We were honoured to be invited by our Patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, to a socially distanced meeting at St James’s Palace. As we shared our great thanks for HRH’s leadership of Step Up To Serve, and our vision for the continuation of #iwill in the future, he challenged young #iwill Ambassadors to keep making a difference in their communities and innovating solutions to the challenges we face as a society.
#iwill Ambassadors shared with HRH their reflections on where #iwill has made a real impact over the last seven years, including amplifying young people’s voices & creating new volunteering opportunities. They also shared how being an Ambassador has shaped their own development.
During the conversation, HRH shared his reflections on the inspirational role that the #iwill Ambassadors have played around issues close to his heart, such as the environment, the NHS, and rights for people with disabilities. He also reflected on the vital role that teamwork and collaboration plays in achieving change, and how volunteering helps build communities and support people to work together across the generations.
We would like to thank Clarence House for all their support and leadership during HRH’s Patronage of Step Up To Serve, for recognising the passion and hard work of #iwill Ambassadors through this meeting, and for all the steps taken to make it safe, welcoming and COVID-secure, including administering COVID-19 lateral flow tests to all attendees before entrance.
#iwill Ambassador Jonelle, 22, from Croydon, said:
“It is a real honour to be recognised by His Royal Highness for the work that we, as Ambassadors, are so passionate about. The meeting was a highlight at the end of what has been such a challenging year. It’s not just been a challenge for us, but for young people across the country – whether they have lost a loved one, missed out on their education or lost their job.
Receiving this recognition from HRH feels particularly significant, as too often, young people’s efforts go unseen, we are unfairly stereotyped, or excluded from conversations. I think it’s really important we recognise the power young people can have as leaders of change, whether that’s in our schools, our local communities, or on a national scale. As an Ambassador for the #iwill campaign, I am proud to be part of a movement doing just that.”
#iwill Ambassadors and staff pictured outside St James’s Palace. Ambassadors: Jack Abrey, Jonelle Awomoyi, Arjun Dutta, George Fielding, Ella Kiely, Lamide Odanye and Alvin Owusu. Staff: Charlotte Hill and Lily Makurah. Photo credit: Freya Trevor-Harris.