Inspiring care leaver gains prestigious award for work on anti-bullying

11 August 2021

A Council care leaver has been awarded the Princess Diana Award and become an anti-bullying ambassador for her ongoing inspiring work.

Soiphet Nung Sirisot began her work after suffering her own experiences with bullying when her family moved to the UK.

Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, The Diana Award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged nine to 25 can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.

Nung, who is also part of Cheshire West and Chester Council's Children in Care Council, began her journey by joining the school council at Christleton High School when she was in year 8. This is where she says she found her inner strength and voice. By year 10, Nung was the co-chair of the group and it was from there that she knew she had it in her to voice her opinions in the hope that those going through the same thing would also speak out.

Nung's peers from the school council nominated her for her award, which she was presented with in June this year when she attended a virtual ceremony with other young winners from both across the UK and internationally.

Nung was also invited to London as part of a small group of children and young people to be part of the Government's anti-bullying campaign 'Don't face it alone' which was organised as part of the Diana Award. She was chosen to speak in the video, alongside two other young people and the Prime Minister. She attended 10 Downing Street for the launch of the campaign in her role as a National Youth Board Ambassador. She met the Prime Minister and Dr Alex George, the Government’s Youth Mental Health Ambassador.

Nung has recently turned 18 and will be going to university in September to study Psychology and Education.

Nung said: "I am so happy and proud to have been able to achieve the Diana Award. I wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of my family, my peers and teachers at Christleton High School, as well as the help of my social worker at the Council.

"From this time last year, I have overcome so many personal challenges, from being unwell in hospital, to this year having met the Prime Minister and Dr Alex and now being able to talk about my own mental health and experiences. I am an extremely passionate ally for mental health and also LGBT+, and I am proud that I am now able to talk about my experiences and hopefully change the views of others whilst encouraging people experiencing similar things to also speak up and find their voice.

"I have recently turned 18 and will be going to the University of York to study Psychology and Education. I hope that this will put me on my path to achieving my goal of becoming an Educational Pyschologist. I want to work with local authorities, and the adults involved in a child's care, as well as the children themselves, to really help make a difference to people's lives.

"My advice to anyone who is experiencing bullying or mental health lows is that you can have a voice and make a difference. You have the strength within you to speak out about what you are facing, and you can be happy. Remember to always be kind to yourself as well as others and spread kindness like confetti. I hope that my story will help people and inspire them to find their inner voice".

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "Nung is an incredibly inspiring young lady, and the Council are extremely proud of her and what she has achieved over the years.

"Her award shows how hard she has worked to promote anti-bullying and inspire others to speak out and tell their stories. She has taken her own negative experiences and turned them into something incredibly positive. We are all so proud of her and I wish her all the best with her future and her exciting upcoming journey at university.

"The Council is extremely committed to supporting all of our care leavers and as a local authority we see the role of corporate parent as such an important one in children and young people’s journeys with us."

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