An 11-year-old autistic boy from Portsmouth has been given an award set up in Princess Diana’s name for his work with the Fire Fighters Charity and the fire service.
Andrew Impey has been honoured with a Diana Award, 20 years after the People’s Princess died in a car crash in Paris.
Andrew started fundraising for the Fire Fighters Charity after a visit to Havant Fire Station in December 2014. Since then he has raised nearly £2,000 for the charity, which supports current and retired fire service personnel with health, financial and social interventions; including funding residential medical facilities. Andrew has also raised awareness of the work of the charity, within the service and outside of it.
His visits, which Andrew has called his One Lad’s Challenge, has also benefited him. During his visits, Andrew has seen his social skills, as well as his literacy and numeracy skills, improve.
Kirstine Impey, Andrew’s mum, said: ‘Andrew’s fire station visits have made a massive difference to Andrew, especially with his social skills and community spirit. This award is recognition of what I’ve got to see first hand; that Andrew has made a real difference to the fire service community across the country, as well as to himself.’
Dr Jill Tolfrey, chief executive of The Fire Fighters Charity, said: ‘We’re incredibly proud of all that Andrew has done for us throughout his incredible challenge. He is an inspirational young man, with a fantastically supportive family, who has captured the hearts of those he has met at every station and headquarters he has visited. Andrew’s enthusiasm has never wavered and I doubt there is anyone else in the country who can lay claim to having visited as many fire stations, met as many firefighters or ridden on as many fire appliances. He has helped to raise the profile of The Fire Fighters Charity along the way – generating press interest and becoming a social media phenomenon amongst the fire community – and he has raised vital funds for us that will help us to support firefighters in need across the UK. We are delighted that Andrew’s passion and dedication has been recognised with this fantastic and well-deserved award. Well done Andrew.’
The Diana Award was set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. It is committed to fostering, inspiring and developing positive change in the lives of young people through practical social action. Today The Diana Award has the support of both her sons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
The award’s chief executive Tessy Ojo said: ‘We are delighted to announce our Roll of Honour on Princess Diana’s Birthday as we shine a spotlight on her legacy 20 years on. Today we celebrate young people for their selfless contribution to society, their courage and bravery, sometimes in the face of adversity. During this 20th anniversary year, The Diana Award is actively seeking supporters to help us continue this youth legacy, in memory of Princess Diana, and expand our work that fosters change through positive action with young people.’
To find out more about Andrew and his One Lad’s Challenge go to oneladschallenge.com and you can follow his journey on Twitter with @AndrewDaneUK and by using #OneLadsChallenge. You can find out more about the Diana Award by visiting their website at www.diana-award.org.uk.