Innovation and Efficiency

29.11.18

Former Rochdale MYP wins prestigious 'Diana Award' for work with mental health and young people

Sarah Mahmood, aged 17, is the former Member of UK Youth Parliament for the borough of Rochdale and has been recognised by the Royal Family for her work during her year as MYP and has set a good example to her peers, whom she listened well to and acted on their feedback, focusing particularly on mental health services and support for young people.

Sarah believes that mental health is not treated with the same reverence as physical health, despite it having the same debilitating effects. During her campaign for this, she has secured two positions for mental health workers to help young people. 

She also attended the House of Commons and participated in the national debates, chaired by John Bercow, and was particularly keen to support the GSCE resists and cheaper transport, as well as the mental health issues. Sarah has been supported greatly by Rochdale Youth Service, Rochdale Borough Council, and Neeli Mosque.

Sarah was recently honoured with a ‘Diana Award’ at a special ceremony at Leeds College of Music for her work in improving the lives of young people in Rochdale borough. Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, The Diana Award is the most prestigious accolade a young person can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. Sarah was joined by her parents, Shehrana Kausar and Tahir Mahmood; mayor of Rochdale, Cllr Mohammad Zaman; civic and ceremonial manager, Dorothy Johnstone; lead youth worker, Heather Mellileau, Cllr Kieran Heakin and Samar Mushtaq, headteacher at Neeli Mosque.

Sarah said: "I am over the moon and can't believe that I have received an award as prestigious as this. I am so lucky to have amazing people around me who have always supported me in everything I have done. I am amazed that my hard work has been recognised locally, regionally and nationally.

“I'm really proud of what I have achieved so far and I look forward to the future. Especially a big thanks to my parents for always being there for me and pushing me to do my best. I wouldn't be where I am today without their support.”

Sarah's parents added: "Wow, well we don’t know where to start. She has continually made us proud over the years and we are so proud of her, for all the effort she puts in to make lives better for young people. She truly deserves this award.”

Sarah is very passionate about charity work and has held several events over the years to raise money for charities, particularly raising for the Mayor's Charities. She has also inspired Neeli Mosque to do the same, where she volunteers.

Sarah is now eligible for the Legacy Award, which celebrate the achievements of 20 outstanding young leaders, visionaries and role models from across the world.

Top image: AlanMBarr

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