
Olivia is a keen footballer campaigning to end sexism in girl’s football, which has gained support from sports stars and celebrities. After co-writing a song about the World Cup, Olivia raised a large sum of money for Teenage Cancer Trust from her YouTube and Vimeo success. She was contacted by Brazilian charity ‘Legion of Goodwill’ and invited to visit. During her trip she witnessed a great deal of poverty and vowed to help. Upon her return home, Olivia raised funds and donations from companies and organisations, returning to Brazil several times to deliver football kit and donations for the charity. Olivia is passionate about trying to make a difference wherever she can.
Mia is a passionate advocate for disability sports, volunteering her time to support children with autism and other disabilities in autism friendly trampoline classes. On top of her school work, she has completed her coaching exams to encourage accessibility within sports further and train more volunteers. Through fundraising, organising sponsored ‘bounce-a-thons’ and forming the ‘Bounce Buddies’ group, Mia has broken down barriers and inspired belief in the children she works with. Mia’s dedication to volunteering has raised the expectations of not just their future in sport, but education and life in general.
Lydia has raised over £2,000 for the ‘Ocean Star Charity’ which supports four different schools in the Batticaloa area in the east of Sri Lanka. She also raised enough money to visit the region herself and spend her summer break to providing additional cultural activities for the children there. Lydia has purchased and provided the children and school there with solar lamps, so the students can work at home, as well as basic school supplies. Lydia has inspired students through mentoring and presentations to support the charity and will lead a student visit to the region in 2020.
Adam has proven himself to be a selfless and inspiring motivator to students in his school and has dedicated innumerable hours to the betterment of his community and beloved music department. Through his drive and determination, Adam refused to allow his school’s music department to dismantle due to budgetary cuts and took it upon himself to lead rehearsals, orchestras and musicals with students from his school. He dedicated long hours to fellow students, supporting them with confidence and self-esteem and offering wonderful performances for the community to enjoy. Adam also volunteers weekly at his local Dementia home, playing music to residents and helping out in any way he can.
In 2017, Jerick founded a non-profit organisation which supports and advocates for the deaf community. Jerick’s vision for the charity is to create a world where the bridge between the deaf and non-deaf community is strengthened and communication is accessible for everyone. Learning BISINDO (Indonesian Sign Language) and through his experience of being part of the community himself, he has created an online platform and App called ‘JakSL’, which empowers the non-hearing community to access resources and inspires integration into a non-hearing society. He teaches BISINDO at SLB Nurasih on a voluntary basis, as well as other community projects, including multiple events promoting and signing about the positive use of technology for the non-hearing community.
Muna has been educating people about female genital mutilation since she was 14 years old. Before that, students and even teachers knew nothing about it, yet half of her friends had been subjected to some form of the practise. Muna’s after school discussions evolved into a campaign that produced a radio drama documentary called ‘Why?’ and an award-winning film, ‘Silent Scream’. Her work has contributed to UK policy change, with Muna giving evidence to the Home Office Select Committee and working with Ministers in Public Health to ensure that all schools include FGM in their safeguarding policies to help girls at risk.
Five young girls had a desire to build the self-esteem of the children who had forgotten to dream of a life with unlimited potential. Their aim was not just to be of help now, but to leave a lasting impact on the children whose lives they had touched. They inspired children by reading to them, and teaching American Sign Language and Braille. Members have also taken classes on therapeutic measures to help other teenagers dealing with stress or anxiety. Through their website, they promote volunteering, donating to organisations, visiting labour camps and delivering food parcels during the month of Ramadan.
Hayden and his sister Stephanie are driven and compassionate individuals on a mission to conquer homelessness in Melbourne. They work together with their friends and family to support those in need, targeting social isolation and inequality across the streets of Melbourne. This sibling duo have inspired 20 volunteers to support their cause, distributing over 1,500 clothing items and 1,600 food items to those most in need. Hayden and Stephanie’s tireless work ethic has brought comfort and a much-needed sense of dignity to people experiencing homelessness across Melbourne. Their sustainable approach means that the duo’s mission will be continuing well into the future.
James selflessly volunteers numerous hours each week to support young people with social and emotional needs, both in his school at Braidhurst High School and at community youth clubs. Thanks to his work, many young people look up to James as a role model and seek him out around school to speak to him. James is always happy to give his time and is glad to provide support to others, just as he was supported in his younger years. James continues to share his own story and experience to help other pupils, actively demonstrating his personal passion to improve the lives of others.
Anna’s mother has a congenital heart condition and growing up she experienced the impact that such a major illness can have within families. Inspired by this experience, Anna now works to help other children facing similar difficult situations. She has raised over £12,000 for charity and donated a huge number of practical items to make the lives of patients and their families easier in times of need. Anna believes in the dignity of all and is passionate about giving her time to improve the lives of others. She is an inspirational role model has been relentless in her belief that by working together we can achieve great outcomes.
Kira is an active pupil in her school and an amazing role model for her fellow students. She is part of a number of clubs and councils and dedicates an incredible amount of her free time to volunteering for the local community. Through her role as a volunteer, many young people trust Kira and look up to her, valuing her encouragement to get involved in clubs and sport activities. She shows incredible enthusiasm in all that she does and always works to involve young people in extracurricular clubs. Kira is passionate about giving young people a voice and through her support she is helping other young people to be the best they can be.
Not only has Soroush been a committed member of the ‘Chad’s Challenges’ team, but he also started the ‘Junior Chad’s Challenges’ team alongside taking his GCSEs. Soroush engages local businesses, staff members and other students to support the cause, whilst continuing this work into Sixth Form. As project manager of the team, he has organised a Staff versus Sixth Form Football Match, Teacher Arm Wrestling and Sumo event and pop-up tuck shops, raising around £6,000 for various charities and causes. Soroush likes to look at the whole picture, helping younger students plan their own campaigns and educating them about what the charities are. He has also spoken in school assemblies, educating and inspiring over 1,500 students
Chris is a talented musician who plays 10 instruments, despite having Dyslexia and Dysgraphia. He has represented the UK Nationally and Internationally, as Principal Flute in National Youth Orchestras, and won many Young Musician awards. He has faced countless incidents of exclusion, bullying and discrimination, which inspired him to use his experiences to help others and campaign for young people with learning difficulties to have access to inclusive music education. As a solo flautist, he has played for charities at leading venues and despite all he’s been through, Chris’ desire to help never wanes.
Lewis started the Facebook group ‘Friend Finder Official’ at the age of 14 so that no child facing illness will be alone. Lewis, who had suffered long periods of social isolation in the hospital or stuck at home because of his illness, used social media so that people in a similar situation as his could reach out to each other. From there the group evolved into a charity that puts on special social events for people to attend. His work supports the promotion of equality across the South Coast and beyond, forever changing the way people see disability.
After losing his father to PTSD in 2018, Oliver decided to use his years of charitable knowledge to create something positive out of a tragic situation. Oliver launched a JustGiving Page and charity called ‘Terry’s Army’, named after his father. He has since raised over £15,000 for PTSD Resolution to support forces members and Veterans. Oliver’s fundraising has enabled soldiers to obtain counselling, reduced the stigma attached to PTSD and opened up many important conversations. Oliver passionately believes that no member of the forces should suffer in silence and bravely continues his father’s legacy by raising awareness through ‘Terry’s Army’.
In 2014, Hannah underwent an operation that went wrong and left her with a permanent spinal cord injury. Following eight months recovering in hospital, Hannah decided to get involved as a volunteer with the charity Back Up, supporting people living with spinal cord injuries. Hannah went on to train as a youth advisor and shapes the services the charity provides for young people. She helped create the first ever Back Up Fest, bringing together all people of all ages who have been affected by spinal cord injuries. Now Hannah is learning new skills as a young mentor, keen to help support others who may have questions about growing up with a spinal cord injury.
Amidst the responsibilities of studying for her law degree, Victoria founded the One African Child Foundation to address the inequality in education. Having faced difficulties herself, Victoria understood the power of education in transforming lives, breaking the cycle of poverty and building peaceful and resilient societies. Through activity-based workshops on global citizenship education, life skills and peace building in violent communities, the One African Child Foundation has worked with and trained over 4,000 children from disconnected communities and provided mini grants to 25 young change makers across Africa. Victoria is youth representative of the SDG Education 2030 Steering Committee and is a strong voice for education both in Nigeria and globally.
In 2011, George’s brother Kenny was wrongfully charged with murder and sent to a young offenders’ institution. Although Kenny was released after 6 months, George learnt that young people with a criminal record often end up reoffending and struggle to find employment when released. This made passionate about providing a brighter future for young people, no matter their background, and inspired him to co-found Motivez app, a personalised platform which allows students to take advantage of career and personal progression opportunities. Over 2,000 users aged 16-25 use the app every month where they can explore their interests and access workshops, seminars, conferences and other events for skill building, networking, and more.
Infinite Research Institute has made a significant impact on the lives of the youth in Ghana since its establishment in February 2018. The organisation seeks to promote development through research, advocacy and humanitarian activities. The organisation’s tree planting project, dubbed “Greening University for Development Studies”, was immensely successful with the plantation of 240 cassie plants, as well as 20 visa plants as a remedy towards concerns of increasing temperature at the University. This project benefited over 7,000 students at the University. The organisation has also succeeded in training around 30 young people in public speaking using the British Parliamentary Debate style.
Shwetha is committed to helping children with cerebral palsy through her regular volunteer work. After seeing a family friend growing up with cerebral palsy, Shwetha was inspired to offer her help in any way she could. Shwetha joined the society and assisted the occupational therapist, created new classroom tools for the teachers, and helped the children practice for their sports day celebrations. As a keen member of the ‘Emirates Environmental Group’, Shwetha volunteers her time to clean up neighbourhoods and collect waste materials to be recycled, her work has helped the group collect over 25 tonnes of waste every year. Shwetha has made it her mission to do her part for Mother Earth.
Jahkil was inspired to make an impact after helping his aunt distribute food to people confronting homelessness. He knew that he wanted to do more so he created ‘Project I Am’ to build awareness of homelessness and what he coined ‘Blessing Bags’, filled with socks, snacks, toothbrushes, hand-sanitisers and other essential items. Over 25,000 bags have been distributed to date. Jahkil knew from a young age that even the smallest gestures of kindness can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. Through his ‘Blessing Bags’, Jahkil is showing people who are often overlooked that they are loved and that there are people who care.
Chloe is an invaluable volunteer at the Women’s Aid Homework Support Club, supporting young people with experiences of domestic violence. She prepares healthy snacks, helps them with their homework and participates in paired reading. Chloe has also undertaken training, gaining qualifications to further her skills and acting as a role model for the young people she supports. Chloe has raised funds towards educational resources for the club, and has taken part in educational video clips to raise awareness of emotional abuse and the impact living with domestic violence has on children in the classroom.
Jawwad is a Social Innovator and Research Scientist who invents and innovates to serve his society. He invented Epidermus for the detection of early stage breast cancer, Dew Drop for producing potable water directly from thin air, multi-purpose Internet of Things devices for a new generation of worldwide connectivity for homes and hospitals and Smart Helmet for wearable safety and security system for bike riders. This is in addition to AgriTech or Smart Water Sprinkler System for Smart Irrigation to provide water to individual crop array as per its needs and the Smart Water Bottle which reminds users to drink water and prevent dehydration. He strives to work for the people of India and continues to innovate and invent according to the problems and situations that both rural and urban people face in their daily lives.
Justina is making a difference in society through her motto ‘bring a smile on other’s face’. She is the author of the book ‘My Imaginary World’ and donated the book’s profits to charity. Justina has always felt close to nature, finding the natural environment benefited her mental health. So, she made it her mission to protect nature in every way she could and started a campaign to inspire more recycling projects across her community. One such project included collecting mobile phones to be repurposed, helped to minimise carbon-dioxide emissions. Each day Justina is working towards her dream of a sustainable environment.
