A Hartlepool schoolboy is one of only 20 outstanding young people in the world to win a new award in memory of Princess Diana.
Fifteen-year-old Mathew White-Iley, who goes to High Tunstall College of Science, won the Diana Legacy Award for his work against bullying.
He was presented with his award by Prince William and Prince Harry at St James’s Palace in London on Thursday night.
The awards were created to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana and were given to people who embody her qualities of kindness, compassion and service.
Mathew was said by award organisers to be an inspirational anti-bullying ambassador and mentor, who has been the driving force behind his anti-bullying ambassador team at High Tunstall.
In his role as Chair, Mathew, who suffered from bullying himself in the past, has helped give assemblies and worked to raise awareness on cyber, sexual, homophobic, physical, and mental bullying.
His citation said: “He regularly checks in on those he is mentoring and never leaves without ensuring the individual is feeling better.
“Teachers and staff at his school describe Mathew as always going one step beyond what is expected of him, ensuring that everyone else’s needs come before him.”
Mathew said about his award: “I’m very proud and honoured to receive the award, but believe that if you stay true to yourself and always look on the bright side you will achieve what you want to in life.”
He was nominated for the award by Kate Hillyard from the Anti-Bullying and Behaviour Service.
She and Mathew’s mum Emma White went with Mathew to the inaugural awards.
Winners came from the UK, USA, Canada, India, Belize and United Arab Emirates. Organisers said all have had a “monumental impact” on society.
Tessy Ojo, chief executive of The Diana Award said: “This ceremony is about two things; celebrating young people for their selfless contribution to society, their courage and bravery, sometimes in the face of adversity and demonstrating to young people that we, as a collective, value them.”
High Tunstall headteacher Mark Tilling said: “Mathew is a fantastic rounded young man who has led from the front in developing anti bullying strategies and supporting other students around the school.
“He is an absolute credit to his parents, his peer group and the college and we are very, very proud of him.”
As a Legacy Award winner, Mathew will have access to its unique development programme to continue being a trailblazer.