Derry teenager Aodhán Roberts honoured with The Diana Award for ‘going above and beyond’

A Derry teenager has been honoured with The Diana Award for going above and beyond in their daily life to create and sustain positive change.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 10:20 am
Aodhan Roberts.

Aodhán Roberts, aged 18, has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.

The Diana Award was set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. It is committed to fostering, inspiring and developing positive change in the lives of young people through practical social action. It also has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex.

Following the murder of a local journalist in Derry Aodhán set up the social media page ‘Derry Footage’ to share news, stories, and memories from around his hometown. Not only this, but Aodhán thought it was important to be able to use his own experiences to encourage other young people to speak up against wrongdoings. Despite going through tragic family loss and having struggled in the mainstream school system, he still achieved journalistic success after building up his online presence with over 15,000 combined followers and getting up to 5,000,000 unique impressions.

Aodhan Roberts

A large majority of his work is community or issue based. For example, in 2019, he released the short film ‘Impairment’ to bring attention to the recurrent problem of drink-driving.In 2020, he released ‘Overcoming adversity as a community’ which focuses on the unique sense of community and how we can pull together during times of crisis. Both films were shortlisted in several film festivals and in some cases, took the top spot.

Upon receipt of the award Aodhán said: “I am ecstatic and honoured to be a recipient of this prestigious award. To be recognised as someone who is worthy of being tied to Diana’s Legacy for my work on social action, diversity and humanitarianism is really overwhelming. Giving people a voice and shining a light on different topics and issues is so important to me. I also think that it’s particularly important to stay positive, be a good example to people around you and speak confidently in yourself and in your work. I would like to thank Headliners UK for the nomination - there are only better things to come.”

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, says: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and all over the globe who are changemakers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens. For over twenty years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”