Poppy is a dedicated Anti-Bullying Ambassador who shows great maturity when talking to all members of her school community. Poppy gives up her lunchtimes to support students who have been sent in for poor behaviour. Together they talk through incidents and identify triggers to explore how issues can be overcome. On occasion, as an Anti-Bullying Ambassador on the playground, intervention has resulted in being on the receiving end of aggression. As part of her training, Poppy has been seen to take a step back, calm the situation down and report the incident to a staff member, acting as a role model for conflict management for her peers.
As Co-Founder and Chief Food Organiser of Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive, Sarah is a youth advocate for the cause of food insecurity and poverty. What started out as a food drive onher street has now become a community movement in the City of Toronto involving over 100,000 students. Sarah has worked tirelessly to campaign, fundraise and promote education about food poverty and malnutrition in the least advantaged children and as a result,she has helped to provide over 500,000 nutritious meals to people in need. Her commitment and dedication make her a role model for young people, inspiring them to get involved and give back.
Claire has always had a passion for giving back. When her older sister, Sarah, started a food drive in their local community, Claire was inspired to join her and support those experiencing hunger across Toronto. Claire noticed that some people were donating food that was not necessarily high in nutritional value, so she decided that she wanted to educate students on what foods are most needed by the food bank and, more importantly, why those nutritious donations are needed. This led to her taking on the role of ‘Chief Nutritionist’ for Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive. Since then, Claire’s work has helped to provide over 500,000 nutritious meals to people in need and inspired over 100,000 young people in Toronto to give back to their community.
A visionary and passionate environmentalist, Joyal has worked tirelessly on his mission to empower fellow students and those around him to raise awareness about a diverse range of issues, but largely environmental issues. By acting as a role model for his peers, he teaches others to lead a green lifestyle. His notable activities include awareness classes, clean up drives and segregated waste collection campaigns. As an active member of various eco-groups functioning within the U.A.E., he was selected as Youth Ambassador for the ‘Drop It Youth Campaign’ in 2018. Joyal has also received the prestigious Outstanding Environmentalist Award, an award which was instituted to honour the most inspired environmentalists within U.A.E.
Having lived through and witnessed gender-based issues within her own community, Sumati is acutely aware of the estimated 320 million women in India who lack access to hygienic menstrual products and live with the stigma associated with menstruation. She co-founded the social venture ‘Mission SanScar’, which works to eliminate the taboos and impact on school attendance and success that accompanies the onset of girl’s menstrual cycles. By enabling access to menstrual products, providing a safe space for expression, and dispelling myths through reproductive education, Sumati is contributing towards the future of women’s health. Her mission ensures girls live sans the scars traditions and taboos often leave on young minds in India.
Agnes is a former child bride who was married off by her parents at the age of 15. Together with young people from her community, she started a youth group to sensitise the community through music, dance and drama. She has been volunteering with World Vision for four years in advocacy, child protection and education projects working on eliminating violence against children, gender-based violence, domestic violence and child marriage. She works with children in and out of school on mentorship programmes, peer education and life skills training. Agnes has also helped to support many learners who were on the verge of dropping out of school.
Despite her own personal hurdles, Brightstar’s relentless service to humanity through leadership has aided the lives of many people around her. Brightstar is the Youth Governor within Kitui County and Founder of Brightstar Rose Foundation which has paid school fees to 16 students, provided mentorship in over 50 schools and has organised fundraisers, bringing the community together to raise money for school fees, basic needs and house building community projects. Whilst studying Political Science at University, she was Finance Secretary and a member of Congress in the Student Union. Inspiring many through her blog, she has also appeared on national TV as a political analyst discussing youth related topics, alongside her influential public speaking at multiple national events.
In 2017 Sudhanshu founded Young India Foundation (YIF), India’s first youth political action committee and youth advocacy group focusing on bringing youth rights and policy as a movement, recruiting independent political candidates and handling their campaigns for them. Sudhanshu has made social impact beyond measure, working as an advisor with Permanent Mission of India’s diplomats and independently touring India to spread his ideas about India’s Gerontocracy at college campus and TED Talks whilst visiting villages to talk about politics to young people, with the aim of advancing legal rights and empowering disadvantaged young people to become politically active.
A staunch believer in equal access to healthcare for all, Zeba is devoted to advocating for free access to menstruation products. As the founder of PERIOD. At UBC and the Regional Director of the organisation PERIOD INC., Zeba has distributed over 30,000 free menstrual pads and tampons. Zeba is also the Co-Founder of an organisation called World Awareness Initiative Foundation, which provides a platform for young leaders and activists to work together. She is a three-time recipient of the International Community Achievement award at UBC, as well as the 2019 Faces of Today Award. Through hard work and dedication, Zeba has been able to create a platform for youth and engage others in important topics that are often overlooked.
The Peer Mediation Team are a dynamic and driven group of children that actively campaign to raise awareness of and combat bullying. They voluntarily give up break and lunch-times to help pupils make new and build existing friendships through their conflict resolution role. They also plan and lead regular activities and events linked to bullying awareness including: fundraising events, assemblies to raise awareness of bullying, creating and distributing messages of kindness, creating a friendship bench and a friendship club for children that feel lonely.
Divine is a volunteer taking action to support those less privileged. As the founding President for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Foundation in UHAS, Ghana, Divine supports communities to tackle the stigma associated with mental health through public workshops on healthy living and suicide prevention. He has also worked on water projects which have supported those in dire need, whilst raising funds to support other community projects such as orphanages, child basic education, and homeless leprosy sufferers. Divine’s passion for making a difference is clear in all that he does and has instilled the spirit of volunteerism in those around him.
When Shruthi noticed the problems of teen depression, suicide, and anxiety in American high schools, she knew she wanted to do something to address this issue. She wanted to provide a tangible solution that would help young people everywhere manage their stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle. After spending three years teaching yoga, Shruthi created her GoYogi mindfulness programme which was designed to help participants manage their stress. Since then, Shruthi has implemented the GoYogi programme in schools across India and at numerous care facilities for Alzheimer’s patients. The GoYogi programme has brought a new smile to every participant, transforming the lives of over 1,700 students and patients.
Herleen is a young activist passionate about protecting the vulnerable. Through letters she writes for her local paper she raises awareness of important issues which affect elderly people and other minorities. She has a passion for empowering young people, and by founding Nadi Youth Club she has built the skills of youth in leadership roles, supporting 2,000 young people to develop their skillset. In 2018 she also founded Girl Up Fiji to focus on young girls and how they can begin nurturing strength and persistence on equality. Herleen is a bold young leader demonstrating the power of young people to change the world.
Champa was once a child labourer, collecting mica from local mines. Now she is President of Jamdar Village’s Children’s Council and Vice President of the National Children’s Council, and is working to end the common practice of child marriage in her village. Champa has taken the lead role in preventing two child marriages in her local community, despite threats from community leaders, whilst leading awareness campaigns across the region to prevent the practice for good. So far, her work has reached over 9,000 people and Jhamdar village has changed for the better. Champa’s act of defiance has created a ripple effect throughout her community, helping to build a more positive future for young girls across the region.
Christelle’s social impact work led her to Water Access Rwanda (WARawanda), a social enterprise working to eliminate water scarcity whilst providing employment for young people. Water was abundant in Rwanda, but it was also a killer due to the contaminants it contained. When three people lost their lives to crocodiles in the Nyabarongo River, WARawanda created six INUMA water points and countless jobs for vulnerable young people to help prevent the accident from happening again. Now, WARwanda has provided 22 such water systems for 12,675 people and 57 jobs, whilst using eco-friendly practices to protect our planet. Christelle is changing water across Rwanda, one drop at a time.
With such contemporary focus on young people’s activism for the environment, Bella is Sussex’s very own Greta Thunberg. Bella is a fierce advocate for eco-awareness and began her mission by speaking to her entire school about conservation and palm oil. Since then, she has spoken at the first Zero Hour March, The People’s March for Wildlife and the March Against Whaling. She also managed the UK Foreign Office’s Twitter account during the 2018 Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade. Now aged 16, she’s juggling her GCSEs with writing a ‘Manifesto for Change’, chairing Parliamentary discussions and acting as ambassador for two environmental organisations.
Daniel’s first fundraising event, at the age of 13, raised £1,000 for Parkinson’s UK. He went on to campaign for improved mental health provisions for young people by lobbying ministers and directly tackling stigma to encourage young people to seek support. Concerned about political apathy amongst young people, Daniel founded Youth Politics UK, a Manchester non-profit. His organisation has reached 14,000 young people and expanded to London and Edinburgh, providing skills that allow them to enact positive social change. Through motivational speeches and practical workshops, Daniel inspires young people to realise the power and importance of their collective voice.
By the time she was six, Edie Layfield had already raised £1,200 for the Renal Ward where she spent so much of her life after her diagnosis of end-stage kidney failure two years earlier. Unable to move around whilst undergoing hours of dialysis every other day, Edie found comfort in making quirky drawings of animals and superheroes. These she exchanged for donations to The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity. Since then, she has gone on to educate others about renal illness and organ transplant and raised thousands more for a variety of causes, including the UK Transplant Games.
Diany strongly believes that living one’s culture provides a sense of identity and pride to an individual. Passionate about preserving the Mestizo culture to which she belongs, Diany has learned how to make traditional handicrafts, including embroidery, basket weaving and painting. In turn, she teaches other young people in her community about the importance of keeping the traditions of their elders alive. Diany has documented the stories of elders in her community, encouraging her youth movement to do the same and interview them about their ancient cultural practices. This practice of storytelling and handicraft making not only protects the Mestizo culture, but enables Diany to earn a living whilst educating others.
Leticia has made a large impact in the lives of many people, especially the young pupils at Douglas Academy. She has been a role model for fellow students since leading the school drama club, which has gone above and beyond in improving the confidence of students that attend. She is active in many other areas of school life, and also runs the S4 pupil council to ensure that the problems in the school are seen to by their Head of Year. She makes sure that students in the school have a voice, helping to create a collaborative and harmonious environment across the school.
The ‘Let’s Be Foundation’ group from Hollins School is a youth-led initiative, developing and delivering social action projects throughout the school and wider community. Their values are embedded in the ethos that ‘kind should be the norm’ and have launched their innovative ‘Randomly Kind Grant’, encouraging their peers to partake in their mission. Moreover the group have held large scale events and intergenerational art projects at elderly homes, and run a monthly curry café for a local homeless shelter. To date, they have put in 932 volunteer hours, helping those in need by tackling social isolation and spreading a message of generosity.
The buddies have dedicated their time to helping others in school. They work effectively and patiently to ensure their peers are always safe and happy, giving up their playtimes to set up games and support their fellow students. The buddies were trained as Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in 2018 and have since applied their new skills to their work in school. Every two months the buddies attend meetings with other schools within North Lincolnshire where they share ideas with other schools and learn new anti-bullying techniques. The buddies have grown individually and together, learning how to be patient and supportive when sorting out problems.
Trevor is inspiring a generation of socially empowered young leaders through his social action work, harnessing the power of mentoring whilst educating young people on how to better protect the environment. His work started in 2012 when, aged 17, he created a plastic waste collection programme, inspiring his teachers and peers to create plastic waste collection points around the school. Trevor’s work has gone on to impact both wider society and the young people involved in the projects. He has made young people aware of the urgency of environmental conservation, whilst creating a space where young people can influence social change.
Arjit is involved in various voluntary projects, determined to help young people facing social issues related to education and empowerment. Arjit raises funds for and mentors underprivileged young people and children with a visual impairment in Rajasthan. He also uses his own experiences of adversity to support his community, promoting mental health and resilience. He founded the ‘RANA Youth Organisation’, where first-generation Indians could celebrate their diversity while connecting with Canadian Culture. Arjit then launched the ‘RANA Calgary’s Diversity Run’, bringing together youth from the Rajasthani community as well as the city of Calgary to raise awareness around mental health, raising over $25,000 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Salin is a founding member of Human and Hope Association, a community centre in Cambodia. Having committed eight years to HHA, Salin is a strong role model in the community. His commitment to the education of vulnerable five-year olds has resulted in 100 percent of his students transitioning to public school and remaining there. His leadership of the education program has increased the pass rate for the English language program from 60 percent in 2013 to a consistent 90 percent today. The knowledge he is nurturing is crucial in HHA’s goal to move 272 Cambodian families out of poverty.
