The Duke of Sussex launches appeal for Youth Mentors

Yesterday The Duke of Sussex spoke passionately about his mother, fatherhood, and the responsibilities of nurturing the next generation. Prince Harry helped launch an appeal for a nationwide network of youth mentors, closing the first National Youth Mentoring Summit, held at the Banking Hall in London. 

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The Summit was sponsored by The Diana Award and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Mentoring. The British government established The Diana Award 1999 to support vulnerable young people and their efforts to overcome social mobility barriers. Most importantly, like the late princess herself, the organisation believes that young people have the power to change the world.

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, declared that “no one should be left behind based on their postcode.” 

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The National Youth Mentoring Summit represents an evolution of the Award’s mentoring program, established in 2012. The Summit featured impressive panelists from the non-profit, government, academic, and business communities. Most importantly, however, were the voices of mentees themselves, who shared how their lives had been changed by the mentor/mentee relationship.

Jeevan S. Chagger, a mentee, reports that “mentoring is not just about teaching but building relationships that are long term where both learn from one another.”

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Harry spoke in support of the organisation’s drive to secure 500 mentors to work with 2,000 young people by 2022. Yesterday’s appeal was to highlight the need not only for funding but for businesses – both large and small – to allow and encourage employees to participate in the programme. 

You don’t have to be a princess or a public figure to be a role model, in fact it’s equally valuable if you’re not because it’s more relatable,” the Duke said. “Being a role model and mentor can help heal the wounds of your own past and create a better future for someone else.” 

[Image: PH speaking with @TTall and group, Diana Award Twitter]

Prince Harry clearly had a someone else in mind – his two month old son, Archie. The Duke spoke of a “newfound clarity” he’s had since becoming a father, and is keenly aware that his son will be watching his every move. “But it’s not just my role as a father that shows me that; it’s in the people I see every day who don’t realise how inspirational they are to those watching,” he continued.

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Harry concluded by saying how proud he was of the mentees in attendance. “I can safely say that my mother, who would have turned 58 yesterday, would feel the same.”

For more information on mentoring and how to participate in the programme visit The Diana Award.

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