We’re thrilled to announce that Ruben and Elena Evans-Guillen, aged 10, from Warrington have been recognised this year with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award. The twins were nominated for the award by MedEquip4Kids in recognition of their exceptional fundraising and inspiring story.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex. It acknowledges young people who go above and beyond in their daily life to create and sustain positive change.
At the age of six, Ruben and Elena, who both have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), decided they wanted to do something to help sick children in hospital. They worked out that the activities they already loved the most – running and being active – not only benefited their own health and wellbeing, but could also enable them to raise funds for good causes.
Amazingly, for the past four years the twins have dedicated the majority of their weekends to running, trekking and cycling in order to raise money for their chosen charities. This has raised over £35,000 for North West healthcare charities, including MedEquip4Kids. Ruben and Elena have learned to manage their condition and channel their energy into altruistic activities that benefit their community whilst also challenging negative perceptions of ADHD.
The funds have helped to fund an outside play area at Warrington General Hospital, a Child and Adolescent Mental Health counselling room, lung suction equipment and sensory materials for several hospitals across the region, making a huge difference to those child patients.
In April 2020 Ruben and Elena helped MedEquip4Kids to secure a grant of £5,000 to provide sensory toys, games and art materials for several Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the North West. These will be especially beneficial while COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on children’s lives.
During 2020 they completed both the Summer and Winter Superhero Challenge 100km cycles for MedEquip4Kids, securing funds for two lung suction machines for ISCAN (Integrated Service for Children with Additional Needs), which cares for 655 children in Tameside and Glossop. These machines will support children like Heidi who have brain injuries, lung diseases or conditions such as cystic fibrosis.
In 2021 they embarked on their 100 Acts of Kindness “Be a Good Egg for the NHS” campaign. The funds raised will help MedEquip4Kids buy a wireless heart monitor for the Warrington Birth Centre, allowing more women to give birth safely and giving babies like Edwin the best start in life.
Catherine North, fundraiser at MedEquip4Kids, says: “We are absolutely thrilled that the twins have received this well-deserved honour. It has been so inspiring to see how Ruben and Elena have dealt with their adversity with such courage and compassion, using their excessive energy not only to help themselves, but also in the spirit of helping others. By helping us to fund these resources, they have given thousands of young people better access to high quality mental and physical healthcare.”
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, says: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and all over the globe who are change makers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens. For over twenty years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”
The #2021DianaAwards virtual ceremony will take place today Monday 28 June at 4pm BST and is free to watch here: https://www.youtube.com/user/dianaaward