Mark is an inspiring young leader for younger pupils at Kilpatrick School. He always goes out of his way to support pupils within his school and has taken on leadership responsibilities while supporting first year pupils during their school transition week. He also acts as a mentor for other pupils to support them both academically and personally. Mark knows that he has come a long way since primary school and has achieved this through the help and support of others. Now he is driven to give this support to others, stepping up to be a role model for others and becoming a leading example for other pupils in his school.
As the trailblazing storyteller and peace activist that she is, Louisa uses her own painful asylum seeker journey to amplify the voices of the marginalised, while spreading a message of peace. Her award winning short film Singabantu, seen by five-million people across 27 countries, highlighted the voices and plight of youth migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Her social cohesion projects have mobilised diverse communities to tackle institutionalised human rights violations. She used her voice to lobby The Department of Justice for the successful addition of Afrophobia to the hate speech bill. Louise was nominated for Africa Youth Award’s Advocate of the Year and won New Voice Award at the Immigration Film Festival.
Three years ago, Adriana was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Since then, Adriana began a mission to raise funds and awareness to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in its efforts to eradicate Type 1 Diabetes and its effects. She has organised and led a variety of fundraising events, raising over £19,000 and counting for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Adriana’s fundraising activities have included colour runs, charity auctions and bake sales, taking place across the United Kingdom, Spain and South Korea. The money Adriana has raised has funded ground-breaking research, ensuring those living with Type 1 Diabetes have access to the best treatments possible.
Nicholas drives a social impact campaign, teaching and coaching Nakivale refugees to gain entrepreneurial skills. He has mobilised over $2.7 million to build classrooms where refugees can be trained. This includes liquid soap making, book making and supporting refugees to use these business skills to start their own social enterprises. More than 50,000 refugees have benefitted from his training initiative, becoming self-reliant and increasing their confidence. Through launching the Sound Voice for Inclusion Campaign, Nicholas has engaged education centres to advocate for support from the government to increase refugee economic status and policies.
Following a head injury and two strokes, Conor started his own charity. He uses his Twitter following of over 5,600, to raise awareness and create positive change for young people like himself that have experienced brain injuries. Whilst studying at college, with his empathetic nature, he offers support through hospital visits where he supports local young people. As well being a keynote speaker at the House of Lords, through organising various charity events in Hull, Connor has raised over £20,000, leading to the creation of a Sensory Station in Hull, free for children.
Isabelle is an inspirational young person who aims to positively change the lives of others less fortunate than herself. Following the death of her grandfather to cancer, Isabelle wants to ensure that money is not a barrier to people receiving medicine or support, and that families are able to access help when needed. Through fundraisers such as car boot sales and sponsored events, Isabelle has raised £2,512 to date for various charities, including Cancer Research, Bairnecessities Baby Bank and her school’s laptop fund. Through her work she is making a difference and supporting the causes which need it the most.
Ross is an extremely charitable young person who constantly puts the needs of other before himself. After his diagnosis with Tourette syndrome, Ross began to create origami structures as a coping mechanism which later inspired him to set up an origami club in his school. After being nominated for a Young Scot Award in 2015, Ross’s origami sculptures soared in popularity helping him to raise a four figure sum for Tourette Scotland. He gives up his time during the school day and in his local community for other disability non-profits, including Glasgow Humane Society and Friends Forever, creating a positive impact in the lives of many others.
Described as a ‘strong and fearless’ leader in the volunteering field, Mariam inspires and educates young people to also become volunteers. At the age of just 22, Mariam has already volunteered for over 100 organisations. After attending a developer meet-up where she was the only female present, Mariam was inspired to encourage more girls to take up coding. Currently volunteering with Pearls Africa Foundation (popularly known as Girls Coding, a CNN Heroes Top Ten Nominee 2018) Mariam motivates young women with her communication, negotiation and programming skills, leading them through their own personal and professional development.
Inspired by the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Sustainable Development Goals Nyasia has used her passion, and advocacy experience to work collaboratively with other students to tackle issues close to her heart. She has been the driving force of campaigns at her school including a gender equality campaign that saw the school make changes to the symbols on the toilet signs. Central to all her work is Nyasia’s desire to support other children and to give them confidence to help them realise that their ideas and opinions count and that together they can make a positive contribution as active citizens.
Jessica has raised awareness for differently abled individuals, education and the environment. Through the Best Buddies initiative at school, Jessica met her buddy Noora and has formed a strong bond of friendship with Noora and other students who visit the school as part of the ‘Inclusion Program’. With her passion for the environment, Jessica started the ‘Guppy Project’, ‘Choose Jute’ and the ‘Cleanliness Drive’ to promote the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. Jessica believes that education is the key to impacting and contributing to society and in 2017 joined Dubai Cares, a philanthropic organization working to improve access to quality primary education in developing countries by volunteering with them.
To thank Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for saving his little brother’s life and enable them to save even more children’s lives, George set up his own charity. ‘Run with George’ has since raised over £775,000 for life saving medical equipment. George began with the challenge of running a mile for every month he has had his brother. Achieving this target, George created the new challenge of running a marathon for every month he has had his brother. Through the power of social media, George expanded his charity nationwide, engaging numerous celebrities to join his running. George has inspired others to improve their fitness and demonstrated the power of young people to make a positive change.
As Head Girl and Chair of the Anti-Bullying Ambassador Team, Shannon set out to ensure that all students felt welcome and happy at her college. Shannon’s proactive and inclusive nature enables her to support all students, especially those who are more vulnerable, with special needs or lacking social skills. Shannon took a lead role in sourcing and furnishing a functional space for vulnerable young people in her college. She is also an active member of the college’s Social Action Committee, promoting and fundraising for local and national charities.
Liam is an enthusiastic volunteer who has given over 500 hours to The Spartans Community Football Academy (SCFA), where he supports the the Youth Work team to deliver their various impactful programmes. For the last three years he has helped run their Saturday morning breakfast club, ensuring that local young people get a hot meal on Saturday mornings. Liam is an integral part of the SCFA and is known amongst his group as someone who will always lend a hand to someone in need. He is an inspiration to others for his willing nature to step up to make life easier for others.
As a Youth Champion at Kinship Care, Riordan supports young people who, like him, have experienced the death of a parent. Riordan ensures everyone who comes through the centre feels welcome, as well as organising activities and sharing his own personal story of losing his dad. He listens to others going through kinship care, reassuring and supporting them to understand the complexity of their family situation. Riordan has participated in countless programmes including awareness raising activities and personal development programmes. Riordan’s position as a Youth Champion has built up his self-esteem and resilience, which has been instrumental in encouraging other young people to talk about their experiences of loss.
When Ellenor discovered the ecological damage caused by traditional wet wipes, she used her skills as scientist to found Twipes, the world’s first truly flushable wet wipes. Whereas traditional wet wipes often block sewers and release microplastics into the ocean ecology, Twipes break down in water in just three hours making them much better for the environment. She donates a percentage of business profits to groups that are creating clean water systems in developing regions, spreading her vision for change in countries such as Uganda. Her entrepreneurial spirit has attracted praise from the Mayor of London and inspires all those who are touched by her amazing work.
Maddie was shocked to discover that children in her region were attending school in broken, leaking school shoes, leading to wet feet, sickness, and days off school or being excluded for incorrect footwear. This seemed to be an appalling situation, especially when students at other schools were finishing their schooling, never needing their shoes again. To remedy this issue she single-handedly started ‘Share-a-Pair NZ’. ‘Share-a-Pair’ re-gifts donated second-hand school shoes/sneakers to children in need. Maddie’s continued hard-work has resulted in over 2,300 pairs of shoes being donated to date, with over 1,600 of these re-gifted to struggling families, and Share-a-Pair expanding nationwide.
After witnessing devastating health problems in people around him, Isaac took part in The Great North Run Junior 4k and a Memory Mile Swim, raising money and awareness for two charities close to his heart, Brain Tumor Research and Alzheimer’s. Isaac promoted the event through local press, radio and social media, helping him raise over £650 in sponsorship donations. He showcased his public speaking skills by presenting his achievements to his fellow pupils at school and has demonstrated an outstanding selfless attitude. Isaac constantly strives to inspire those around.
The Mental Health Ambassadors at Dalziel High School are committed advocates for positive mental health. Since attending a training course on mental health, they have worked together to make mental health and wellbeing is a key priority for the school. The Ambassadors have been integral in the delivery of improved services for the school, and they have been steadfast in their commitment to addressing and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health across all areas of the school community. The Mental Health Ambassadors are beacons of support as they help to build an open school environment which cares for everyone.
Becky is an exceptional young person who has gone above and beyond as a volunteer. She is involved in a vast number of different volunteering roles, from facilitating games and activities with Disability Football Class to greeting international badminton players with sports group Badminton Scotland. She also volunteers with Milngavie Football Club Disability Section, Clober Primary School, 2nd Milngavie Rainbows and Young Enterprise. Her dedication for volunteering comes from her passion to help other people. Her willingness to give to charitable causes is truly wonderful and makes her a shining example for other young people in her school and community.
Marigold uses funds raised from her headband making business ‘Marigold’s Heart Garden’ to help others. To date she has sponsored a refugee family to come to Canada. Marigold is also a Youth Ambassador for hundrED Organisation and has taken on numerous leadership courses including a WE Organisation Trip with One Woman. Here, she helped to build a student dorm and has since sponsored a girl to attend school in Kenya, using her headband sales and money from fundraising events. Marigold also raises money within her local community, supporting Angel Hair for Kids, Meal on Wheels and many more.
Kamrun is the founder of All For One Foundation, devoted to teaching women and girls how to stay healthy and safe through menstrual hygiene education. Kamrun and her team carry out self-defense training and educational sessions, teaching women and girls about safe menstruation, hygiene, reproductive health and safe sex. This provides a safe space for girls to ask questions, talk about their problems and share untold stories about menstruation. All For One have also innovated a low-cost sanitary napkin machine, providing employment to eighty vulnerable women. Kamrun is committed to making Bangladesh a country where every woman can afford sanitation, be educated about menstrual hygiene and break the ‘period taboo’.
Kenji works with isolated communities in Peru, supporting children in rural areas to access quality education as well as facilitating cultural exchanges. He uses art, games, sports and play to connect with children as well as adult in a social level to build a trust people around to promote intercultural understanding. His passion the alleviation of poverty and his compassionate personality has made him as an inspirational young leader from inside and outside the communities. Kenji is determined to promote a better understanding and true respect between different societies and cultures, nationally and internationally.
Azi is a young leader and volunteer, who since the age of 13 has worked with organisation Salaam Peace on projects to support his community in East London. Through funding he sourced for a social action project for young people, Azi has contributed to tackling negative perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour in his local area. He has also encouraged community health by securing three years of funding for a community cycling project. Azi’s work has helped engage over 1,000 young people and inspires his peers to follow his example, making him a beacon of inspiration and a role model for other young people in his school and wider community.
Muekara has been volunteering with an environmental group called Eco-Club, aimed at educating primary and secondary school students to learn about their environment and how to take action. Through campaigning, he has raised awareness of issues from dropping litter in the playground to the illegal cutting down of trees and engaged his community to take responsibility for their planet. Muekara also teaches subjects including Maths and English, educating students on the Sustainable Development Goals. His aim is to raise global leaders across the 24 schools his Eco-club has reached, empowering young people to make a change.
