Talented young community champions from across Yorkshire were last night presented with awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements.
A total of 75 inspirational young achievers were honoured in the Diana Awards, named after the late Princess of Wales.
One of the winners, Emily Warrilow, 15, from Whitcliffe Mount School in Cleckheaton, dedicated her award to late Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox, who supported Emily’s campaign to demolish a derelict building in her area.
Emily told the YEP: “I knew Jo Cox really well. She helped me with everything. In September, when I go back to school, I want to do an inspirational women’s event for Jo because she was my role model.”
The Diana Award was established in 1999 and is presented to young people who have contributed something special to society. Among the other winning youngsters was Matthew Vasey, 13, who raised over £2,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, having lost his father to the illness.
Also winning an honour was young dancer Junior Frood, 12, who has raised almost £300,000 for charities across the UK. He also performed a dance routine at the ceremony, as did young performer Bethany Hare. The gongs were presented by former Coronation Street actress Lucy-Jo Hudson.
Rebecca Parkin, 18, who won the award for her campaign against bullying, told the YEP that she has had positive feedback from other victims of bullying. She said: “People have been saying: ‘where you shared your story, it has actually helped me to get through bullying’.
“And because I have autism as well, it inspires them to know that they can achieve great things”.
Tessy Ojo,chief executive of the Diana Award, said: “Today is about celebrating young people who have shown compassion, young people who have been selfless in their communities.
“This is about Diana’s legacy.”