Emsworth teenager 'amazed' to receive prestigious Diana Award for charity work

AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager is feeling amazed after receiving a prestigious award for her charity work.

Monday, 8th July 2019, 2:32 pm
Updated Monday, 8th July 2019, 7:55 pm
Emsworth teenager Jess Webb, 14, was invited to the House of Lords to receive the Diana Award for her fundraising efforts for the Huntington's Disease Association. Pictured with Chichester MP Gillian Keegan

Jess Webb, from Emsworth, had absolutely no idea she had been nominated for the Diana Award until it was announced in assembly at school.

At the age of 14, Jess is already a staunch advocate for volunteering and is a passionate fundraiser for the Huntington’s Disease Association, with her total reaching almost £5,000.

Jess was invited to the House of Lords to receive the award, which recognises the efforts of young people aged between nine and 25 as a positive contribution to society.

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Jess Webb from Emsworth has been honoured with the Diana Award

Jess said: ‘I was just amazed, it was amazing collecting the award and to know I’m now part of the Diana Award community. It was really inspirational.’

This comes after she was crowned the 2018 Young Volunteer of the Year at the Huntington’s Disease Association Volunteer Fundraiser Awards in Liverpool, and received a Chichester Observer community award for fundraising.

Jess said: ‘I don’t do it for the awards or recognition but it’s nice to be recognised. I do it so I can help other families because it’s quite a challenging time, and knowing that by raising money I could be helping my family.’

Huntington’s Disease is an inherited condition which runs in Jess’ family, and she has lost two family members from it.

This experience has inspired Jess to undertake seven years of fundraising for the charity, and she plans to continue with her next event, a dinner dance on Hayling Island.

Jess is putting on the three-course meal with live entertainment at Langstone Quays Resort on October 11, which will also feature a raffle and auction.

Jess said: ‘It’s just an amazing thing to know that I have supported and helped other families.

‘If you’re thinking about fundraising you might as well have a go. I’m hoping that I’m inspiring others with what I’m doing.’

Initiatives Jess has worked on to raise funds include working with more than 53 businesses in the region, chairing the Student Charity Group, completing a 20-mile sponsored cycle and founding the mental health awareness group Young Minds.