Cόra-Laine has dedicated the last five years to helping her peers cope and recover from the effects of abuse. She has raised funds so that more young people can be protected and supported, while working to help change people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. At 13 she qualified as a Peer Mentor and attended Safeline prevention projects during school holidays, supporting over 50 children affected by sexual abuse. Cόra-Laine went on to become a Safeline student ambassador and promoted Safeline services throughout the county. Cόra-Laine also helped to create the Safeline young people’s website which provides vital information and advice to vulnerable children and young people.
Julio works as a Action Catalyst at ideiaLab, a Mozambican social enterprise promoting entrepreneurship, supporting the development of start-ups and accelerating the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises. He actively contributes to the design, implementation and assessment of entrepreneurship programmes, tailored for youth and women. He provides business advice, entrepreneurship training and acts as events manager, influencer and speaker. He is the Community Manager of Orange Corners Maputo, a space where university students and recent graduates have access to resources they need to get their ideas off paper and make their dreams come true.
A student at Braidhurst High School, Ellie is a Scout Leader with 10th Motherwell Scouts and their cubs section. She organises games and activities and plays a crucial role in preparing younger members for their summer camps. She is also a member of the Muirhouse Senior Youth Group and takes part in issue-based activities. Ellie always strives to help others and leads in a mature and inspiring manner. Her enthusiasm and positivity are abundantly clear to all she meets, whilst her energy for volunteering inspires other to get involved and make a difference too.
Ava is a tireless volunteer working to support those facing homelessness. As a volunteer in the Clarkston Shelter charity shop for the last two years, she has helped to raise money to address homelessness while helping the charity to provide support for the most vulnerable in society. She is involved in all aspects of the charity shop, including helping with donations, serving customers and designing the display. She always encourages her peers to volunteer as well and inspires others to step up in the community. Ava’s dedication to supporting homeless people is truly inspirational, as is her passion for helping others to have a second chance in life.
Whilst attending high school in Tanzania, Saul felt passionately about providing his peers, living with physical and learning disabilities, opportunities to improve academic performance and ensuring their ability to live to the fullest of their potential. By launching ‘CBL’, a connections-based learning club, he has ensured that visually-impaired students have access to necessary educational resources and support in applying for Higher Education. In addition to his role as Global Youth Ambassador and Advocate of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Saul is a founder of the Building Africa’s Future Foundation, which has the mission of creating awareness in parents and youth on the importance of quality education.
Ida studied engineering knowing that could have a major role in revolutionising Africa with technology. This desire, this passion to change Africa, inspired her to pioneer TechWorld Hub, where she inspires creativity and innovation in other students of the university. It was her passion and tenacity that got the funding and the resources necessary to ignite the passion of other engineers who had wanted more than theoretical experience. Ida and her team have since won two innovation challenges and trained over 40 students in new technology, each of them now also daring to believe in a better tomorrow for Ghana and the world.
After tragically losing her parents as a young child, Catherine was faced with many hurdles throughout her life. With no one to support or educate her when she started menstruating, she contracted a critical infection due to a lack of hygienic resources. Since recovering, she has delivered training on menstruation and hygiene in rural schools where she has reached over 500 girls, educating them to track their cycles and manage pain. By teaching the girls to produce their own sustainable menstruation products, Catherine has empowered girls to generate their own income by selling their products. This has allowed them to pay for school fees and continue their education.
When Arifa first read the stories of victims of forced marriage and honour abuse in the novel Daughters of Shame, she felt compelled to take action. As these hidden practices were highly prevalent in her home borough in London, she decided to launch Educate2Eradicate, a non-profit which strives to eradicate forced marriage, FGM and honour abuse through the power of education. She runs school workshops for staff and students, and has raised awareness of these harmful practices globally at the United Nations in New York as the UK Youth Delegate. Her passion for this cause is inspirational as is her endless determination to make life better for women.
In 2014, Ahmad was witness to a brutal attack on the Army Public School in Pakistan. His brother was slaughtered along with 150 of his classmates, teachers and Ahmed was left injured. After his recovery in Birmingham, in September 2015 Ahmad decided that he would do what he can to address the issue of young people from the UK travelling to join terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. To do this, Ahmad started a campaign initiative to promote education and understanding within schools. Ahmad speaks publicly about the trauma he has endured, campaigning for educational rights at schools, events and in the House of Lords, inspiring all generations through his social activism.
The New-Bridge Anti-Bullying Ambassadors regularly volunteer their time to support and educate their peers on the effects of bullying. They act as positive role models within their school community, promoting an atmosphere of kindness and tolerance to difference. The group runs a drop in service, offering advice to pupils and providing a safe space they can come to if they feel lonely. They also commit their time to planning and preparing for a variety of annual events, including fundraising activities, leading whole school assemblies and running anti-bullying week events.
Alexander is helping students across his school to see their strengths and abilities even when times are tough. After his own experiences of unkindness from his peers, Alexander decided he didn’t want any more children to experience similar hurt. So, he teamed up with Bullies Out to put a stop to bullying for good. Since then, Alexander has led assemblies, created a BBC Newsround video, delivered talks on kindness and compassion, and fundraised to train even more youth ambassadors so that his legacy continues well into the future. Alexander has learnt that he has much to be proud of simply by being himself. Now he is helping his peers follow suit.
Minh created a non-profit organisation with the purpose of informing and engaging teenagers with the world around them. Her work spreads awareness of issues and their importance through forums and debates specifically targeted to teens who might otherwise be apathetic, knowing the importance of information and the grave consequences of inaction. Her organisation USPEAK, which stands for Unite, Speak, Participate, Education, Action, Kindness, is based on social media with an audience of 700,000 and boosts to be a place where young people feel safe to share their opinions, learn and debate, as they feel an increasing pressure to be right or silent.
Liz Niemiec started the ‘Little Wish Foundation’ after her friend, Max, died of cancer at the age of seven. She felt inspired to do something for all the children battling cancer, to bring them some joy as they fight. During her time at school she was able to grant 600 wishes, but in the three years since focusing on the organisation full-time she has been able to grant an additional 1,200 wishes, raising and distributing nearly $1.5 million. Not only does she gift these children with puppies, iPhones, gaming systems, and more, but she also takes the time to meet, revisit, and provide emotional support to the children and their families.
Nora believes that LGBTIQ+ community members in Egypt deserve to live better lives – free from discrimination and stigma. Through managing the legal aid and emergency response services at Bedayaa, she provides assistance to those who struggle with the laws which criminalize LGBTIQ+ in Egypt. Her work supports LGBTIQ+ individuals in Egypt who seek legal aid interventions or emergency response action due to the implications of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. Whilst under her management, the project has been able to assist more than 250 cases.
The ‘Northfield Peer Supporters’ meet every day to create a positive impact on the wellbeing of members of their school and wider community. They filmed an anti-bullying video and learnt sign language in the process to make the video more inclusive. They take a whole-school approach, creating announcements for the school website and Twitter account to deliver their key messages. They have made their school a happier and safer environment by organising a ‘Diversity Week’ and a ‘Safer Internet Day’. They also raised £12,000 for Comic Relief and helped students from local primary schools with their transition into secondary school.
Isaac’s best friend Finley suffers with Type 1 Diabetes, so Isaac has made it his mission to raise enough money to find a cure for this illness. Isaac has taken on a variety of challenges over the past four years to raise over £13,000. He has taken part in sponsored walks, cycles, shaved his hair off, undertaken a sponsored silence and even designed his own wristbands to raise awareness as well as funds for the Type 1 Diabetes charity JDRF. Isaac has encouraged his whole school to get involved in his fundraising journey and continues to inspire teachers and classmates alike.
This group of young people live with chronic health conditions themselves or care for those that do and overcome the daily challenges surrounding this. In spite of this, the group of young people prioritise giving back and supporting the patients of Nottingham Children’s Hospital. They volunteer their time to ensure that young people accessing the hospitals services have a voice, someone to talk to and a smile on their face. The Peer Mentors & Youth Volunteers have made a huge difference in ensuring young people are a key focus at the hospital and that services are designed, implemented and run by them.
Patrick is a dedicated young volunteer who has been giving up his time in his local church for more than six years. Patrick also serves and is involved in counting the weekly collection. Patrick also volunteers during the school holidays in the SANDS Lothian charity shop. The money he helps to raise goes directly towards supporting bereaved parents who have lost a baby, something which has been important to Patrick and his family since the death of his cousin. Patrick has accumulated more than 200 volunteering hours and has raised more than £5,000 for various other charities.
Carly and Charley began the Odd-Sox Project in 2015, collecting lightly used single socks from the community to donate them to shelters over the winter. They worked after school and on weekends to coordinate sock drives with local schools and organizations. Their original goal was 5,000 pairs of socks but they have since collected and donated over 90,000 pairs of socks worldwide. They spoke on stage at We Day Toronto in 2017, and as an extension to their mission, they have created their own sock line, Carly and Charley’s Single Sox, where a pair of socks is donated to those in need for every set sold.
Young humanitarian leader Margaret Odhiambo is passionate about helping vulnerable and marginalised children and is committed towards advancing and developing innovative and sustainable reforms for an inclusive health system. She co-founded The Gold Culture, an advocacy platform for childhood cancers and injuries facilitating access to information through mural and art materials; and appropriate medical care. As Regional Youth Chairperson of the Kenya Red Cross Society and Nairobi Youth Governance Board for Nairobi County, she coordinates and oversees humanitarian engagement of the young people in advancing humanitarian effectiveness, community resilience and disaster operations. Her focus on impacting cancer control, disaster management and accountability for the wellbeing of vulnerable children. Margaret hopes to create an accountable and healthy nation.
After witnessing first-hand the level of poverty prevalent in her community, Chidinma founded Financially Literate Africa – a financial education organisation for young Africans to bring themselves and their families out of poverty. In this capacity she provides young people with financial advice to become economically empowered and financially literate. Through her campaign “Be Financially Intelligent” over a thousand young people took part in activities that would benefit their future financial self. She has mentored over 50 young girls on financial literacy through the G7 initiative and has become passionate about bringing financial stability to young people in poverty.
Marvellous founded “The Invasion Foundation” which carries out free breast and prostate cancer screening in Nigeria – a country which has one of the worst cancer:death ratios in the world. Cancer statistics in Nigeria were so alarming that Marvellous became determined to lead the fight against cancer and so far his efforts have directly affected 8,000 lives and saved more than 50 Nigerians from needless deaths. Through the foundation, Marvellous has gathered a volunteer base of 350 college students, making it the first youth led cancer initiative in the country. Marvellous is a trail blazer, he identified the gap in the healthcare system and plunged into it.
Oman created a charity called ‘Inspire’, a city-wide anti-bullying campaign, emphasising the effects of bullying behaviours on young people. Oman works tirelessly with local schools across the city and has devoted his teenage life to helping his peers. In one particular school, Oman supported the reduction in bullying from 16% to just 1%. He strives to spread positivity and kindness to all those within his community as Head Boy, leading assemblies and persuading others to get involved in his anti-bullying campaigns. When asked about his charity work he simply says, ‘every life matters, and I am just a person trying to fight hate with love’.
The P7 Prefects have selflessly committed all of their lunchbreaks over the past year to help nurture and care for some of the most vulnerable younger students in their school. The P7 Prefects have acted as responsible citizens and effective contributors, going above and beyond the remit of their role as senior prefects to boost the self-esteem and confidence of young pupils. Through support during lunchbreaks, the P7 Prefects help these pupils to eat well, interact with their peers and to keep good health and wellbeing. The whole school community has recognised the undoubted impact this has had on the younger children.
Demonstrating selfless enthusiasm and dedication, The Paired Reading Mentors have inspired over 80 junior pupils to engage with paired reading and wellbeing activities. Through their work they have increased the reading age of pupils, built their self-esteem, promoted positive living and reduced stigma around mental health issues. They have selflessly given up intervals, lunchtimes and after school activities to meet the academic, social and wellbeing needs of vulnerable pupils. Every day they welcome over 20 junior students into their health and wellbeing hub, providing a safe and supportive environment for students to speak openly about their physical and mental health, whilst creating a school-wide policy to improve wellbeing for all.
