Prince William has called for “urgent change” so young people can “inherit” a better world.
The Duke of Cambridge has backed the Diana Award – a charity founded in memory of his late mother, Princess Diana – and their five-year Future Forward strategy, which aims to help boost potential by creating opportunities for youths to influence the world around them.
William penned a foreword for the strategy document and spoke of the young people he’d met during the coronavirus pandemic, who were keen to help their communities recover, as well as tackle social inequality.
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 organisation’s key initiatives are a mentoring programme for at risk young people, an award scheme which recognised the efforts of youngsters and a youth-led anti-bullying ambassador scheme.
The Future Forward plan details a number of projects – from empowering young people to confront negative behaviour online and in schools to supporting organisations to mentor the next generation – and also aims to develop a global network of “changemakers”, as well as increase its influence over policies and practices which affect the youth of today.
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.”