Doing it for Yorkshire – meeting The Queen

VIP HRH visit

VIP HRH visit

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It’s not every day you get to say you’re meeting The Queen and last week it was such a special moment.

I am one of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 Young Leaders, hand-picked from across the Commonwealth, we have all worked to bring about change for other people in our communities.

Last week all of the winners from across the Commonwealth came together for a special residential week in London where we got to meet senior officials at Number 10 Downing Street, met the BBC World Service, Twitter, met the Commonwealth Secretariat and of course picked up our awards at a special celebration at Buckingham Palace from the Queen herself.

I am so proud to have been able to represent Yorkshire alongside fellow winner Ashleigh Porter-Exley who is also doing exceptional work to transform the futures of young people. She was also a winner of the BBC’s Young Apprentice.

What really touched me was the passion and drive so many young people have for making this complex world a better place to live. From climate issues to inequality, LGBT and more, young people across the Commonwealth are making a sea change of difference across the world and that is something really special which deserves celebrating.

When I met the Queen, she said the work I do is very important and to keep it up. It was amazing just to meet her and shake her hand. I’m proud to be able to say that I am one of the few young people from our city who will have been able to do that.

I want this award to prove to all of the young people here in the city that no matter what your background, whatever your circumstances, you can achieve what you set your mind to. My autism diagnosis did not hold me back.

I had a difficult time in school but fought through the discrimination I faced. I fought through my dad’s gambling’s impact on our family, I fought through people telling me I would never make it to set up my own business and I am lucky to have taken my story to the world as I embark on my world tour this year – visiting over a dozen different countries to speak and share my experiences.

Next up for me is Portugal next week, then the Caribbean, followed shortly after by the US, Canada, South Africa and the Pacific toward the end of the year. I’m taking Sheffield to the world and I want you to be a part of that journey too.

Here's to the future Sheffield – it’s bright, it’s young and it’s happening! Get involved and make a difference today.