Young carer Hanna earns Diana Award
Hanna filming a training video for staff at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston about the needs and experiences of young carers in hospitals
Hanna Sampson, aged 18, from Bishopston, has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex. This year is especially significant as it marks what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday.
Hanna has been raising awareness of the needs of young carers and has been an influential advocate and an inspirational mentor to others. She was nominated for the Diana Award by Bristol and South Gloucestershire Young Carers who she’s been working with over the past few years.
“My younger sister is autistic,” says Hanna.
“I've provided emotional support to my sister and parents, helping to calm her down when she’s agitated. I’ve been able to give physical support, such as helping with bathing and my sister’s medication. It has been my normal experience but it can take its toll, making me feel tired and drained.”
As a member of ‘Young Carers Voice’, Hanna has campaigned for understanding and support to meet young carers’ educational and mental health needs. Hanna has drawn on her first-hand experience with courage, enriching her campaigning and leading to her speaking in parliament, campaigning in the media and working with the NHS to highlight issues young carers face. Hanna participated in the development of a film ‘Who Cares in School’, which led to a 130 percent increase in schools registering to young carers programmes.
A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who looks after a family member with a disability, long term illness, mental health condition or substance misuse. It is estimated there are about 700,000 young carers in the UK with the average age being just 12 years old.
Hanna says: “Princess Diana represents equality and unconditional kindness. She stood up for what she believed and inspired so many people that anyone can make a difference. It is a true honour to be nominated in her legacy and a huge motivator to keep pushing for awareness about young carers and their needs, not just in Bristol but the country as a whole.”
Hanna has completed her A levels at North Bristol Post 16 Centre and plans to study Psychology at university.
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, says: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and around the globe who are changemakers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens.”