How a NI teen earned the highest humanitarian accolade

The Diana Award, established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, is the most prestigious accolade a young person can receive for social action or humanitarian work – and a Co Tyrone teenager is one of the latest recipients.

Young people cannot work towards the award, but it is given to those who demonstrate how much they deserve it through actions undertaken with no expectation of reward.

Jamie Harkin, 18 and from Omagh, has been recognised with the award for a special project undertaken in memory of one of his teachers.

Graham Peters was an inspirational teacher who inspired Jamie to keep his memory alive.

Drumragh College’s English teacher Graham Peters sadly died from cancer in 2017.

To keep his memory alive, Jamie created pocket-sized calendars packed with positivity quotes and sold them all over the world – raising £10,000 for a cancer charity in the process and previously appearing on UTV.

“It’s a really huge honour,” Jamie said, of being chosen for a Diana award.

“It was never something I was expecting and I’m really, really grateful for it.”

The Pockets of Positivity calendar brought smiles to plenty of faces. Credit: UTV

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Diana Awards had to be presented at a virtual ceremony.

But there was still an appearance from a special guest to congratulate recipients – Prince Harry, who was delighted to be involved with the award scheme in memory of his mother.

For Jamie, the future looks bright and busy – he will be starting university, but hopes to find time to create another calendar, even if he is staying tight-lipped for now about the theme.