In the Volunteer Centre, we know that LSE students contribute so much to their local communities through volunteer work but we love to seem the being recognised by others. This year an outstanding five LSE students and alumni were recipients of the Diana Award 2021 and we’re here to shout about them! The Diana Award honours young people who work to improve the lives of others. The Award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. So if you’re looking to be inspired today, take a read of their nominations!
Elsie Ayotunde Cullen (MSc Health and International Development, 2022)
“Elsie founded the community interest company ‘OURPPLS’, following a successful self-produced 7 day festival in a Hackney community centre. ‘OURPPLS’ provides access to engage in arts and culture for local people who would not otherwise have these opportunities. This includes facilitating free workshops on topics such as website design and art therapy, as well as running a book club. Elsie adapted ‘OURPPLS’ to meet local needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering an online children’s club, and is passionately supporting her community through mental wellbeing, creativity and personal development. All whilst working as a nurse and alongside other studies.”
Palak Sharma (MSc International Social and Public Policy 2020)
“Palak gave up a place on the Civil Service Fast Stream, in order to return to India to help the country meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Palak co-founded the ‘Green Governance Initiative’, with an aim of influencing policy to reflect the development goals and making sure the SDGs are implemented at a grassroots level. A graduate from LSE, Palak has juggled her voluntary work with a full-time Master’s degree. Palak’s focus is on showing young people they have the potential to change the world. She has now trained thousands of young people to understand the SDGs and connected policymakers with young people to create real change.”
Katrina Lambert (BSc Politics and International Relations, 2022)
“Katrina got involved with volunteering at the age of 15 when, frustrated by her experiences of gender inequality, she joined the ‘Girlguiding British Youth Council Delegation’ as the Scottish representative. Katrina has since become the youngest to give evidence at the UN Committee Against Torture. She is driven by a desire to eradicate societal inequalities has shown her commitment to the belief that young people really can play a key role in shaping a better society for everyone, through her roles as an ambassador for the ‘Year of Young People in Scotland’, a trustee for ‘Volunteering Matters’ and an ‘#iwill’ ambassador.”
Sarmed Hyder (BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 2021)
“Sarmed was spurred to get involved in politics following the 2016 EU referendum. Seeing how disengaged many of his peers were from political life, he became a founding member of ‘YouthPolitics UK’, using peer-to-peer youth networks to help young people from all backgrounds to engage with politics and get their voices heard. Last year, Sarmed led a campaign encouraging thousands of young people to register to vote. Sarmed has also been instrumental in coordinating workshops for young people to develop skills in debating, campaigning and public speaking – including an online ‘Crash Course in Political Discourse’ over lockdown – and bringing them together with leading political figures such as Andy Burnham and Alastair Campbell.”
Mock Yi Jun (BSc in Politics and International Relations, 2019)
“Many young people in Singapore struggle to find support as they try to make important decisions about their future careers. Yi Jun co-founded ‘Advisory Singapore’, a fully youth-led nonprofit dedicated to empowering young Singaporeans to make informed career and further education choices. Through a range of initiatives, such as an online repository of interviews with working professionals, industry panels and learning journeys, as well as mentorship and schools-based career guidance, Yi Jun and his team break down the structural barriers between young people and industries. Together, they have engaged over 139,000 students to overcome economic inequality, find meaningful work and pursue their passions.”
We are honoured and privileged to be part of a community abundant in young leaders and students who are passionate about giving back to their communities! A massive congratulations to all five of our LSE recipients and we hope you are still celebrating.