The first of the charities I've designated as a recipient of sponsorship from the North Pole trek is Diana Award. Founded in 1999, the organisation believes young people have the power to change the world for the better. Awards are presented to individuals who make a positive difference in their community and currently there are around 42,000 award holders around the UK. I'm not going to try to repeat their goals here as that would be counter-productive and they have done a much better job of articulating their aims here: http://diana-award.org.uk/about-us.
What I will say is that I agree with Princess Diana's statement that young people are the future; guiding, inspirating and encouraging them are key to a better world.
In April 2015 I had the pleasure to meet Katie Marple, the outgoing Head of Awards and Network Programmes, and Emma Scott, the Mentoring and Network Training Manager for Diana Award. They were incredibly patient, listening to me lumber through the reasons why I had decided to support their charity and tales of the gruesome injuries I've received over the years.
In return for a potted account of my intentions, they gave me a deeper understanding of what Diana Award seeks to achieve, highlighting the anti-bullying programme they launched a few years ago. Both impressive women and very passionate about the work they do.
After regaling the two ladies with a few more stories I left the building feeling pretty good. I do believe that, given the focus the organisation has, the fit between what I am going to do and inspiring youth is perfect.
Next step: meeting Tessy Ojo, the CEO. Really looking forward to this and will update you all following the meeting.