The campaign kicks off its 20th anniversary year to drive a new wave of nominations from across the world for an award in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Cody McManus, 10, was chosen to represent the most prestigious accolade a young person can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. The youth charity benefits from the support of Diana, Princess of Wales’ sons, The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex.
All the young people leading the campaign, along with Cody – who come from the UK, USA, Canada, India and UAE – challenge negative stereotypes young people are often labelled with.
When keen boxer Cody was nine he realised that some of his friends and classmates would be getting nothing or little at Christmas time and felt compelled to change this. He launched his own fundraising campaign Cody’s Christmas Toy Box, a sponsored challenge to box eight other young people in order to raise enough toy donations to fill an entire boxing ring. Through his efforts, he raised a staggering £12,000 worth of toys which he gave to more than 500 children. For this, Cody received a Diana Award himself in 2018.
He said: “If anyone is ever thinking about doing stuff to make a difference to other people then you should just do it, because you can’t assume that someone else will. I was only eight when I did my first Christmas fundraiser so if I could do it at that age then anyone can.”
Tessy Ojo, CEO of the Diana Award, said: “The stories of the 12 young people taking part in this campaign to mark our 20th anniversary will drive a new wave of nominations and inspire others to make positive change.
“Our research reveals that the vast majority of young people want to make a positive impact on society. We urge communities from across Scotland to visit our website and tell us about more young people like Cody who deserve to be recognised with the Diana Award.”
The Change_Makers campaign has been supported by British Airways as part of their commitment to have a positive impact in local communities through supporting children and young people living challenging lives in the UK and overseas
Holly Gray, British Airways’ community investment manager, added: “We are proud to support projects and individuals who make a positive, lasting impact in their communities and are very much looking forward to welcoming the deserving winners.”
Nominations are now open for young people aged 9-25yrs. The deadline is 29 March. Visit https://diana-award.org.uk today and nominate the young person you’d like to put forward.