Kirkham activist wins prestigious Diana award for work with stammer campaign
He spent his school years struggling to deal with his speech, prompting him to kickstart a campaign to help people living with a stammer. Now, Kirkham-born Jack Dinsley is one of the few recipients of a Diana Award.
Having coped with stammering since being young, Jack has worked to change society's attitudes to stammering and speech impediments and has now been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for their humanitarian efforts.
And all the award recipients have been put forward by adults who know the young people in a professional capacity and recognised their efforts as a positive contribution to society.
UCLan graduate Jack said: "I cried when I was first nominated because I just could not believe it. Diana is such an icon and to be honoured in her name with this award is just amazing. She did so many amazing things and was a fantastic person who championed all walks of life.
"There are winners of this award all over the world and from different regions across the UK, so to be nominated and win out of the whole of the North West is just amazing and I am so proud.
"I never thought in a million years that I would be recognised for my efforts."
It was in 2019 when Jack decided he wanted to make a difference and break down barriers, giving young people the confidence to speak up about their battles with their speech with his 'Be Kind' stammering campaign.
Having first shared his story on BBC's 'Life Hacks' podcast, he was soon giving talks in schools and colleges across the country, working closely with more than 500 teachers and students before the national lockdown.
And since then, he has represented the UK for the International Stuttering Association and in lockdown, adapted his community efforts to continue using social media to raise awareness about stammering.
It is a far cry from his primary school years when a teacher once told his mother at parents’ evening that he wouldn’t succeed in life because of his stammer.
Jack added: "Ever since being young I had struggled with my speech and I was one of the only ones in my school that had a stammer and nobody really talked about it growing up so it was really hard to cope with.
"When I was younger I never saw stammering in the headlines or even spoken in schools. I wanted to create that change and I believe that I have come a very long way to achieving just that.
"My aim was to educate children, teachers and parents through the campaign about what stammering is and how people can cope with it. My stammer isn't as bad as it used to be, and the campaign has really helped me in accepting that it is normal and it isn't me that is the issue - it's society.
"Parents don't have conversations about it so as a young child dealing with it, it can be very lonely. This is for people who are struggling with it and battling it alone.
"This win is for anyone who has ever felt different, alone or isolated. I am proud of every single thing I have achieved at such a young age and will continue to achieve."
Jack has grown into a confident and inspiring speaker and is actively pursuing a career in journalism and TV production.
And his campaign continues to grow in support across social media platforms as his efforts help people suffering from a stammer to communicate differently.
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said: "We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and all over 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.
" For over twenty years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”
Find out more HERE.