Wellbeing Ambassadors & Surrey Heath Youth Council scoop National Award
21 Young people from Two of Eikon’s projects have won the Prestigious National Diana Award. This national award is established in memory of the late Princess of Wales, which recognizes young peoples’ contributions to society. The young people are engaged in one of two Social Action Projects supporting young people across Surrey; Eikon Well Being Ambassadors FHES from Farnham Heath End and Eikon’s Surrey Heath Youth Council. Each of the 21 young people were recognised because of the selfless desire and the time they volunteered to make a difference to the wellbeing of young people in their community.
A group of six students, Year 10 “Wellbeing Ambassadors”, were challenged to improve the wellbeing of their peers and help those who are experiencing stress.
With support from the Eikon youth specialist based at FHES, the students created the “Box of Sunshine”, a small box filled with items and information to alleviate stress.
They pitched their idea to many external agencies, including Surrey Police, Surrey Youth Focus, the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Mayor of Farnham and secured an initial seed funding of £20. They then went onto successfully secure £2,821 from the Community Foundation for Surrey to mass produce the boxes.
The boxes have now been distributed in nine other secondary schools across Surrey to help students in those schools.
Participating students have learnt valuable life skills during the project such as how to work effectively in a team, devise and deliver presentations, and manage a project from conception to delivery,
They are due to collect their award at a central London ceremony in July. The team have also created a film about their initiative, which was launched at Farnham Maltings arts centre on Sunday 17 June.
Principal, Stuart Maginnis, said: “Wellbeing is a huge issue in our schools with young people facing pressures from many different sources, not least social media. We are extremely proud that our young people have worked together to come up with this award-winning idea. The fact that is has now been rolled out to nine other schools is validation of its effectiveness.”
The school is now recruiting another cohort of ambassadors from its current Year 9 students in order to maintain the focus on wellbeing and young people supporting one another.
Surrey Heath Youth Council were also recognised with a Diana Award for their role in engaging young people across their community to campaign against mental health stigma and increase awareness of the importance of positive emotional and mental health.
The members worked together over a 2 year period, planning, researching, looking at ideas such as website and apps, meeting professionals from the mental health field, and finally decided to host a conference to all the local Schools to challenge stigma around mental health.
The young people planned the whole event to use role play, YouTube films, expert panels and a Q&A session for young people and those watching via our live link. On the day we were lucky to hear the experience of a young people who has experienced mental health issues and worked with CAMHS.
Clinical Director and Consultant Child Psychiatrist for CAMHS, Dr Phil Ferreira-Lay said, “This event has really increased awareness of the importance of all young people’s emotional and mental health. It stimulated conversations and attendees seemed inspired and helped. This is an excellent and important initiative that needs to be rolled out across all areas of Surrey.”
2019 nominations for The Diana Award are now open until Spring 2019 and can be submitted at diana-award.org.uk/award. The age range for the The Diana Award has now increased to 25 years to recognise a greater range of young people from across the world.