Prince Harry congratulates winners of Queen’s Young Leaders programme

Credit: Young Leaders

Prince Harry has congratulated the winners of the Queen’s Young Leaders programme, an annual prize given in recognition of people who change lives in communities across the Commonwealth.

Leanne Armitage, 22, and Harry Phinda, 24, both from London, were named among the 61 Young Leaders, an award that celebrates young people aged between 18 to 29 working on issues ranging from equality to education to mental health.

Armitage was chosen for her work inspiring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and ethnic minorities to enter the medical profession, while Phinda worked to tackle female genital mutilation and early forced marriage in the UK and abroad.

Other winners include Hauwa Ojeifo, 25, who works to overcome the stigma of mental health in Nigeria, and 26-year-old Zaiba Tahyya, who will be recognised for her efforts to reduce violence against women in Bangladesh.

All the winners will receive their Award from Her Majesty The Queen at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace next year.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic to have been selected to represent the UK as one of the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Awards winners. It gives me great joy to know that the work I’ve been doing through my ‘Leanne’s Amazing Medics’ programme has been recognised as something great, and something worth further investing in,” said Armitage.

Phinda said he was “happy to have been chosen” and hoped the award would “ inspire other young people and show that their background or upbringing is not a barrier to achieving and having a positive impact on the world.”

In a video message Harry said the winners were tackling some of the Commonwealth's "most pressing challenges" and "inspiring others to reach their full potential".

He said: “If more of us follow their example, we can make our communities, countries and the Commonwealth a better place.

"To all the winners, you've done your countries proud, and I know you'll do us all proud for many years to come.

"Embrace this opportunity ahead of you and enjoy it. You really are changing lives."

The programme was set up for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and is now in its fourth and final year.

See the full list of Award winners here.