Hemel Hempstead woman wins prestigious award in memory of Princess Diana

The Diana Award honors young people who work to improve the lives of others

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:44 pm

A woman from Hemel Hempstead has been honoured with The Diana Award for going above and beyond in their daily life to create and sustain positive change.

Sarah-Beth Parker, 25, has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award.

Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex.

Sarah-Beth Parker
Sarah-Beth Parker

The Diana Award honors young people who work to improve the lives of others

Sarah-Beth started the first-ever British Sign Language (BSL) society at the University of Brighton in 2018 and successfully led it as president for two and a half years, alongside her studies.

During her time as president, Sarah-Beth raised over £1,000 for Deaf charities, collaborated with others organisations, including running a workshop with the university’s nursing society on useful healthcare signs, and raised awareness for BSL and inclusivity around the campus and beyond.

Notably, the society was not just aimed at the Deaf community, but to also enable hearing people learn a new skill.

Before the pandemic Sarah-Beth organised Christmas carol fundraisers to raise money for charity

Whilst raising awareness for BSL as a language and creating a more inclusive community for Deaf and hearing students alike.

Sarah-Beth said: "It is an honour, I feel privileged to receive this award in Diana's name.

"It is great because it feels like we are paving the way to make the world more inclusive. I am proud to be able to do this.

"I set up the British Sign Language society in my first year and we have been working on that for three years.

Before the pandemic Sarah-Beth organised Christmas carol fundraisers to raise money for charity

"We did Christmas caroling and raised £176 for the National Deaf Children's Society before the pandemic.

"During the pandemic we did zoom sessions to keep people involved, and during the summer we continued the sessions so people wouldn't feel lonely.

"This Christmas we did a caroling fundraiser on zoom for SignHealth, The Deaf Health Charity and raised £940.

"We have been doing zoom sessions and raising awareness about how to support deaf people."

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said: “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.”

Award recipients have been put forward by adults who know the young people in a professional capacity and recognised their efforts as a positive contribution to society.

Through a rigorous nomination process, these nominators had to demonstrate the nominee’s impact in five key areas: Vision, Social Impact, Inspiring Others, Youth Leadership, and Service Journey.

There are 12 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each UK region or nation and a further three panels representing countries outside of the UK.

Each panel consist of three judges; one young person, an education or youth work professional, and a business or government representative.

The panels determine which nominations from each UK region/nation/country will receive The Diana Award.