70 youngsters up for Diana awards at Canary Wharf reception

Seventy youngsters are being presented today with the Diana Award for improving the lives of others at a special lunchtime reception in east London.

The youngsters, some as young as nine, receive the annual award at Barclays’ Canary Wharf HQ in memory of Princess Diana because they put themselves out to help others.

One of them is a 12-year-old girl who was so grateful to the hospital that saved her grandfather’s life that she swam the English Channel to raise £15,000 for them.

Another is a 13-year-old boy who slept in a tent in his garden through the winter enduring wet and cold nights for a year to raise £10,000 for an extension to his local gym for 400 children on the waiting list to start gymnastics.

A 17-year-old girl set up a group of youngsters which organises ‘peace’ buses and safe havens to prevent youth violence.

Another 17-year-old campaigns to raise awareness of eczema with his children’s story book ‘Itchy Witchy’ that encourages youngsters to stay positive through the condition and has distributed copies to schools where he lives.

Diana Award chief executive Tessy Ojo said: “Many of these youngsters have disadvantaged backgrounds—but they share a deep sense of social responsibility.”

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The awards are being presented by Barry and Margaret Mizen, who set up the Jimmy Mizen Foundation following the murder of their teenage son at Lewisham 10 years ago.

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