Blog: Congratulations Alice Rath!

17 July 2020

Our trustee, Alice Rath, received a Diana Award on 1st July for 9 years voluntary service supporting young people in healthcare and the charity sector.

At 23 years old, Alice is a youth advocate who works with organisations to improve the quality of care for young people and marginalised groups. 

Alice was also elected to Crohn's & Colitis UK's Board of Trustees in February 2020. As a young trustee, she brings a new perspective to the board and represents the views of young people diagnosed with Crohn's and Colitis.

We're so proud that Alice has been recognised as a young leader creating and sustaining positive change in the memory of Princess Diana.

The Diana Award

The Diana Award is the only charity set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and her belief that young people have the power to change the world. Their Anti-Bullying work encourages change in attitudes and behaviours for young people by young people, their mentoring schemes guide change for some of the UK’s most vulnerable young people and their flagship award programme recognises the young people driving selfless change across the world.

What is the award?

The award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. This is the longest running award for young people through a solely retrospective nomination process which means young people do not work towards the award but demonstrate their suitability through their actions, without any expectation of reward. 

To be recognised as a young person who’s living Princess Diana’s legacy is truly humbling. I now feel the work I’ve done has real value, and something I can continue in future

Timeline to the award

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) served as my introduction into the healthcare system, spending 12 years as a patient of the gastroenterology department for an ongoing rare condition which went undiagnosed. I was so grateful for the treatment I received, but I noted some flaws in the system, such as the transitional period from pediatric to adult care. For me and many other young people, it felt unstructured and daunting. 

I was invited to join the GOSH Young People’s Forum (YPF) when it was first founded in 2012. So at the age of 14, I became empowered to talk about adolescent healthcare and advocate for improvements to the system. 

In 2016, I joined the NHS Youth Forum, representing healthcare interests for young people at a national level. Whilst there’s still a long way to go until everyone receives the same quality of care, I’m confident in the progress the forum has made.

In 2018 I was grateful to be elected as GOSH Governor, representing patients outside of London. Leveraging this position, I voiced issues concerning young people at board level, which is something I strived to do throughout my voluntary career.

Most recently, in 2019, I was elected as Trustee for Crohn’s & Colitis UK. Living with an undiagnosed gastroenterological condition, I consider myself a close ally to those living with Crohn’s and Colitis. I’m immensely proud to become part of the board and to be given such a fantastic opportunity to help shape the organisation.

After her own experience as a patient at GOSH, Alice has been working to support young people in healthcare and the charity sector as a whole through her positions as GOSH Patient Governor, NHS Youth Forum member and Crohn’s & Colitis UK Trustee. Her work has led to a much more inclusive and tailored environment for young people in healthcare, whilst smoothing the transition into adult care. Through advice sessions, fundraising and mentoring, Alice has dramatically improved the experience of teenage patients, ensuring their needs are considered by key decision makers.

The Diana Award

check out this year's roll of honour