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12 August 2021

William backs Diana charity empowering next generation to change the world

12 August 2021

The Duke of Cambridge has called for “urgent change” to enable young people to “inherit” a better world as he backed an ambitious plan from a youth charity founded in his mother’s memory.

William praised the Diana Award as it launched its five-year Future Forward strategy that aims to unlock the potential of young people by creating opportunities for them to influence the world around them.

The Diana Award, which honours the legacy of the duke’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales, hopes to inspire the nation’s next generation to take action.

The Diana Award was launched in memory of the Princess of Wales (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Wire)

In a forward for the Future Forward strategy document, the duke says during the pandemic he met young people who had shown commitment to helping their communities recover, and more widely tackle social inequalities and injustices.

He added: “Organisations like the Diana Award have never been more important in nurturing the talent of young people and working with them to change the world for the better, by celebrating their successes, creating opportunities for growth, and ensuring that young people have a seat at the table.

“The world has changed significantly in the 20 years since the Diana Award was established in my mother’s memory. However, challenges remain, and urgent change is needed so that young people inherit a world of which we can be proud.”

The Diana Award was set up to promote Diana’s belief young people have the power to change the world for the better.

The organisation’s three key initiatives are a mentoring programme for young people at risk, a youth-led, anti-bullying ambassadors campaign and an award scheme – the Diana Award – which recognises young people.

Diana with her sons Harry and William (Martin Keene/PA) (PA Archive)

Under its Future Forward plan a range of projects has been outlined – from supporting organisations to invest time and resources to mentor the next generation, to fostering a peer-to-peer, anti-bullying movement to empower young people to confront negative behaviour in schools and online.

The Diana Award also aims to increase its voice and influence over policies and practices affecting the young people it supports and develop a global network of “changemakers”.

The charity plans to enhance its working practices to meet the needs of its ambitious five-year programme.

Tessy Ojo, the Diana Award’s chief executive, said: “We know young people are often closest to society’s problems with many at risk of poor mental health and low social mobility.

“In the shadow of the pandemic, we need to take action now. Who better to lead that change than young people? We know young people have the talent, passion and insight to shape the future and lead the recovery.

“Our Future Forward strategy empowers young people to lead positive change.”

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