Campaigning teenager tells Prince William ‘I am deaf and proud’

Tuesday 2 February

February 02 at 08:30

A Wirral teenager awarded a prestigious honour for tireless campaigns on issues affecting young deaf people joined the Duke of Cambridge for the launch of an anti-bullying campaign.

Bethany Eason, 19, was among a young group who spent time with Prince William when he visited Bourneville College in Birmingham to see how people tackle identity-based bullying in our schools and communities.

The Duke was presented with five social action projects all of which had the goal of reducing bullying both on and offline and to provide support to those suffering its negative consequences.

Bethany, whose campaigning earned the awarded the Princess Diana Trust award for Most Courageous Citizen 2015, joined fellow Diana Award holders and Anti-Bullying Pro ambassadors for the awareness day in Birmingham.
During the event, voice coach and anti-bullying pro Ambassador Carrie Grant ran a workshop called ‘Walk in our shoes’. It ended with the Duke being presented with a collage which he was photographed for earlier in the visit.

Bethany said, “It was such an amazing and an educational day. I was really proud to have been able to express my opinions even further by reaching out to others who’ve been bullied because of being who they are and reassuring them that being yourself is the most valuable thing in life.

“We all wrote down on a piece of paper what makes us different. Then each person switched papers with another.

“By taking on others’ differences as their own, the group began to see each other in a new light, understand their differences and see that difference is what makes us all special.

“HRH wrote down ‘I am a prince’. I wrote down ‘I am deaf and proud’ because that’s my difference and I have learned to accept my difference.”

Bethany has been an active member of the National Deaf Children’s Society, sitting on its youth advisory board. She has also been prominent in a campaign drawing attention to unfairness of changes in the Disability Living Allowance.

Beth’s campaigning has earned many accolades, including two humanitarian citizen awards from the Red Cross.

After receiving the Diana Award last year, she continued, “Deafness is classed as a hidden disability, but as far as I’m concerned it is not a disability. It’s not a disability unless you let it be a disability.

“Deaf people should not have to fit in to society; society should fit in around deaf people.”

Article source: Craig Manning, Wirral Globe