The students and staff had a very early 6am start on Monday 4 July. Mr McDonald drove the school minibus and it was a seamless journey, arriving in good time at the Head Quarters of Barclays Bank, in Canary Wharf.
We were there to receive Diana Awards. Once we had refreshments we were shown to our seats for the awards ceremony. There was a welcome speech by Tessi Ojo, CEO of the Diana Awards, who spoke about how inspirational young people could change the world.
We also heard a very moving speech by Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana, about how she had displayed her caring, nurturing nature in her care for him as her younger brother. He also spoke of her commitment to empowering & supporting young people to reach their potential.
The other presenter was Rob Forkan, co-founder of “Gandy’s flip flops”. Rob and his brother Paul were orphaned in the 2004 tsunami and have worked hard to establish the Gandy’s Foundation which supports the Orphans for Orphans initiative.
All of our students were called either individually or as a group to receive their certificates and badges from the Prime Minister, David Cameron. They also received invitations for themselves and a guest to visit Althorp, childhood home of Princess Diana. We then had a lovely lunch provided by Barclays and time to meet the other award winners.
Lunch was followed by workshops on public speaking and sustaining social action & campaigning. All of our students took an active role in the workshops and came away with lots of ideas on how they would like to take H2L forward.
The journey back was much quieter with several taking the opportunity to have a power nap!
The whole event was an amazingly positive experience for both students and staff and Neale-Wade is proud of all that our students stand for.