August 3, 2018

International Youth Day 2018

We believe young people have the power to change the world. This year’s International Youth Day is 12th August, and to celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of 5 impressive youngsters and groups that have already made a difference.

1. Alex Agboola-Dobson and his team of student engineers

Alex and his fellow engineering students from the University of Manchester have developed a prosthetic arm that can move each finger independently and grasp – all for just £307. The limb, which was created with a 3D printer, can use simple cutlery, pick things up, type and click a mouse.

Alex and his team hope their design will help the thousands of people who undergo limb amputations each year by providing a viable alternative to costly or basic, low-tech prosthetics.

Read more on the University of Manchester website.

2. The BBC My Mind & Me Teen Hero Award for Mental Health – Holly and Oliver

Brother and sister Holly and Oliver, who were just 15 and 13 when they won the award in 2017, care for their mum, who suffers from associative identity disorder with complex post-traumatic trauma.

With help from their older brother, they established The Adams Movement – a charity focused on supporting other young people who care for family members with mental health difficulties.

It also helps bring young carers together via a mentoring scheme to help members share their experiences.

Read more on the BBC website.

3. Faith Dickinson

Aged just 15, Faith Dickinson became a Diana Award Holder and Legacy Award Winner in 2017. Faith was recognised by the Diana Awards – an organisation dedicated to nurturing the potential of young people – for setting up her own charity, Cuddles for Cancer. Faith was inspired to set up the charity after she noticed that her aunt felt physically cold when she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Faith made her a fleecy blanket to keep her aunt warm, but that was just the start.

Since then, Faith has made over 3,000 blankets, which she personalises to reflect the recipients’ hobbies or individual styles.

Read more on the Diana Awards website.

4. Mia & Natalia Goleniowska

Sisters Mia (13) & Natalia (11) are a dynamic duo. Natalie (Natty) has Down’s syndrome, and alongside Mia and the rest of the family, has created ‘Downs Side Up’ – a popular blog that encourages inclusion, understanding and equality. As a pair, Mia and Natty also work as ambassadors for the NHS, as well as organisations such as Mencap, Makaton and the Down’s Syndrome Association. They also hope to help others by broadcasting their experiences via vlogs, blogs, and a book – co-authored by Mia and her Mum.

Mia and Natty both received British Citizen Youth Awards in 2017.

Read more on the British Citizen Youth Awards website.

5. Reuben Litherland

14-year old Reuben decided to set up a lunchtime club at school to teach his fellow students sign language. His decision was fuelled by the isolation he felt at being the only profoundly deaf pupil in school and wanted a way to interact with other pupils and make friends.

The lunch club was a great success, and Reuben went on to campaign for the rights of deaf children, including fighting for deaf-friendly cinemas. He’s also on the Youth Deaf Advisory Board.

Watch the BBC video article.

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