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Young Merton Together

Merton student and SHINE volunteer Mia Ciano wins the Diana Award

Mia CianoTo celebrate Princess Diana’s Birthday this 20th Anniversary year, The Diana Award released their Roll of Honour for 2017. The names of over 750 outstanding young people, from across the UK and the world, were announced last month. These exceptional young people embody Princess Diana’s qualities of kindness, compassion and service.

Merton is very proud as one of our own students and, a very young volunteer, won the Award.

Mia Ciano, Raynes Park High School pupil, and SHINE Merton volunteer (see image left) is not an ordinary 13 year old. She is one of the youngest volunteers in Merton and has trained as a Peer Mentor as soon as she graduated Shine Saturday School in 2016.

She is a true Shine ambassador and spends six hours a week offering younger children academic support and guidance. Mia also volunteers on a number of community events as a steward and has supported the Shine project in a number of publicity campaigns by giving speeches and promoting the work that we do. Mia loves the opportunity to give back, spending over 300 hours of volunteering per year and offering study support to over 120 of the most disadvantaged pupils in Mitcham Town. As part of her award, Mia will visit Althorp this Summer.

Kristina Burton SHINE Merton Project Manager said: ‘We are very proud of Mia’s achievements! I hope that her Award will inspire many young people to follow her steps and help out in the community".

About the Diana Award

The Diana Award is the longest running award for young people that is given to individuals and groups through a retrospective nomination process only. We believe this is special: young people do not work towards our award, rather they demonstrate their suitability through their actions, without expectation of reward. We believe this makes The Diana Award unique and the reason why young people form a deep connection to the award.

The Diana Award was set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. It is committed to fostering, inspiring and developing positive change in the lives of young people through practical social action. Today The Diana Award has the support of both her sons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The Diana Award invests in developing young people through four key programmes:

  1. Our flagship Award – the Diana Award, continues to shine a spotlight on outstanding young people through a retrospective nomination process.
  2. Our peer-led Anti-Bullying Campaign, enables young people to change the attitudes, behaviours and culture of bullying both offline and online through a multifaceted approach.
  3. Our structured Mentoring Programme builds resilience and character for the most vulnerable young people in our society, helping them gain key competencies needed to navigate life successfully.
  4. Our Inspire Series Programme, supports and enables young people to take positive action in their communities, helping them build leadership skills.

Over the next five years, we want to go further. Our aspiration is that the 11,000 hours that young people spend in full time education, are safe and bully-free hours, that young people have the tools, skills and competencies to effectively cope with, bounce back from and challenge bullying behaviour in their schools. Our hope is that vulnerable young people in our society have the opportunity to succeed in life through an effective and structured mentoring experience that ensures social mobility.

Finally, through a varied curriculum of experiences and opportunities, young people acquire the skills needed to succeed in life and in work.

Nominations for 2018 are now open – www.diana-award.co.uk

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