Chance to Inspire and be inspired

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On November 9 I was honoured to receive my regional Diana Award and was also privileged to co-host the Inspire North event, writes Jemima Browning.

This is one of the seven such events across the UK where young people from the region are presented with their Diana Award.

My fellow hosts for Inspire North were, fellow Diana Award Holder, BBC’s Abbie Dewhurst and the fantastic Brian Ascroft who also received a Diana Award.

As the hosts, our day began bright and early at the Leeds College of Music. We had a full rehearsal of the afternoon’s events. I felt rather intimidated as we were using brand new autocue mirrored technology called Presidential Prompters. I had never had experience with such technology but once I became used to it, I felt much better.

Once our rehearsals had finished another Award winner, Junior Frood, came to run through his amazing dance piece.

His dance told his story and experience with bullying and how he overcame that. He was an inspiration and a true example of the resilience and determination he had shown to overcome his barriers and adversity. He is also an advocate for young boys, giving them the message that boys can dance.

The audience then started to arrive, and the auditorium filled up.

Among the audience were, representing her majesty the Queen, Dame Ingrid Roscoe, Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, McFly’s Danny Jones, Paralympic Gold Medallist and World Champion Hannah Cockcroft. They all presented the awards.

Also, there were representatives from the sponsors, Talk Direct Leeds, Pugata Jewellery, Denham UK and the CEO of the Diana Award Tessy Ojo.

My role was to announce each winner. Therefore, I got the incredible opportunity to read about each winner. I was truly inspired by each and every one.

They all showed such selflessness, unity, integrity and it really gave me hope to hear about the work they are doing in their communities.

The work they all do really shows the power young people have to change the world, a true belief of Diana Princess of Wales.

A quote I particularly like is “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Diana, Princess of Wales. This truly summarises the Diana Award ethos.

The young people are performing amazing and long-lasting acts of kindness and compassion with no expectation of reward. The Diana Award organisation is carrying out kindness for them by rewarding and recognising their wonderful achievements.

The event was also attended by two of my fellow Inaugural Diana Legacy Award winners, Brooke Taylor and Mathew White-Iley. It was fantastic to see them both as I hadn’t seen them since our award ceremony in St James’ Palace, London. It was great to hear more about the work they have continued.

There followed a workshop where all the award winners were given the opportunity to develop their skills. The Diana Award team, my fellow Legacy Award winners and I hosted the workshops. They were thoroughly enjoyed by every participant and I spoke to many winners who all learnt so much from the afternoon. I left feeling elated. I had learnt new skills and had new experiences. I had met so many unbelievable young people of whom I know will continue their work to improve their communities and act as role models.