Sreelakshmi decided to spread awareness about the harmful impact of tobacco after seeing the effects of lung cancer. Through her awareness campaigns ‘Organ Donation’ and ‘No Tobacco’ and her association with leading NGOs, she has made a phenomenal impact on the lives of a myriad of people. Her message has reached more than 2,500 people and many were inspired to pledge their organs or give up tobacco to improve their health. She is a dynamic young leader and a true humanitarian who knows that small acts lead to big impacts. Sreelakshmi is determined to be the change she wants to see in the world.
Following the unexpected bereavement of his father, Kishan has been committed to improving healthcare provisions across the world. Alongside pursuing a medical degree, Kishan has created awareness of humanitarian issues by organising events and launching online campaigns to motivate others to get involved in aid work. He has developed and created the UK’s first humanitarian innovation ecosystem for students, by students, facilitating 50 leading student innovators to develop prototypes to tackle to global challenges. Through his work campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, Kishan has improved the lives of those in need, and is always growing in his mission to make the world a better place.
Amiteash is an active and ardent environmentalist. He initiated a signature campaign amongst the 2,800-strong workforce of the Bond Interiors LLC., Dubai and conducted educational workshops amongst white and blue-collared workers in UAE to set up recycling bins in the offices, factories and labour camps across the UAE. Amiteash was elected as the Environment Club Coordinator of his school and is an active member of the Emirates Environmental Group UAE. Amiteash works to inspire his fellow students to work to protect their environment, mitigating climate change and enhancing the relationship between school and the community. Together they are creating a cleaner planet by participating in various environmental projects and clean up drives both on and off campus.
Toni has dedicated her time to local, regional and national campaigns including community cohesion, mental health and awareness raising around invisible illnesses. Toni is not afraid to speak up on behalf of those who are unable or not confident enough to share their voice. She is committed to making sure all young people are heard. She is an inspirational young person who has been a positive role model for others for many years. Toni continues to engage new young people in projects, campaigns and activities which benefit other young people.
The School Council Team decided that bullying was an issue they wanted to tackle as it was something that several of them had encountered. They understood how it could make children feel lonely and insecure and wanted to channel their negative experiences into something positive by helping others. The work of the school council team has been instrumental in raising awareness of how to overcome bullying. They planned activities for children at lunch-times, in classrooms, an assembly and more. This work led to an increase in positive interactions in the playground and staff have decided to make some of the activities a permanent feature of play-times.
The peer mentor group, consisting of Year 6 students at Moore Primary School, are a model example of young students working with their peers to ensure a happy, safe and comfortable environment at school. Their compassion sees that their fellow students always have support during difficult times and never feel alone. Not only have the students driven this scheme forward themselves but they have also worked with the NSPCC and the police to deliver workshops to the rest of the school. The group display a moving outlook of kindness and care, continuing the legacy of their predecessors and guaranteeing that Moore Primary will be a nurturing school for years to come.
Holly encapsulates all of the finest qualities of an Army Cadet Force Instructor. Her work has enriched the lives of countless young people. Holly is driven by a desire to make people’s lives better, whether that is in the context of the Army Cadet Force, her profession as a trainee nurse or in her voluntary capacity as a healthcare assistant in the community with Marie Curie Council Care. She has a calm and patient approach which helps her work closely with young people and build their confidence, particularly when supporting those who experience challenges in learning and socialising.
Nichole is a dedicated philanthropist who has volunteered for a diverse range of causes. She started the ‘Hair for Hope’ campaign which gave students the opportunity to donate their hair to cancer patients. Nichole is a proactive member of the ‘Hemaya Forum’, an organisation in association with the Dubai Government and Dubai Police, which runs specialised training workshops to prevent drug abuse. She has also created an anti-bullying club named #WeCare which has conducted many events and activities, including the ‘Food for Free’ where she distributes food packets and water bottles to the support staff in her school.
Having lost a loved one to cancer, sisters Shanya and Nayantara founded Photocause.lk, a photography based fundraising project in aid of the Sri Lanka Cancer Society. By utilising their photography talents, they have carried out online sales, held two fundraising exhibitions and created cancer awareness videos on their social media platforms. They have subsequently raised over LKR 500,000 for the Sri Lankan Cancer Society, which will support two cancer homes and the clinics within them. The launch of their ‘Awake and Click off Cancer’ magazine focuses on cancer awareness within schools, reaching 20 schools and gaining islandwide support.
Taylor is Head Boy, an Anti-Bullying Ambassador and member of his school council, taking the lead in a variety of fundraising campaigns. Taylor drives forward initiatives including ‘Get Up and Go Green’ and ‘UNICEF Soccer Aid’, bringing together people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to learn about how best to protect the environment and global educational rights. Taylor has also been key in supporting his school to fundraise £41,380 to create a community garden and hub for the local area, to grow food, plants, keep fit and socialise. Taylor overcomes any obstacle that comes his way, enthusiastically engaging with all aspects of his school.
Since 2017, Vedica has worked towards spreading awareness of girls’ education, welfare and mental health along with the local communities in rural Rajasthan through her social causes like ‘Change for Change’. She engages with the members of the local community and wider audience to donate their spare change towards the cause, which goes towards educating girls. More girls have now enrolled in the education system from the grassroots level thanks to Vedica’s work. In addition to her drive for girls’ education, Vedica has also been working towards other initiatives relating to cleanliness, the environment and tree plantation, the Indian Armed Forces, health and wellness, along with the water crisis in the country.
Once a beneficiary of Dexterity platforms, and now a chief-of-staff, Swaraj has enabled thousands of Indian children to grow as leaders and role models. He started working in the field of public service at the age of 13 and now has over seven years of experience leading social impact enterprises, global programs and widespread operations. He manages a staff base of 220+ at Dexterity Global, an organisation powering the next generation of leaders through educational opportunities. Young students see Swaraj as a role model, and under his leadership, Dexterity has pioneered Dexterity to College, a high school to college transition platform for which he serves as the mentor-in-chief.
Project Imagine is a student group from the International School of Kenya focused on eradicating the shame and stigma of menstruation and reducing its impact on the educational attainment of poor girls in Kenya. The organisation started in August 2015, growing from a founding team of five students to 30 committed, passionate change agents. Project Imagine shares a “period positive” message through a self-empowerment health curriculum that they deliver through peer mentorship in three Kenyan schools, impacting over 600 girls in four years. They also provide sanitary pads for students in two of these schools and, in March 2019, they distributed their 100,000th pad.
Sophia is the first female in her whole family to attend a university and obtain a formal education. She has taken steps to go the extra mile to help women in her community by hosting large events that educated the public about the hardships women face in Canadian society. Sophia has also hosted workshops that teach others to make a difference through strategic methods and she’s hosted roundtables with elected MPs to capture the attention of the federal government through the suggestions of youth in her community. Sophia has focused on reducing the negative environmental footprint in St Albert, by inspiring young people to take the public transport, or biking and walking to their destination.
The QEGS Day Centre Support Group give up their time every week to meet the older members of the Alford Day Centre. The students have a genuine passion to find out more about the lives of older adults in the community and to help them understand and build links with young people and to help the elderly feel valued as individuals. At Christmas, the school also produces Christmas hampers for each individual at the Day Centre. The weekly visits are organised by the older students in the group who take a lead in mentoring and encouraging the younger students to get involved.
Adithiyan has been involved in many social and voluntary activities, all with the hope of creating a better environment. From leading on a No Plastic Campaign, to delivering environmental sustainability speeches to over 4,500 students, and writing numerous newspaper articles, the work he has done in this field is both endless and inspiring. He demonstrates outstanding leadership in his mission to protect the environment and strives to encourage others to be conscious of their social responsibility and sustainability.
Alok is an inspiring role-model. Coming from a rural background in India, Alok moved to Delhi for his college education. He spent three years of his college life volunteering for youth-based organisations. In the past two years, he has been the driver of many grassroots level initiatives and campaigns. His leadership has supported the creation of many powerful campaigns and movements on some the most pressing issues – such as gender equality, air pollution and waste segregation. He has an appetite to learn, grow and work to tackle current issues ground and drive the key social movements.
Devanshi works with students at the National Associate of the Blind in New Delhi, training them in chess and other life-skills. She has helped students gain the confidence needed to improve their skills in school and in extra-curricular activities and has devoted her spare time to educate them on sports and mental health, amongst others. Devanshi has managed large-scale fundraising initiatives and organised a number of events, sourcing speakers from different fields. This led her to run the largest North Zone Chess Championship for the Blind event to have ever existed.
Kamyr has an outstanding sensibility and will to help elderly people living with Alzheimer’s. Through her volunteer work she has been an example of leadership, compassion and hope for families and peers at school in both Puerto Rico and beyond. Her tireless work does not stop, she has been involved in arranging marathons, dinners, radio shows and conferences for various other causes such as the Red Cross. Through her work with elderly people, she has the opportunity to involve other students like her in bringing accompaniment, cognitive stimulation and education through games and physical exercise.
Aged 13, Kaydey-Aaliyah joined a steering group to create a local mental health charity in Blackpool. Bringing a teenager’s perspective to the group, she has directly supported service users and her colleagues. Her work helps to prevent suicides and challenge barriers caused by mental health conditions of service users. Kaydey-Aaliyah’s work to destigmatise mental health conditions and encourage others to seek support helps people across Blackpool. Her endless empathy and kindness means Kaydey-Aaliyah has offered a supportive presence for service users and her own peers who have been empowered to seek support. Her impact is further strengthened through fundraising and campaigning.
After being bullied at school, Kheris decided to start a clothing line to remind others that they are beautiful. Since then, she has become a motivational speaker and social media influencer, hosting a SoulPancake digital series ‘Beyond Bullied’. Kheris is a role model to other young people who are going through what she did. At just 10 years old, she was the youngest fashion designer in history at New York Fashion Week with her clothing brand. An inspiration to others, Kheris is spreading her message far and wide, reminding everyone how important it is to be comfortable in your own skin.
Rotary Interactors was Switzerland’s first Interact Club, established at the International School Geneva in 2017 support others through selfless acts, and has grown from 17 to 65 participants. Over 18 months of action they have helped both local and global community causes, which have benefited the Mexican Earthquake Fund, MicroTyco, Lebanon Water Project, WOHAA education in India and Malawi, and local Geneva-based charities. The group have worked together to create campaign materials, run school events and present at Rotary Conferences such as Global UN Peace Conference, November 2017 and UN GEL 2018.
The members of St. Alban’s Girls’ School’s Rotary Interact Club have worked tirelessly in their efforts to raise money, inspire peers and change minds for both local and international charities. This group of young people is completely self-sufficient and is led entirely by students who run their own meetings, democratically decide which organisations to fundraise for, host their own events and liaise closely with school staff and charity workers. Over the past year, the group have raised £3,500 for the End Polio Now campaign, Sight Savers, MS Therapy Hertfordshire and the Donkey Sanctuary and have inspired swathes of new students to join and continue impacting both their local community and those further afield.
Beth was 20 when her mother died, and she struggled to find a community who had been through a similar experience. So, she started one of her own. Beth launched a bereavement support network, ‘Let’s Talk About Loss’, with the mission to make grief less lonely. Beth volunteers her time to support other young people, ensuring they get the peer support that is vital to those struggling with bereavement and mental health. ‘Let’s Talk About Loss’ now offers a safe and supportive space for hundreds of young people facing bereavement and is working to change the dialogue around grief, one conversation at a time.
Ruben is passionate about protecting the environment, participating in various environmental protection programmes at his school and within his community. Ruben has conducted surveys to understand the use of biodegradable products and has run programmes in school promoting the benefits of biodegradable plastic. He has also organised tree planting activities and Clean Up Campaigns, promoting the ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ principle. As the coordinator of the renewable source of energy of his school, Ruben has spread awareness through assemblies and classes, emphasising the importance of conserving natural resources through small acts, which can have a huge impact in moving us towards a greener future.
