The Trust is proud to support Teens and Toddlers – in the early days with financial grants and now by giving them a home here in London Bridge. It’s great to be able to offer psychosynthesis training to their staff to support the fantastic work they are doing with children and young people. It’s an amazing social psychosynthesis project.
Diana Whitmore has won the Children and Young People’s Champion Award at the 2014 CYP Now Awards. Now in their ninth year, these awards recognise those who strive to improve the lives of children, young people and families. Teens and Toddlers were shortlisted for four awards this year: Children and Young People’s Charity of the Year, The Early Intervention Award, Children and Young People’s Champion (Lady Diana Whitmore) and The Children’s Achievement Award (Aisha Aminu).
The adult judges of the award praised Diana’s “impressive record”, while the young judges praised her work with Teens and Toddlers. “She’s an amazing person” said one. Diana commented: “I am delighted and honoured to have won this award, but it isn’t about me. It is instead recognition of the whole Teens and Toddlers team and the amazing young people we serve.”
Diana has spent the past 13 years working to support disadvantaged young people at risk of dropping out of school to ensure they realise their potential. Diana brought and pioneered the flagship programme, also called Teens and Toddlers, to the UK from the US to in 2001 to address the social exclusion of disadvantaged young people and to reduce the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET). Underpinned by psychosynthesis principles, the programme is unique because it pairs teens as a mentor/role model to toddlers in need of extra support in a nursery environment, with both young people benefitting from the interaction. Diana also developed the programme by combining this innovative work experience with classroom training, all building to an accredited qualification in Interpersonal skills. Her vision and leadership has helped Teens and Toddlers reach almost 12,000 young people, helping to increase their self-esteem, aspirations and ultimately their achievements in school, at work and in life. Diana has said of the programme “Improving the lives of disadvantaged young people is at the heart of what we do. We want all our young people to have the same opportunities, aspirations and success as their peers, regardless of their background or the hardship they may face”.
Since beginning in London, where she co-delivered the first few programmes herself, Diana has successfully led the charity to where it is today; working in 34 of the most deprived Local Authorities across the UK and 2,400 children and young people each year.