Windsor High student CASSIDY STRICKLAND, 17, has been named an international winner of The Diana Award.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, The Diana Award is one of the world’s most prestigious accolades a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.
The award was announced on Wednesday (July 1) by the UK-based charity which established the award to honour young people trying to “change the world”.
Cassidy, now a Year 12 student at Windsor High, established Hawkesbury Helping Hands with her mum Linda nine years ago to feed the homeless and provide meals for those in need after asking her mum how they could ensure people didn’t go hungry.
Last year as well as handing out food hampers and providing a meals service to the homeless, Hawkesbury Helping Hands also delivered 16,000 breakfasts and 12,000 lunches to students at high school and public school.
The Diana Award charity’s mission is to: “foster, develop and inspire positive change in the lives of young people”.
Established in 1999, It runs mentoring programs and anti-bullying programs throughout the UK.
The judging panel accesses nominations for vision, social impact, inspiring others, youth leadership and service.
A spokesperson for The Diana Award said Cassidy was chosen for going above and beyond her daily life to create and sustain positive change.
The citation reads: “At the age of nine, Cassidy began distributing food to the homeless in her neighbourhood park.
This has since grown into an organisation delivering emergency hampers, which has recently served its 500,000th plate of food.
“She now has a drop in centre which offers socially isolated people a place where they can shelter and feel safe.
“After recent floods and fires in her area, Cassidy travelled many miles to deliver much needed resources to those who had lost everything. When she witnessed school children carrying their supplies in a plastic bag, Cassidy launched the ‘Backpack Project’, donating 310 backpacks full of supplies this year alone. Cassidy is changing people’s perceptions about homelessness and poverty.”
CEO of The Diana Award, Tessy Ojo congratulated Cassidy for being a “changemaker”.
During the COVID-19 crisis the charity has continued to help people with food hampers and food services in Howe Park Windsor adhering to social distancing restrictions.
It has been serving a total of 25 pallets of food a week from its South Windsor premises.
Linda Strickland said the community had raised her daughter to be the caring person she is.