At the age of seven, having moved from India to Canada, Sukhmeet had already found his passion for creating change. Now aged 24, Sukhmeet is a philanthropist, public speaker and public health advocate and the Co-Founder of Break The Divide, a not-for-profit organisation connecting young people worldwide. Sukhmeet has been around the world engaging and inspiring other young people to create change. He has campaigned and raised funds for worthy causes, establishing lasting projects in areas including mental health, climate change, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, homelessness and domestic violence. For all his work Sukhmeet was recently awarded the ‘Emerging Leader for British Columbia and the North’ by the Government of Canada.
Muskaan initiated a programme called @PET EXPRESS.5 that aims to eradicate animal cruelty, focusing on five key areas: their mental health, food and shelter, training, hygiene and raising awareness. Through @PET EXPRESS.5, Muskaan organises events such as pet wash campaigns and arts and craft competitions. She also collects surplus food from local people and from restaurants as well as warm clothes for the stay animals to keep warm and well fed. Muskaan is also an active volunteer for k9 friends, an NGO for urban animals in Dubai, where she trains stray animals and reunites lost dogs with their owners.
Jemmar is passionate campaigner for issues around race and gender. Since returning to the UK from Jamaica, Jemmar creates videos to raise awareness of the issues faced by immigrants and women of colour in Britain today. She won a Children’s BAFTA for a video detailing her experiences of colourism and becoming an activist. She has raised awareness of underrepresentation of young BAME people in the media through participating in a social campaign ‘Legally Black UK’. Jemmar uses her experience and voice to inspire others through written articles, on the BBC and through workshops which she has facilitated. She is an inspiring activist making a difference through her change making work.
Siddhant lives by Ghandi’s quote that ‘the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’. Describe as ‘courageous’, Siddhant is a self-taught documentary film maker, fundraiser, social activist and writer committed to educating and empowering young people to speak up and take action against social injustice. He writes for national newspapers as well as blogs and websites for causes close to his heart such as climate change, child labour, gender equality, public policy and education quality. Whilst at school, Siddhant founded Youth Frontliners, a youth-led organisation working for environmental concerns. His ambition is to have a Coordinating Ambassador for Youth Frontliners in every country.
The School Council Team represent their peers in a professional and dedicated way. Through a series of projects, the school councillors identified which local issues were important to them to tackle in their community. They decided that food poverty was something that they should raise awareness of and funds for, and arranged a food drive where over 1,000 items were collected. Discrimination was another focus and they subsequently organised a children’s mental health week in school by creating and selling ribbons signifying mental health awareness. The School Council Team have made significant contributions to many aspects of school, creating a real pupil movement whereby children are teaching and driving change.
SDGkeepers have promoted the UN Sustainable Development Goals through a variety of campaigns and fundraisers, with each of the 17 students members addressing one of the goals over the course of the last 24 months. Through their work on gender equality, climate change, educational access, or disability, the team have organised awareness raising events across the school community, creating an impact on the younger students and also raising thousands of pounds for various environmental and social projects, including their Kenyan village project, Enoosoito. The 17 students also raise money for local charities, which include conservation, youth, and cancer research.
Castello is a member of NGO JEVEV and manages various projects aimed at promoting education and a better awareness of the green economy in Benin. Its school store management project helps rural children access essential information about school supplies. Castello believes in inclusive education for all, creating reading clubs and facilitating the donation of more than 500,000 books. He is also passionate about raising awareness of environmental responsibility among young people. As part of the Green Entrepreneurship programme, Castello has trained young people to make biodegradable packaging, offering jobs and professional integration to young people in the region to enable them to grow while promoting a greener planet.
Mehak’s aim is to empower women and children by equipping them with the knowledge and education needed to raise them out of poverty. Mehak leads the organisation she founded, ‘Meherban Foundation’ (literally translated meaning ‘Kind and Compassionate’) with passion and empathy and envisions a society of educational and financial parity. Her many undertakings include collaborating with local orphanages, fundraised to have 17 computers for a local school for orphaned children, organising conferences for female empowerment, fundraising to support the free elementary and primary education of 130 children students from underprivileged backgrounds and arranging clothes drives which have helped hundreds of people. She also delivers coaching sessions to inspire other young people.
Ritanshu works in the blood donation camps, promoting his cause and encouraging new volunteers to donate their blood. He now has over 500 volunteers working in different states across India. He initiated project WINS, educating school children in his region about the importance of sanitation and hygiene. Furthermore, he organises fundraising events in schools, educating young people about his cause. His success is evident by the fact that has been recognised by The Guinness Book of World Records for raising awareness on Polio and has been selected as a motivational speaker and special guest at various conferences.
Sundareswaran created the initiative ‘Voice’ after he witnessed his peers being unable to express themselves effectively. He is constantly thinking of new ways to develop his campaign to enable young people to effectively communicate with others. Sundareswaran fundraises for Voice through musical performances, alongside his studies. He is an avid volunteer within his school, often welcoming new students as well as setting up workshops for students to meet other students and network, with the aim of improving their communication, networking and socialising skills. Sundareswaran is a fantastic Anti-Bullying Ambassador who inspires students to speak their mind and stand up for what is right.
Passionate about reducing the female school drop-out rate of young women that have reached puberty, Vedika is a student Ambassador for ‘Nahin Means No’ and also volunteers with ‘Dream Girl Foundation’. She has reached over 100 Young People, creating, developing workshops to teach wellbeing, English, Mathematics and self-defence. She partnered with ‘Namo’ to ensure that over 900 tonnes of e-waste was collected to save energy and natural resources and has conducted many tree-plantation drives with her initiative ‘One Step Greener’. Vedika has collaborated with ‘Max Healthcare’ to help over 80 Senior Citizens in her community by providing free health-care check-ups. She has also set up her own community service organisation: ‘Hues of Help’ and has raised over Rs 1,20,000.
Jaahnvi uses her passion for art, and desire to serve her community to volunteer within a slum school supported by The Lightworkers Foundation in New Delhi, India. She conducts art therapy sessions with the children, exhibiting their artwork and printing them onto greeting cards. Jaahnvi sold the creations under the project name of ‘Creativity for a Cause’, raising enough money to regenerate the school, providing concrete flooring throughout and playground equipment. She has painted Cherry Blossom Trees throughout the school, and in various Labour Camps around Dubai, to represent the fragility and beauty of human life. Jaahnvi is also heavily involved in the Charity Committee at her school, using her talents to participate in fundraising and mentoring activities to serve those in need.
Nida leads the Digital and Innovation Portfolio at Sehat Kahani, a health-tech social enterprise. Nida’s role in software development enables virtual consultations between deprived patients and home-based female doctors. Her social media outreach has shown exemplary efforts to promote female empowerment and access to healthcare in Pakistan. She has facilitated collaboration with several organisations to conduct preventive campaigns in critical health issues such as water and sanitation, nutritional deficiencies and menstrual hygiene, meaning Nida has transformed the lives of thousands of women living across Pakistan. Nida is an inspiration role model in her field and community.
As an avid reader herself, Sparsha is determined to promote the skill of reading to her community. Sparsha’s area did not have a public library, so she took it upon herself to create a free library at her home, providing access to over 400 books to young people across her community. Sparsha conducts various reading events and workshops for children to improve their reading skills at her home, in local schools and hospitals, and has implemented ‘Reading Corners’ within her community. Sparsha advocates for the benefits of reading over the use of electronic gadgets, spreading the message ‘Today’s Reader, Tomorrow’s Leader’.
Esther is a dedicated young activist passionate about fighting for the stigmatised, the under-represented and for the planet. On top of a busy, ambitious teenage schedule of school, ballet, swimming and more, she manages to use any free time she has to combat the large issues that our society faces and to do her part to make a positive change in the world around her. From homelessness to mental health and gender equality to climate change, Esther is a keen activist who knows that you are never too young to make a difference.
Subject to bullying at school, Mahealani was determined to turn her negative experience into positive change. Mahealani shared her story by writing a book, It’s Okay to Be Different, in the hope of helping others. At the age of 13, she created the organisation, B.R.A.V.E. Hawaii (Be Respectful And Value Everyone) where she delivers anti-bullying training to young people, including the importance of mutual respecting and personal development. Mahealani is currently working with government institutions to create an app to help those experiencing mental health issues. Mahealani is an incredible Anti-Bullying Ambassador who is helping other young people combat bullying and realise their potential.
Zanji is a journalist, gender activist and co-founder of Women Taboos Radio, a grassroots radio channel working towards ensuring harmful traditional laws and norms against women and girls are abolished. She challenges taboo issues including Female Genital Mutilation and menstruation, which tolerate toxic attitudes supporting violence against women and girls. Zanji also founded Ku Mwanachi Foundation, an organisation supporting female market traders by training them in entrepreneurial skills as a means to reduce poverty, severe hunger and gender based violence. Through this training, local women are increasing their income, thereby affording to educate their children and provide healthcare to their families.
Aditi is a passionate philanthropist and an avid volunteer in her community. Aditi dedicates her time volunteering at eight different social service communities. With over 10,000 hours of volunteering under her belt, Aditi dedicates her time to empowering young people, women and the elderly. As a result of her female empowerment work, Aditi was selected by the United Nations Association in Canada to serve as a youth delegate for the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women. She is currently serving as a peer mentor to adolescents who have disabilities, as well as those who are facing violence and abuse and is the founder of ‘My Empowerment Packs’, wellness kits for homeless youth within her community.
The Skills for Learning, Life and Work Group have been working tirelessly over the past year on many events which have helped those who are less fortunate. They have participated in MacMillan Coffee Morning, Vintage Afternoon Tea for the elderly, Nursery Party, Homeless Christmas Box Appeal and a fashion show which raised over £2,500. They have also led school assemblies, inspiring younger pupils to get involved in volunteering. These pupils have given so much of their time, both in and out of school, to run events and give something back to their local community.
Kasha has been a dedicated advocate and entrepreneur since she was eight years old. At 13 she created an after school social justice club to fundraise, raise awareness and volunteer for local causes. At 15 years old, Kasha launched The Global Sunrise Project, a social enterprise for positive impact storytelling through photography, films, and writing. The organisation seeks to highlight global issues and promote action. With the mission to empower youth and ignite their passion and purpose, she made the documentary ‘The Sunrise Storyteller’ and published her own book, which not only won her multiple awards but also has touched thousands worldwide.
The Smile Guild is a group of enthusiastic students who have brought their varied talents together to make society friendlier to mentally challenged individuals and care for the wellbeing of society as a whole. They also contribute their time to educate underprivileged children and eco-wars. They understand that, to a mentally challenged or depressed individual, the stroke of a brush against canvas, the sound of music, the warmth of supportive speech or the adrenaline rush of a game of football can make a world of difference and they aim to touch many hearts through their work.
As a young person with a diagnosis of ASD, Chelsea decided that more needed to be done to support those with this hidden disability, particularly young girls. She initiated, designed and implemented a sensory sanctuary room within her school to support other students with ASD, improving their mental health and wellbeing. Chelsea’s ideas and insight also reshaped the local Girls and Autism Friendship Club, providing girls with autism in the community a place to socialise in a supportive environment. Chelsea gives them the confidence to discuss their diagnosis and demonstrates that ASD is not a barrier to them achieving their goals.
When Aislin was diagnosed with a rare brain disease in 2015, she was not expected to live. But since making a miraculous recovery, she has rebuilt her life and learnt to walk and talk again. Motivated by her life-changing experience, Aislin now fundraises tirelessly for the Encephalitis Society and for Epilepsy Scotland. She raises awareness in school for the Brain Trust, inspiring other pupils and encouraging them to get involved in the cause. Aislin was also involved in a national radio campaign to promote Encephalitis and has helped to raise over £1million for this campaign. She is an amazing inspiration, showing the power of young people to change the world.
