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Campaigner rewarded by PM is Local Hero
An 18-year-old who worked tirelessly to help thousands of young bullying victims has been rewarded by the Prime Minister.
Luke Lancaster, from Bexhill, is the country’s youngest voluntary sector chief executive and overcame years of bullying to set up and run his own charity helping people to combat bullying both in the UK and overseas.
For his work he has been appointed as a UK Point Of Light by David Cameron, an award that recognises outstanding individual volunteers.
Six years ago Luke was admit- ted to hospital after an episode of physical violence and months of bullying.
This ordeal made him decide to help other children by setting up his charity Young Pioneers.
Young Pioneers trains and employs young volunteers, some as young as 12, to offer support and advice to children being bullied.
It is also inspired by research they carried out showing 86% of young people would rather speak to a friend about bullying than a parent or teacher.
Luke said: “I am honoured to be recognised for my volunteering. My hope is that this recognition will inspire other young people to want to volunteer and make a difference to the lives of others.
"As we say at Young Pioneers, ‘it’s cool to care’.
“We are living in challenging times and it’s important that we secure livelihoods for young people, help them improve their well-being and help them develop the skills to become tomorrow’s leaders.
“Volunteering through our projects not only builds their self-confidence and self-esteem, it provides a pathway to employment and creates social action opportunities that enable young people to volunteer and make a difference to the lives of others.”
Luke has created an international training programme which has helped 7,000 youngsters aged 12-26 worldwide.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Luke’s fight against bullying is an inspiration to us all. He realised that victims of bullying need a friend they can turn to and he has dedicated himself to giving other children that support.
“By making it ‘cool to care’ he is bringing young people together against bullying and changing the lives of thousands of children up and down our country.”
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