A major part of the Diana Award’s work is around anti-bullying. It has trained an extensive network of young people to act as anti-bullying ambassadors in UK schools. It has also made four badges available for the students to work towards: one of them is called Community Action. This is an engaging and imaginative scheme, which will help young people develop their understanding of community and community participation. There are apparently 451 appearances of the words ‘community’ or ‘communities’ in the UK government’s recent levelling-up White Paper, not to mention talk of ‘social capital’ and ‘community covenants’. Whatever those phrases mean, the future of our communities depends to a large extent on today’s young people and on the generations that follow. That’s why community education matters. And that’s why schemes such as this one matter too.
Data published by the Anti-Bullying Alliance indicates how widespread bullying remains:
Data we collected from pupil questionnaires completed between September 2020 and March 2021 also showed that one in five (21%) pupils in England report being bullied a lot or always, with 1 in 22 (4.6%) – the equivalent of one in every classroom – saying they are frequently hit, kicked or pushed by other children. Rates of bullying increased to 30% for children with special educational needs and disabilities and 27% for children in receipt of free school meals.from the website of the Anti-Bullying Alliance
The Diana Award is an organisation dedicated to realising the ’empowering young people’ vision of Diana, Princess of Wales. It is the only charity set up in Diana’s name, and her sons, William and Harry, are both keen supporters of its goals: unlocking potential, creating opportunities and inspiring action.
The role of a Diana Award anti-bullying ambassador is “to help educate their peers on bullying, lead on anti-bullying campaigns, promote a culture which celebrates and tolerates difference and help keep their peers safe both online and offline.”
The Diana Award makes four badges available, covering Wellbeing, Respect, Online Safety and Community Action. To earn a badge, students need to work on a relevant campaign involving at least five actions or pieces of work. Activity suggestions for the Community Action badge include:
Community is a key focus of Life-Based Learning — one of its nine life themes. In our recent blog Vibrant communities enrich us all and need to be strengthened we highlighted and celebrated the amazing community work of a small selection of young people. We also wrote about the importance of community education to ensure that our children and young people have the knowledge, skills and values to contribute positively to community life — to the mutual benefit of both.
The image at the head of this article is from the Diana Award website.