SolidariTee was founded with the unique vision of using the student body to fundraise for aid for refugees. Having volunteered during university holidays, the founder witnessed the harms that befell asylum seekers and refugees who did not have sufficient legal support during their time in Greek camps. Motivated to pursue a change, SolidariTee was founded, with hopes of commissioning charity t-shirts to fundraise for the resource-strapped legal aid projects. The first t-shirts dispersed through student societies at universities across the UK and has grown to 36 universities across the UK and USA. The group has coordinated the sale of over 20,000 t-shirts, and is projected to raise funds to the sum of £200,000 this year alone.
Ben was inspired to become an Anti-Bullying Ambassador after seeing the work carried out by a previous Diana Award Holder and seeing the difference that he had made in the school environment. Ben quickly took charge, recruiting other students and making the wider school community more aware of the ambassadors. He has been instrumental in the setting up of an ‘ABC’ (Anti-Bullying Centre) where students can gain support and guidance. Ben is a fantastic role model who can empathise with others and is always striving for new ways to make the issue of anti-bullying more widely acknowledged. He creates further platforms for students to engage, most recently setting up a school anti-bullying Instagram account with the rest of the team.
Springwell Anti-Bullying team have been working incredibly hard to raise awareness of anti-bullying within college and the local community and the negative impact it can have on someone’s physical and mental health. The team has recently launch Wellness Wednesday to raise the profile of mental health and the importance of being kind to others. At break and lunchtimes, the ambassadors have hosted a variety of activities for students and staff to get involved with and spread the feel-good factor. These activities have included introducing a year 7 Bully Busters team and delivering assemblies on Anti-Bullying Week and Safer Internet Day.
Through the use of creative mediums, Aishwarya is fighting to create a better planet for everyone. Her poems, short films and images, born of a passion for nature, have won numerous awards. At 15, Aishwarya was the youngest and first girl in India to win the Sanctuary Asia Young Naturalist Award. From educating local villages to fundraising for tiger conservation, Aishwarya has also spearheaded several Earth Day programs and tree-plantation initiatives across 40 schools, impacting over 200,000 students. Her short film urged the Bombay High Court to state the protection of wetlands. A powerful voice for conservation, Aishwarya is a shining example of a young activist.
Amar is committed to changing road safety across India. As the Founder and President of India Road Safety Campaign, he leads the largest youth led organisation in India with a vision to reduce the lives lost on Indian roads. Amar has developed the largest multi-stakeholder initiative in India that works towards road safety and now operates in 50 Indian cities, 250 schools and more than 1,000 colleges where they provide training and knowledge for youth groups. His work has been recognised by the National Indian Government, UN Agencies and WHO. In 2017, Amar’s efforts resulted in significant awareness for the cause across the nation.
Joseph has committed himself to service and spiritual fellowship among resource constrained communities in Zambia and Malawi. He campaigns to educate young people about STDs through drama skits, role plays and educational camps. He also co-founded an interact club at Kitende Secondary School, which conducts weekly community charities. Joseph has fundraised for and mobilised his peers to visit Sanyu Babies Home, collecting clothes, packed milk, toys as well as volunteering. Today, he co-ordinates and participates in relief campaigns, sponsoring children’s education, visiting village schools and slums as well as creating awareness about human trafficking. These activities are coordinated under his co-founded humanitarian organization ‘The JBcaring Hearts’.
The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors have raised awareness of their work through delivering presentations defining bullying behaviour, its causes, consequences, and preventative strategies to stop and prevent it. They’ve reached their wider-community by making hampers for the elderly and donating to local food banks, receiving thank you letters saying that they ‘reinforced [their] faith in people and life’. By volunteering for a week at summer school, they aided the transition of primary school students into secondary school and have raised £1,180 over the last couple of years for various causes. Furthermore, their peer-mentoring work has inspired 25 younger students to sign up to join them as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and continue their mission.
The Star Buddy programme at Dalziel High School brings together pupils who give up their time to buddy with STAR pupils (Set Targets, Achieve Results), who are vulnerable students with academic or social needs. The Star Buddies support students who struggle with the transition from Primary School, pupils who struggle making friends or those lacking in self-confidence or self-esteem. Pupils set targets with their Star Buddies and support them through their journey to achieve the targets. The programme provides encouragement for vulnerable pupils to go to clubs in school, while providing any emotional or academic support to help them throughout school life.
Maša is a youth educator, campaigner and volunteer, promoting youth activism and raising awareness of bullying amongst young people. Her anti-bullying campaigns have raised over 24,000 euros, making young people feel safer at school and increasing their confidence. She organises workshops, educational tribunes and panel discussions, where students learn how to practice kindness and compassion. Maša is also a delegate of the Union of Highschool students in Montenegro, President of the Students’ Parliament at school, and participant of the UNICEF’s workshops in Montenegro. Knowing that her actions can make others feel that little bit safer is what drives Maša to continue.
Ben is a volunteer champion at Lenzie Academy. Through his work on project Malawi Connections, he has raised awareness of the plight of children in Malawi and has raised funds for Lenzie’s partner school in the country. Ben also volunteers outside his school with Lenzie Old Parish Dementia friendly singing group. He is a Scottish Dementia Friend, and recruits peers and other volunteers to get involved with supporting Dementia patients. Ben’s volunteering work is invaluable for the organisations he supports and leaves a lasting impact on many people.
Once a participant of the Soccer Academy, Kieran now volunteers with the organisation to support young people growing through the programme. In his role as a volunteer, he coaches young people to build their skills and helps them develop in confidence. His natural ability to connect with other young people and to cater his coaching for difference needs makes him a wonderful asset for the Soccer Academy, making Keiran a wonderful example for other young volunteers stepping up to make a difference.
Despite losing her mother in Year 8, Caitlin’s remarkable positive attitude has had a terrific impact on staff and students in her school. Dedicated to improving others’ lives, Caitlin commits her spare time to working hard for others, including constructing a display for her art teacher after school. She fundraises for charities through bucket collections and bake sales, and her commitment to positively impacting others has had a profound effect on her friends and teachers alike. Caitlin acts as a role model through her proactive approach to channelling her grief into positive pursuits and she is labelled an ‘inspiration’ by her peers.
The Student Parliament group organised a series of projects, recognising the need to support their local community. Each member arranged and conducted philanthropic activities by fundraising for a heart surgery and hospital expenses for two of their school friends, school equipment and materials for vulnerable pupils, food and hygiene products for socially endangered families in local area, funds to help Roma families in need, and fundraising for treatment of cancer patients. The group also prepared a five-stage workshop “School without Bullying” with a special focus on mental health care among the pupils and created environmental projects in the city and on the coast.
The Subject Buddies at Dalziel High School are active pupils who give up their study time to help younger pupils in the classroom. As reading partners, maths buddies, science supporters and even physical education helpers, they help students to excel in their education. The Subject Buddies have a good working relationship with their pupils and provide support and encouragement for students to get involved in extracurricular activities. The pupils look up to their Subject Buddies and look forward to working with them, demonstrating the positive working relationships that the students have created to help each other achieve the best that they can.
Ishaan founded the ‘Leo Club, University of Delhi’, in association with Lions International Club, to enable students across Delhi University to engage in activities that will uplift their communities and encourage social action. Under his leadership, Ishaan and a team of over 50 students have organised more than 100 projects over the past 12 months. They have targeted issues including education, poverty, environmental sustainability and women’s empowerment. In his own words he says, ‘I want to create a space with equal opportunity, sustainability and sensitivity, without which, there can be no humanity’.
Inspired by the sustainable living of her grandparents, Niranjana has become a passionate volunteer, promoting environmental and humanitarian causes in the UAE and India. Determined to protect, support and respect the environment, she organises events, campaigns, and engages in public speaking to raise awareness on environmental issues. These include beach clean ups, recycling drives, tree planting as well as sharing articles on the environment on her social media page ‘The Blue Dot’. Her contributions have amassed to 550 hours of volunteering, 1,500 kilos of recyclables and participation from over 200 families.
Surujdai has fought endlessly for the improvement of human rights for detained juveniles in the Sophia Juvenile Detention Facility in Guyana, continuously fighting for youth rights in having an adequate standard of living and access to health care, education and recreation. Through lobbying the Ministers of Social Protection and writing to the Ministry of Security, she was granted permission to start a weekly program within the facility. Working with over 300 at-risk children, aged 10-17, she runs motivational and coaching sessions with the young detainees, offering skills such as conflict resolution. Surujdai has shown bravery and courage in fighting for rehabilitation as opposed to punishment, whilst promoting harmony and peace.
Susan lived in a community where education was not available for every child. So, after getting her degree, she sought to help other children get a better education and act as a role model to these children. She does this by carrying out seminars at schools, paying school fees for students, fundraising to help schools with purchasing furniture and electricity, and organising workshops for young entrepreneurs to connect with successful people in business. Having been made fun of for her skin complexion as a child, she is also passionate about tackling colourism and educates young people on the harmful effects of skin bleaching.
Sunnyhill Primary School’s Peer Mediators are a team of 33 inspiring change makers working to make their school a kinder place. As a group, they organise events, assemblies and class based tasks around anti-bullying, embedding their work across their school so that every pupil enjoys the right to respect and to be free from bullying. The Peer Mediators spend their lunchtimes running a conflict resolution service and have built an environment of inclusivity and support for the mental and physical well-being of their peers. Their energy and enthusiasm has made their school a better place for everyone and they are a leading example for students everywhere.
Berfu is on a mission to change the world by empowering young people through social action projects. As the founding President of The Bona Fide Community, her project collects unused items for donation. This includes more than 3,000 books, 200 toys and 500 pieces of clothing for those in need across Turkey. Berfu’s initiative consists of young people who volunteer, as she believes that young people can become their own heroes. Berfu demonstrates excellent leadership qualities which inspires those around her. She teaches human rights, feminism, design thinking, and social entrepreneurship to young people. She is a great role model and leader for her friends and peers.
Gabby has dedicated the past five years to advocating for our environment, and against educational inequalities in Malaysia and London. She founded ‘Horizon of Hope’, a youth-led organisation supporting refugee and asylum-seeker education. In Malaysia, they designed a UNHCR-endorsed arts curriculum for refugee youth, and fundraise to provide school supplies and food necessities for refugee learning centres. In London, Gabby offers academic support and supplies for attendees of an asylum-seeker drop-in. Additionally, Gabby has led a range of environmental campaigns, initiatives, and awareness events as the UK Team Chair and Malaysian representative on the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council, a Sevenoaks Youth Councillor, and UKSCN member. Gabby constantly sparks action through education and is an inspiration for all.
Pruthvi is an engineering student and founder of the student run non-profit organisation ‘Creightillion Foundation’, with the aim of reducing drop-out rates, encouraging reading and creativity amongst underprivileged students. Pruthvi has set up libraries in rural schools, and introduced reading hours where students can read together and discuss their books, in an effort to improve literacy rates in India. Through collection drives and fundraising, Pruthvi and his team have set up over 7 libraries over 3 states in India, donating over 1000 books to students across the country.
Andrew has been a huge asset in promoting the mental health and wellbeing of the pupils at his school. He struggled during his exams and used to find it difficult to ask for help, but after reaching out for support he realised how important it is for young people to talk about their feelings. Since then, he has worked tirelessly and selflessly to promote an accessible service for pupils which supports their mental health. He encourages pupils to talk about their feelings openly and seek help by sharing his own experience, helping to break down barriers and tackle the stigma around mental health.
Maithili and Yash founded Thrive to improve the wellbeing of young people in low-income communities, raising over a quarter million rupees to fund it. Through Thrive, Maithili and Yash have changed the lives of 700 students across 15 schools, ensuring that these students have access to mental health education and safe spaces within classrooms. The duo mobilised researchers and counsellors in India and the United States to create a workshop curriculum and safer school initiative, which has led to 87 percent of students feeling safer and 93 percent of teachers reporting a reduction in disruptive behaviour.
