Diana Award 2018

St. Mary’s, Menston is delighted to announce that fourteen of their past and present students have been publicly honoured with the prestigious Diana Award.

Laurence Patterson, Ewan Copsey, Tadhg Collins, George Powell, Larissa Meggitt, Pauline Hall, Rosie Egan, Lorna Gilroy-Turner, Ezra Cheng, Megan O’Connor, Phoebe Kendall, Niamh Devine, Natasha Cooper and Katie Fearnley were awarded The Diana Champion Volunteer Award for their work in South Africa as part of The Bambisanani Partnership.

The students were volunteers who visited the country in June 2017. They delivered a Sports Leadership programme to South African students, teachers, Sports Assistants and volunteers in Kwa Zulu Natal, one of South Africa’s most deprived areas. The programme resulted in the South African students organising and delivering sports and reading festivals for over one hundred local primary school children. The St. Mary’s students also delivered curriculum lessons to classes full of eager South African students. Their delivery was outstanding and the South African students were treated to learning about a diverse range of subjects such as the names and demise of Henry VIII’s wives, to the workings of the digestive system. A significant part of their volunteering was their work at a South African orphanage. The students took a range of equipment from the UK to uMlalazi Day Care Centre and spent time singing, dancing and reading with the children.

Named after the late Princess of Wales, the Award is one of the highest accolades a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts, and is supported by Prince William and Prince Harry.

The students were presented with their awards at a star studded ceremony at Leeds College of Music. Among the guests at the ceremony were Musharaf ‘Mushy’ Asghar, who found fame in the hit show Educating Yorkshire, Emmerdale actress Eden Taylor-Draper and The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Edward Anderson. The ceremony was opened by past St. Mary’s students The Dunwells, brothers Dave and Joe, who treated the audience to their song, ‘Lucky Ones’.

“Young people are sometimes not talked about in a great way, and the Diana Award is about shining a spotlight on the collective brilliance of young people. I am so proud of the young people we are celebrating. I am proud they have touched the lives of others. For me their stories are absolutely amazing.”
— Tesse Ojo, Chief Executive of The Diana Award

“I feel privileged to witness the outstanding work of the St. Mary’s students. The impact of their work in both South Africa and the UK is exceptional. Despite many difficulties and frustrations, the St. Mary’s students have made a real difference to people’s lives. Their work is truly special.”
— Mrs Catherine Chattoe, Bambisanani Partnership Co-ordinator