Swansea University law student Isabel Francis has been recognised for her pro bono work with the University’s Law Clinic, and has been honoured with the prestigious Diana Award.
The Diana Award was established in 1999 by the British Government who wanted to continue Princess Diana’s legacy by establishing a formal way to recognise young people who were going above and beyond the expected in their local communities. It is the most prestigious accolade a young person under the age of twenty-five can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.
Isabel will now join The Diana Award Roll of Honour alongside other young people from across the world who have been recognised for their social action and humanitarian work. For Isabel this included volunteering over 750 hours of her time to Swansea Law Clinic, where she assisting with the infected blood enquiry (an independent enquiry which is examining the circumstances in which patients contracted HIV or hepatitis from contaminated blood products), engaged in community outreach with Eastside Food Bank, and gave evidence to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee at the Welsh Parliament on access to justice issues.
Isabel is no stranger to success having already won the LawWorks and Attorney General ‘Best Contribution by a Team of Students Award’ at the Student Pro Bono Awards last year, alongside another student Tahmid Miah.
Professor Richard Owen, Director of the Swansea Law Clinic, who nominated Isabel for the award, said: “Isabel thoroughly deserves The Diana Award. She has shown immense dedication to helping those in need of legal advice, including volunteering through her vacations and on her days off from work.
“Her contribution to Swansea Law Clinic has been outstanding not only has she advised several people in crisis but also she has given evidence to the Welsh Parliament on access to justice issues, as well as leading on establishing new outreach centres for the Clinic.
“Isabel's example will inspire many students to emulate her achievements.”
The Diana Award prize also includes a social action webinar where Isabel can connect with other award recipients, and the opportunity to be part of an alumni network with a with a recipient development programme. She has also been invited by Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana of Wales to visit Althorp House, the childhood home of Princess Diana.
“It is such an honour and privilege to be nominated for the Diana Award", said Isabel.
“When I first started my law degree, I never would have dreamed I would be the recipient of such a prestigious award, and it is beyond my expectations. I don’t know where I would be without the support of the Law Clinic, and I hope I can continue to make a difference to those who need it most.”
To view Isabel’s award story, www.diana-award.org.uk/stories.