LSE undergraduate student, Daniel Lawes has received a Princess Diana Legacy Award in recognition of his social action and charity work.
Daniel, who studies International Relations and History at LSE, was one of twenty young people from across the world to be presented with a Legacy Award by Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, at a ceremony in London last week.
Daniel received the Award for his work founding YouthPolitics UK, a non-profit organisation based in Manchester. Dedicated to encouraging political engagement among young people, YouthPolitics UK provides free and non-partisan campaigning sessions to help young people in deprived areas develop the skills to enact positive change.
Daniel leads a team of around 60 volunteers, and together they have reached over 14,000 young people through grassroots initiatives like campaigning workshops, talks in school assemblies and collaborations with youth centres.
The Legacy Award is one of the most prestigious accolades a young person can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.
Commenting on the award and his social action work, Daniel said: “To be considered by the judging panel and Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, as someone who has built upon her iconic legacy is truly humbling.
“YouthPolitics UK was set up following the EU referendum in 2016, as I became increasingly frustrated with systemic faults within our political system. Notably, the large-scale political apathy amongst younger generations, who appeared to be disengaged with decisions which would ultimately impact their future more than anyone else’s. That was something I wanted to change."
Having already expanded into London and Edinburgh, Daniel plans to grow YouthPolitics UK nationwide. Next year, he hopes to play an active role in mobilising other young people to demand action on climate change.
Setting up YouthPolitics UK has opened up opportunities for Daniel that he never previously envisaged such as speaking at conferences across Europe and discussing issues facing the younger generation with the likes of former Prime Minister Theresa May and His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cambridge.
On volunteering and the support he has received from other volunteers at YouthPolitics UK, Daniel said: “Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to function as a non-profit and youth led organisation. I’m often taken aback by how many young people are willing to dedicate their time outside of their academic studies to contribute to our cause and I’m extremely grateful for all that they do.
“From personal experience, the sense of satisfaction you get from devoting your time to a cause you are passionate about is next to none. The most surprising aspect of volunteering is the vast array of opportunities that emerge, from meeting extraordinary people to speaking at high profile events. Apart from volunteering, I can’t think of anything that would have provided myself and the team with the opportunities and skills we have gained over the past few years.”
If you’re an LSE student and would like to get involved with YouthPolitics UK, you can contact Daniel on D.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve been inspired by Daniel’s story and are interested in any other volunteering opportunities at LSE, check out one of the LSE Volunteer Centre’s 200+ ongoing opportunities or book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. If you’re short on time you can take a look at the one-off opportunities organised by the volunteer centre.