Tessy Ojo has been recognized for her work as head of the Diana Award charity in a very special way! As People shares, Ojo was included on Queen Elizabeth II's list of honours this year— a list that recognizes those who have made important contributions for the public— and she opened up about what this new title means for her!

Ojo says honour makes her feel she has a "bigger mandate"

Ojo was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the queen during the special awards ceremony, which was originally scheduled to take place in June. "I am overwhelmed. It feels like a mandate for me to go and do more," Ojo said to People of receiving the royal designation.

"This tells me that young people have put their trust in me and I cannot afford to give up. I now look wide and far and look beyond the U.K.," she continued. "I now have a bigger mandate and that’s what the honor feels like for me." It's no surprise that Ojo is expanding her horizons even further, because as People shares, she has helped to put the Diana Award on the map globally!

Ojo calls her work with the Diana Award "an immense privilege"

Ojo went on to share that this recognition is especially meaningful to her because of the particular group that helped to put her name forward for consideration. "I am humbled by this honor and it feels momentous because it was driven by young people," she explained to People. "It’s an immense privilege to work with children and young people."

"For the past 20 years at The Diana Award," Ojo continued, "I have seen time and time again the life-changing impact we can have on young people by investing in them and empowering them to be a voice to create change." One of the young individuals to spearhead Ojo's nomination was Callum Fairhurst, who made a statement about why he felt she should be selected. 

"Tessy has had a significant impact on so many young people including me. She has always been a driving force in helping me make a difference," Fairhurst said. "Her support and advice enabled me to create a charity for bereaved siblings like myself." As People mentions, Ojo met Fairhurst after his brother Liam passed away, making her presence in his life at that point in time a significant one.

Ojo joins celeb chef and frontline heroes on honour list

Ojo wasn't the only notable new addition to Queen Elizabeth II's list of honours for 2020. As People mentions, The Great British Bake Off's Mary Berry also received an honour from the queen, being officially recognized as a Dame! Berry's new title came thanks to her work with Duchess Kate's outdoor activity program and support of one of Prince William's patronages, Child Bereavement UK.

And because the coronavirus forced the awards ceremony to be delayed until now, Queen Elizabeth II's list of honours this year also inducted several "COVID heroes" who have provided notable global or local aid in the midst of the pandemic! Congratulations to Tessy Ojo, Mary Berry, and the rest of the queen's honours list recipients for this year!


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