The Peer Tutor Programme at Coltness High School is an initiative bringing together inspirational pupils to create a support network for those with additional support needs in their school. Through the programme, Peer Tutors assist pupils with their academic studies and support them to access the curriculum and excel in class. Members of the Peer Tutor programme demonstrate initiative and sensitivity throughout their work and have boosted the confidence of students that need it. Together they have enhanced attainment in their school and created an environment of support and inclusivity for all.
Olivia uses her love of books and technology to inspire and educate others, motivating a global audience to access books. She is the creator of LivBits, a platform where she shares short videos for children and teachers about reading, interviews with authors and other inspirational resources. Liv is a regular keynote speaker, addressing audiences at conferences internationally and via her popular social media platforms. She hosts her own podcast, The KidLit Show, and is the co-author of ‘Spark Change: Making Your Mark in a Digital World’, inspiring dialogue around the creative use of technology. Liv regularly visits schools where she speaks to students about books, reading and kindness, boosting their confidence and curiosity.
When Jaime was crowned Miss Earth Canada, she travelled to the Philippines to represent her country. During her experience she, as well as other delegates, experienced sexual harassment. Jaime took a stand by leaving the competition half way through, to raise awareness of sexual harassment and abuse. After speaking out at events and in articles online, she has been volunteering at her local police station for over a year as a Victim Services Advocate. She assists people going through traumatic experiences by arriving with the first responders team to offer them emotional support, validation of their feelings and offering further resources for court procedures, financial benefits, and self care.
Pia is on a relentless mission to protect the future of our planet. After questioning the disposal of plastic bags, Pia was inspired to make a change and switch to using paper bags. But up cropped a new concern – wouldn’t that just mean destroying trees instead? So, Pia came up with a solution of her own, creating Eco-Friendly Bags which use recycled papers and can be reused over and over again. Pia has partnered with local stores, led workshops with local organisations, and spread her message across social media. Thanks to Pia’s efforts, people across Dubai are questioning their plastic consumption and taking new measures to protect our struggling planet.
As a pharmacy student, Erick was aware of antimicrobial agents and their impact on health worldwide, as well as the danger posed by the growing resistance to the life-saving drugs. While still an undergraduate student, Erick led a team that successfully brought attention to antimicrobial resistance to schools all over the country through a nationwide campaign. Through television and radio stations, Erick reached over 6 million people, with antimicrobial ambassadors continuing to spread the message within their communities. His work has encouraged more people in health, agriculture and the community to pay more attention to the problem of antimicrobial resistance and their part in causing or addressing it.
Ziyaan is an advocate of what he believes is ‘The Generation of Change’. After finding out that 500 million girls across the world don’t have access to the necessary menstrual health resources, including his mother when she was young, Ziyaan launched Affordable and Accessible Sanitation for Women (AASW). AASW is an initiative that produces and distributes reusable sanitary packages and equips girls with the necessary skills to give themselves and their communities access to menstrual hygiene. Ziyaan believes that period poverty should be a fight of humanity because no one would be alive if it wasn’t for the reproductive cycle.
Wantoe served as the Ombudsman of the National Children and Youth Advisory Board during the height of the Ebola crisis. It was clear to him that lack of information and protective measures has been part of the reason for the crisis starting. With a team of 11 young people, and his own money, he set about spreading awareness and information through television, radio, blog, vlogs and films. In 2016 he was invited to speak at the first World Humanitarian Summit where his speech generated over 3,000 commitments to action and more than a dozen new partnerships and initiatives for a meaningful change for the world.
At age 11 Meagan Warren created the non-profit Books for Bedtime, dedicated to get books to children who didn’t have the resources to get them on their own. As the organisation’s CEO Meagan has managed to collect and distribute over 70,000 books to individual children, classrooms, libraries, and homeless shelters. Meagan often volunteers to speak at those organisations, inspiring both students and teachers to collect books for Books for Bedtime and to become activists in their own communities. She does what she does for the love of the work and the happiness it brings to others.
Elizabeth Wathuti is the founder of Green Generation Initiative and the fourth recipient of Wangari Maathai Scholarship award, which recognises young outstanding conservationists following in the footsteps of the late Nobel Prize winner professor Wangari Maathai. Through her initiative she has trained over 10,000 primary and secondary school children to be environmentally conscious. She has been running a campaign dubbed ‘adopt a tree campaign’ since 2017 in which over 30,000 trees seedlings, including fruit trees have been planted in schools so far. 98 percent of the seedlings survived and are still being monitored. Elizabeth has shown her passion and personal commitment to environmental conservation, community development and sustainability.
Robin is committed to supporting young people with their mental health through yoga, in the same way that she herself has been helped. After struggling with her mental health, Robin discovered the healing powers of meditation. She now guides other young people, going into schools offering workshops and assemblies, as well as prison groups, through yoga to support their own mental health. Social media plays a massive role in young people’s lives and Robin reaches thousands of people worldwide through the Teen Yoga Foundation’s social media campaign and has raised over £1,000 in funds. It’s clear that this young yogi sees the good in every action.
WE WILL is a group of young people aged 14-18 who are campaigning for change in the way that youth mental health is dealt with in their schools, communities, families and wider social circles. Their message is ‘Have the courage to talk; have the courage to listen. No-one is alone’. Their campaign activities are numerous including making three inspiring viral videos addressing the importance of active listening. The group are using their voice to bring light to an important issue on a local and international level with an incredible ethos of drive, creativity and unequivocal ambition to make a difference.
At the age of 13, Jess is already a staunch advocate for volunteering and is a highly successful and passionate fundraiser. By raising money and awareness for the Huntington’s Disease Association, to which she sadly lost two family members, Jess has inspired her local community to take action. Jess has dedicated her time to numerous initiatives which have raised almost £5,000 for a charity which relies solely on donations. These initiatives include working with over 53 businesses in the region, chairing the Student Charity Group, completing a 20-mile sponsored cycle and founding the mental health awareness group ‘Young Minds’.
Amelia is an active volunteer who is passionate about getting involved in many important causes. During her time at the school she has thrown herself in to different volunteering activities, from her enthusiasm for improving the environment to helping those less fortunate than herself. Amelia’s outgoing, sunny and persuasive nature have made her an excellent champion for many causes and, through her hard work and team-skills, she inspires pupils from across the years to follow her lead as an active citizen.
After the tragic loss of his brother to suicide, Ben became a dedicated mental health advocate. He set up Project #WalkToTalk, an initiative which organises walks around the country to raise awareness about mental health while providing a space for young people to talk openly. Ben has since led a petition to make mental health first aid a compulsory part of teacher training, which has gained over 200,000 signatures. Project #WalktoTalk has attracted attention from the UK Prime Minster and has reached hundreds, both on walks and through social media. Whilst it started with a goal to save just one life, Ben’s project is making a big impact for all those affected by mental illness.
As a group of passionate and enthusiastic fundraisers, the Malawi 2018 group at Williamwood High School have made a lasting improvement to the lives of the pupils of Ekwendeni Primary School in Malawi. To raise money for the school, the group organised a variety of fundraising events including race nights, bag packs, and a Grand Fundraising Ball. Their commitment to fundraising has helped them raise an astounding £34,000 to build a three-classroom block in Malawi and to renovate two existing classrooms. Through their work, the group have made an amazing impact overseas, whilst also inspiring other young people to step up and make a difference.
Highly committed to the Scouting movement for many years, Troy volunteers as a young leader at three Scout groups and is an Assistant County Youth Commissioner, dedicated to supporting younger Scouts. In the last year, Troy has delivered 50 motivational talks and delivered workshops to young people across the North West, in which he encourages them to achieve their goals and believe in their potential. These talks have encouraged others to take up new hobbies and pursue higher awards within Scouting. Beyond this work, Troy also dedicates time to volunteering in care homes for the elderly, delivering workshops and speaking to residents facing bereavement or isolation about shared Scouting experiences.
Olivia was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at age seven and faced constant bullying, in large part because of the sensationalisation of the disorder in the media. This led to the creation of a non-profit organisation whose mission was to raise awareness and foster social acceptance. Olivia delivers presentations in schools and trains other children with Tourette syndrome to advocate for themselves in the classroom. She was invited to speak at Capitol Hill, where her efforts helped secure the renewal of $2,000,000 in federal funding through the Appropriations Bills for Tourette Syndrome at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Jamie-Lea has been dedicated to making a difference throughout her five year journey with the army cadets. Her work has impacted local cadets through securing funding for expeditions. Particularly interested in supporting vulnerable children and families, Jamie-Lea now volunteers for Barnardo’s and has also organised training for Social Workers to improve the care environment for children. Jamie-Lea has overcome many of her own challenges in life and has gone on to help others remain positive and achieve their dreams. This has included supporting a peer through a challenging experience in the care system and empowering them to be involved in decisions about their care.
Victor believes in the transformative power of connection and works to create experiences for students where they can link their interests with their future careers to maximise their potential. He has been recognised for his outstanding academic and humanitarian achievements by Dr. Ben Carson through his scholarship fund. Victor has been rooted in seeking systemic change for social entrepreneurship to better youth education by founding InnovaYouth, a global non-profit that promotes intellectual curiosity in Generation Z students through professional explorations. His work has helped thousands of students develop a passion for learning and sharing knowledge as inspiring lifelong learners.
YesSheCanCampaign is a youth-led national non-profit that is run and led by young people for young people. The team empower and inspire young women and girls to use their stories to make a difference and motivate them to continue their education. These individuals are bravely using their hardships to create an inspiring movement to empower young women to go after their dreams. The YesSheCanCampaign team run 11 programmes across the United States, covering topics such as women’s empowerment, college prep, an annual Sparkle Summit and community service projects. The team truly are living their motto ‘The Climb is Our Story’ through their work, using that story to inspire young women throughout the country.
Inspired by her experience as a young carer for her mum and sister, Bethannie is a pillar of support for other young carers through her work with Young Carer Association (YCA) and the charity Honeypot. She provides targeted support through the charity by helping to prepare meals for children and leading group exercises. Through regional and national activities, Bethanie has raised money to support young carers and has championed the interests of young carers as a public speaker, on BBC radio and even at Downing Street. She is a true role model for other young people and an inspiration for young carers across the UK.
Young Citizens is an ambassador group of young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. They challenge discrimination and inspire other young people, using their experiences to make a difference for those from similar backgrounds. They have developed and delivered workshops to help their peers overcome barriers and have developed a teaching resource to support schools with inclusion work. Through films, media and events they have challenged public perceptions around migrants and refugees and have had their work featured at venues such as the British Museum and City Hall. Young Citizens act as role models to other young people by showing where they are now and giving others hope for their futures.
The Young, Migrant and Welsh group are passionate about challenging stereotypes around race, religion and culture, promoting an ethos of diversity and inclusion. They aim to reclaim the word ‘migrant’ in a positive context, highlighting connections between people in society, regardless on their heritage or lifestyle choices. The group volunteer their time to come up with innovative ways to encourage others to take action in their community. They have spoken at youth events, produced an exhibition in Swansea and Cardiff detailing the experience of migrant young people in Wales, and have produced a teaching resource to equip teachers with the tools to have sensitive discussions around identity in the classroom.
Zarina makes everybody forget about her illness through her work volunteering with disabled children. She believes that all children are the same, whether they are healthy or not. Zarina knows that all children need friends, and that if she can sing for them, play with them or give them toys, she will at least offer some companionship. Zarina has taken part in over 170 charity events, raised thousands of pounds for children’s charities and has even written a book of fairy tales and poems for children, inviting children with disabilities to create the illustrations. Now at university, Zarina is continuing her dream to see a world where all children are treated the same.
Meg Zeenat Wathimi is a revolutionary young leader. Inspired by her own difficult experience, Meg created “My Mind Matters Too”, a student-led mental health consultancy to support those suffering with mental health issues. Her commitment to changing the world for the better has seen her champion anti-bullying in schools, inclusivity and diversity on university campuses, and mental health services in public policy. She is an excellent role model for young people and has dedicated the last few years to providing support and services to young people dealing with mental health issues, all alongside her fulltime studies.