The Queen’s Young Leaders Award

Her Majesty The Queen presented the inaugural Queen’s Young Leaders Awards to four young people from Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Monday 22nd June.

Donnya Pigott, Kellyn George, Javon Liburd and Kenville Horne are among 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth who have been recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.

Donnya had to overcome prejudice and personal challenges when she decided to set up an advocacy group for sexual minorities. Barbados – Gays and Lesbians and All-sexuals Against Discrimination (B-Glad) is a lone lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights organisation on the island. Donnya has engaged with the Prime Minister about issues facing the LGBT community and hopes to continue supporting marginalised young people in her country.

Kellyn was born with sickle cell anaemia and has endured many complications with her health. Her experiences motivated her to establish The Sickle Cell Cares Foundation in Dominica. The organisation raises awareness of the disease and aims to help those who are affected to manage their healthcare as well as possible.

Despite facing financial hardship, Javon’s single mother instilled in him the value of education. This inspired Javon to set up J3H, a project that helps young people in his community in St Kitts. J3H has raised funds to give prizes to outstanding students from village schools.

Kenville is a young father who turned his back on a life of gangs. After completing his education, he started a sports programme for disadvantaged children in St Vincent and the Grenadines. He helps them to reach their potential and raises awareness of the danger of drugs.

Before receiving their Award at Buckingham Palace the winners met the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, visited the headquarters of global social networking company, Twitter and met with senior executives at the BBC World Service.

Donnya Pigott said: “I am so happy to be one of the first recipients of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. To be recognised for my work and be presented with an Award by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace is such a huge honour. I can’t wait to meet all the other Award winners in London and get involved in all the exciting activities that are taking place throughout the week.”

This year’s Award winners are aged between 18 and 29 and are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including; education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

Following the ceremony on the 22nd June, Award winners will spend four days in the UK to take part in a residential development programme as part of the Award prize. The programme includes workshops at Cambridge University, meetings with UK businesses leaders, and visits to life changing social action projects.

To see a full list of Award winners and Highly Commended runners up, and read more about theirstories please visit

If you or someone you know is doing inspiring work like this year’s Queen’s Young Leaders, from 7pm on Monday 22nd June you can apply or nominate someone for a 2016  Award at

For more information contact:

Anouska Russell at Comic Relief on 020 7820 2500 or“>

Notes to editors

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme 

donya-from-barbadosThe Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, has established The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee. Guided by the values of the Commonwealth Charter, the goal of the Programme is to enable young people to step up as leaders and improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth.

Award details

Each year from 2014 to 2018, 60 exceptional young people will be selected to receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award and become ‘Queen’s Young Leaders’ – one for every year that The Queen had served as Head of the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee.

As part of the Award, winners will receive bespoke mentoring and online learning provided by the University of Cambridge. Award winners will attend a week-long residential programme in the UK in June, when they will receive their Award at Buckingham Palace from Her Majesty The Queen.

Criteria to win an award:

** Nominees will have proven experience of working to improve their communities locally, regionally or at a national level and will show evidence of their achievements

** Nominees will be aged between 18 and 29 for the year of the Award and be citizens of a Commonwealth country

** Nominees will demonstrate evidence of their leadership qualities

** Priority will be given to individuals who have overcome challenges to achieve their goals

** All nominees will need to be supported by a suitable referee.

The Partners

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is a charitable foundation, established in 2012, to mark and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth. The Trust has received donations from governments, corporate partners, trusts, foundations, community groups and individuals from across the Commonwealth, and its programmes work in alliance towards eliminating avoidable blindness and to empower a new generation of young leaders. With a five-year timeframe in which to deliver successful programmes, the Trust’s aim is to leave a lasting legacy, owned by the whole Commonwealth, to honour Her Majesty The Queen. For more information go to:

Comic Relief

Established in 1985, Comic Relief is a major UK fundraising and grant making charity which uses the power of entertainment to create long-lasting change. Its vision is a just world, free from poverty. It strives to make this vision a reality by supporting poor, disadvantages and vulnerable people in the UK and across some of the world’s poorest communities to change their own lives for the better. Discover more at:

Royal Commonwealth Society

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), founded in 1868, is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Working through a range of educational, civil society, business and governmental networks, the RCS addresses issues that matter to the Commonwealth citizens. For more information go



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