A Lasting Legacy

Play Video

About Us


In 2014 a search was launched to find exceptional young people to receive the first ever Queen’s Young Leaders Awards. Hundreds of applications flooded in from incredible young people all dedicated to making lasting change in their community and beyond. The Programme is now in its fourth and final year and has formed a unique community of 240 influential change-makers, who represent 53 Commonwealth countries.


The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognises and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives. Winners of this prestigious Award will receive a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK during which they will collect their Award from Her Majesty The Queen. With this support, Award winners will be expected to continue and develop the amazing work they are already doing in their communities.


As well as awarding inspirational young people, Queen’s Young Leaders Grants will be made to organisations in selected Commonwealth countries that can show they are improving the lives of young people. Our vision is to provide opportunities for young people to learn new skills, enter employment and give them a voice in their communities. All our funding has now been allocated and applications for grants are closed.

For more information about the Grants programme, please see our FAQs.


  • We’re excited to be partnering with @ats_hq at their event in Rwanda this week which is exploring the latest trends, connecting digital leaders, tech corporates, banks, investors, start-ups and leading tech ventures from across Africa.

Queen’s Young Leader grantee @bongohive will condense their “Discover” and “Launch” startup support programmes into a four-hour workshop, which will provide entrepreneurs at the summit with practical advice on how they can build and grow their own startups.

#Technology #Entrepreneurship #QueensYoungLeaders #AfricaTechSummit
  • Jess Dewhurst received her #QueensYoungLeaders Award in 2016 for the work she is doing to #StandUp4HumanRights

She is the founder of @thejusticedesk which educates and informs people about their human rights across #SouthAfrica, #Zambia and #Zimbabwe.
  • “I see a very bright, uplifting future for me and my family.” On #WorldFoodDay find out more about how the Jamaica Youth Business Trust has transformed the lives of Semone and other young farmers in Jamaica by visiting the #QueensYoungLeaders
website (link in bio) #WFD2018 #zerohunger #QYLgrants
  • Kellicia isn't your typical farmer. After growing up in a dangerous area in Jamaica, she had no idea about farming when she arrived at the Village Academy. But it wasn't long before she changed from a city girl to a country girl. Read Kellicia's story on the Queen's Young Leaders website (link in bio) #WorldFoodDay #WFD2018 #QYLgrants
  • Meet Aditya. He is a scientist looking for new ways to fight cancer. His interest in medicine began when he was a child. By the age of 15, he had already begun to study cellular interactions in chronic diseases such as HIV. Aditya then transferred to cancer research, specifically seeking to understand whether the manipulation of viruses like the common cold could be used to target tumours and whether the body’s immune system can be trained to recognise and kill cancer cells. He is now conducting pre-clinical trials in research labs to explore this. Aditya is also the co-founder and co-president of Project Pulse Spark, an annual healthcare conference in Ottawa, which attracts over 1,000 high school and university students. Aditya and his team use the conference to inspire students to pursue careers in the medical industry.

