For two Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey students meeting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back stage after the WE Day UK concert in Wembley was overwhelming.
Lucy Brightman-Stokes, 12, and Sinead Hubbard, 14, both from Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey and dedicated to their work on the award winning Dementia Café were among a number of young people chosen to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex privately backstage.
The opportunity came from a bid made by Sinead Hubbard, 14 from Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey to the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust for funding to support the longevity of the Academy’s award winning Dementia Café. Without funding the initiative faced uncertainty in its long term viability. The youngster’s appeal was successful and the Academy secured funds of £2000 for the Dementia Café which will enable it to continue for another year.
The Oasis Dementia Café made such an impact that they received a surprise call from Kensington Palace to invite Sinead, and fellow Dementia Café volunteer Lucy Brightman-Stokes, 12, to meet with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle backstage at the WE concert. Fourteen students, including Sinead and Lucy were invited to the star studded performance featuring celebrities including Pixie Lott, Liam Payne, Nicole Scherzinger, Connor Maynard, and Naomi Campbell amongst others.
WE is a celebration of young people making a difference to their local and global communities. The movement seek to empower young people to become compassionate leaders and active citizens. Tickets to the annual star studded event cannot be bought and are earnt through local and global work by young people determined to make their community a better place.
Sinead, a Year 10 student at Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, said; “It was nerve-wracking, but really exciting. We gave them a teddy bear for the baby and a card from our school and they said it was lovely.”
“We wished them good luck. It's great she was there, especially since she's pregnant. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to meet them.”
Lucy, a Year 8 student, added; “Harry said he was happy it was a soft teddy, not a hard one, and said, 'That will go in the crib.' I couldn't speak (with excitement). I was awake until midnight last night.”
Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey has been recognised for the amazing work they do with their Dementia Café, and the work they do within their local community.
The Dementia Café all started in April 2014 when a group of students wanted to do some work with people who were living with dementia. A meeting was arranged between the school and Barton Court Nursing Home to discuss how they could work together.
During the WE Day UK event, Prince Harry gave a speech to support a local initiative to encourage young people to take part in positive social change, and told the crowds: "I'm now going to try and drag my wife on stage." As he walked across the platform, Harry held out his hand and helped Meghan up on stage, prompting everyone to burst into wild cheers.