Ann Duke is the founder of Walk Tall, a charity that transforms the lives of disadvantaged people of all ages by providing them with tools for self-empowerment, increased mental health and wellbeing, and opportunities for growth and achievement. Walk Tall was originally founded to help primary children learn skills to deal with bullying, but Ann quickly realised that bullying was only one symptom of a much deeper, underlying social issue which was, and still is, manifesting in the stunted and distorted mental and emotional growth of young people. Walk Tall aims to tackle this through a combination of performing arts, informal and accredited education, and talking therapies. Together, these prove to be highly effective tools for breaking old patterns of behaviour, developing effective interpersonal skills and increasing life success through educational attainment.
Ann, who entered the teaching profession after working in the brewing industry, is an inspirational member of society who is proactively trying to improve the lives of young people across London, and we recognise her contribution today with this award.