International Youth Day is on 12 August and with that in mind we have chosen Meghan Willis as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Meghan, at 14 years old, is the youngest member of Wales’ para swimming squad for this year’s Commonwealth Games being held in Birmingham.
Meghan will race the SM10 200 metre individual medley for swimmers with upper limb deficiencies and has risen rapidly in the last year, qualifying as one of the top eight swimmers in the Commonwealth in her event.
She helps other young people with upper limb deficiencies through her work with the charity Reach and is determined to inspire others to become active through sport and live their lives without limits.
She is also a young water safety ambassador for the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) promoting ability over disability.
Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who inspired a global movement to fight climate change, has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.
The 16-year-old is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine in a tradition that started in 1927.
Speaking at a UN climate change summit in Madrid before the announcement, she urged world leaders to stop using “creative PR” to avoid real action.
The next decade would define the planet’s future, she said.
Last year, the teenager started an environmental strike by missing lessons most Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament building. It sparked a worldwide movement that became popular with the hashtag #FridaysForFuture. More
12 August is International Youth Day and with that in mind we have chosen Dante Marvin as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month. Dante is a Young Ambassador for Variety, the Children’s Charity and Variety North West.
Dante was born with brittle bone disease and scoliosis. He has spent most of his young life in and out of hospital for treatment, including painful rod replacement surgery in his legs. But refuses to let it get him down. He tells everyone he meets: “There are no disabilities, only abilities.” It sums up the indomitable spirit of a youngster who inspires everyone he meets with his remarkable zest for life.
Dante first became involved with the children’s charity Variety when his mum Rachel asked for help to buy a new wheelchair. During the home visit, Dante dazzled the assessor with his optimistic outlook and she asked him to speak at an event.
His motto was a key mantra of his speech, which was such a success he now speaks regularly to audiences of adults to raise awareness while encouraging them to dig deep for the cause, helping to raise £30,000 for a Sunshine Bus.
Dante also visits other seriously ill and disabled children in hospital, not only bringing light and laughter to the wards, but also identifying children who could benefit from Variety’s support. He petitions the charity on their behalf for equipment such as lightweight wheelchairs and he’s even been known to do it when undergoing treatment himself.
His message to others is be resilient, be brave and never give up and just because you are disabled, you are no different to anyone else. Never forget that.”
August it is International Youth Day and with that in mind we have chosen
Amanda Medler as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
the Chief Guide, the most senior volunteer at Girlguiding UK. She was appointed following an extensive
recruitment process that involved both young members and leaders.
her five year term in 2018 and has been involved in guiding her whole life. She
qualified as a Brownie leader whilst studying at Loughborough University and she
became a Guide leader in London and South East England Region in 1989, which
she continues to this day.
Middlesex North West County, Amanda created a Young Guiders forum and was chair
of programme and training before serving as assistant and then county
been a Girlguiding qualified trainer since 2003, and over the years has
progressed from being chair of the British Youth Council delegation to being elected
as a member of Council and the Executive committee. She led
significant change as UK Guide adviser (lead volunteer 1995-2000), delivering
the renewal of the Guide programme.
global stage Amanda has been a member of Girlguiding’s delegation to a Europe
Conference as well as other European events and conferences. In 2010, she was
elected to the WAGGGS Europe Committee and in 2013 served a
second three-year term as vice chair.
professional life Amanda has worked in corporate IT for over 20 years, moving
into the not-for-profit sector eight years ago, first as a senior project manager
for Citizens Advice and now as a senior consultant with Adapta Consulting.
out more about International Youth Day see here
On 12 August it is International Youth Day and with that in mind we have chosen Jonjo Heuerman as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Jonjo was inspired to start fundraising following the death of his Nan in 2009 from Bowel Cancer, the same illness that took the life of Bobby Moore his football hero.
He decided that he wanted to make a difference and raise money in their memory so he spends his spare time raising funds and awareness for The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.
His first challenge was a walk from Wembley Stadium to Upton Park finishing at the Champions Statue. This has now become an annual event which he uses as a special memorial service to those lost to the illness.
Jonjo has arranged and taken part in many fundraising events since his first including:
Crossing 3 counties in Ireland on Foot
A giant football tag of the 93 league clubs
Dribbling a football for 50 miles
Cycling and walking via all the Premier League clubs
450 mile walking and cycling challenge on 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup
A walk of the Papal Basilcas of Rome
So far Jonjo has raised over £300,000 in funds and £1 million in awareness through his events and challenges and will not stop until there is a cure.
Jonjo became the youngest recipient of an award in the New Year’s Honours list when he received the BEM for his fundraising work in 2016.