  • Meet Antonia. She works to help disadvantaged people in the community. She is the co-founder of the Humanitarian Aid Programme (Cyprus), which supports refugees accommodated in Cyprus by collecting donations for the Kofinou Refugee Camp. She uses her experience of working in the camp to raise awareness of some of the problems facing the people living there, for example the financial and language difficulties they experience. Antonia is the International Law Association’s student representative in Cyprus and volunteers for One Woman At A Time, which helps abused women in Cyprus by advising women on their legal rights. #queensyoungleaders
  • 2016 Queen's Young Leader Tabotabo Auatabu on the recognition the Award has given him #queensyoungleaders #QYLLEGACY
  • 2017 #QueensYoungLeader Winnifred Selby on the impact winning the Award has had on her and her work #QYLLEGACY
  • Meet Derick. He is working to raise levels of IT literacy within his community. He is the founder of Tech Era, a programme which introduces underprivileged children in Ghana to technology. To date, it has trained 80 students to use computers and solve problems with robotics. Derick hopes to reach more than 4,000 students in rural Ghana in the next three years and to establish 12 robotics clubs in high schools. His team is also working with visually-impaired students at one school, where the aim is for half of the learners to be able to use a computer and mobile phone within a year. In addition, Derick is the founder of the Berekuso Music Project, which equips students with music and art skills that they might use as a future source of income. #QueensYoungLeaders
  • Meet Bhagya. She is an urban gardener who is working to improve food security. She is the co-founder of ESHKOL Garden Works, which encourages people to grow their own food in their garden or home. The company sells products from space-saving vertical gardens to hydroponics, which make it possible to grow plants without soil. Most of the products are made using upcycled materials by people living in rural communities. Bhagya and her team run a community centre to teach organic vegetable gardening and provide seed starting and composting. She also delivers programmes in schools and youth clubs to teach young people about the importance of fresh produce, and provides low-income families with the resources needed to grow food at home for a reasonable price. #QueensYoungLeaders
  • 2015 Queen's Young Leader Alicia Wallace on how the Award has amplified her work #QYLLegacy #QueensYoungLeaders
  • Meet Brima. He is an inventor, solving problems in his community through entrepreneurship. Having grown up in a slum in Sierra Leone where there was no access to a stable electricity supply, Brima invented a bicycle-powered generator to provide clean, environmentally-friendly and affordable electricity to power household appliances. His invention benefitted not only his own family, but also his neighbours and the wider community. He recently won an award for inventing a substance made from coconut shells which can absorb carbon monoxide in enclosed areas. While studying at the African Leadership Academy, Brima started a Creativity and Innovation Club to encourage a culture of innovation among young people and to enable them to create practical solutions to problems facing their communities. #QueensYoungLeaders
  • Meet Elizabeth. She uses technology to transform the lives of people living with mental health issues in Uganda. Her inspiration came after witnessing the stigma surrounding mental health in her community, and discovering that many mental health problems went undiagnosed due to a shortage of trained professionals and resources. This led Elizabeth to co-found Clear Yo Mind, which creates secure online platforms for people to express their feelings and access free help from mental health professionals. Clear Yo Mind also offers a text message service, where users can request help, and secure one-to-one appointments with professionals outside of a hospital environment. Elizabeth is currently studying towards a Diploma in Psychology to further support her work. #queensyoungleaders
  • 2017 Queen's Young Leader Rakitha Malewana on the impact the Award has had on his work #QYLLegacy #QueensYoungLeaders
  • Meet Millicent. She uses traditional storytelling to educate and empower young and underprivileged people across Solomon Islands. In a country where only 17% of the population aged 25 to 60 is literate, Millicent set up a project called Kastom Story Time which aims to pass on and preserve national stories and story-telling traditions to younger generations through oral and pictorial techniques. She uses these techniques to educate communities on social and political issues. Her work includes translating political pledges and ideas into information-graphics to ensure that marginalised groups can engage in the electoral process and to shift traditional perspectives on the role of women in leadership and politics. #queensyoungleaders
  • Meet Shadrack. He is a social entrepreneur working to improve the lives of people living in rural communities in Ghana. He is the founder of Cocoa360, which runs a free girls’ school and medical clinic in his community, funded by proceeds from a community cocoa plantation. With 17 paid staff members, 90 students and an annual reach of 2,500 patients, the Cocoa360 model has already benefitted many lives in rural Ghana. In the future, Shadrack would like to train members of the community to become health workers, and provide them with motorbikes to be able to deliver healthcare to patients in remote villages. #queensyoungleaders
View on Instagram

Who We Are

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, launched The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in 2014 at Buckingham Palace.  The four-year programme, supported by The University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, aims to discover, support and celebrate young people from across the Commonwealth.

It will help to transform the lives of young people through awards to individuals who are leaders in their communities and grants to youth-led and focused organisations.