Cullybackey cadet wins ‘Diana Award’
An outstanding young hero in Cullybackey has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.
Cullybackey Detachment Army Cadet Anna Grace Donnelly has been honoured with The Diana Award for going above and beyond in her daily life to create positive change in other people’s lives. The 15-year-old Cullybackey College student was presented with the award at a virtual ceremony along with other children and young people. The ceremony also marked what would have been the 60th Birthday of Princess Diana in whose memory the award was established.
Since joining the Army Cadet Force, Anna-Grace has displayed outstanding dedication and community spirit, well above what could reasonably be expected of someone of her young age. She has played a vital role in the organisation and distribution of food and essential supplies to the elderly and at-risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through her extensive volunteering, Anna-Grace has not only been of great help to people in her local area, but she has encouraged other cadets to get involved with charitable activities. These efforts have helped foster a stronger community spirit between groups of young people across the local area. She has been involved in events such as The John Muir Environmental Award, working with the Cullybackey Community Partnership (CCP) helping to maintain the flower displays, including the Detachment Flower box, assisting with numerous village litter picks along with cadets from the Air and Sea Cadets from Ballymena, and home schooling her younger sibling during the pandemic. In addition, she has also been highly active in participating in such virtual events as their ‘Salute to Captain Tom’, VE Day Tea Party, the 1st (NI) Battalion ACF 1- Mile Virtual Race, and the Battalion ‘Video’ Sports Tribute to NHS staff. She also organised the cadets in the Detachment to place poppy crosses on the war graves of those killed in the two World Wars, in conjunction with the project put forward by the Battalion’s RSMI. Anna Grace said: “I am truly honoured to be recognised for my volunteering during COVID”. Lord Lt and Honorary Col of the Cadets David McCorkell said: “This cadet has achieved much since joining the ACF and clearly lives up to our ACF values and standards”.