World news story

Sierra Leonean winner to receive award from Her Majesty The Queen

Queen's Young Leaders Award

Queen's Young Leaders

It has been announced that a Sierra Leonean is among 60 young people from across the Commonwealth who are being recognised as exceptional leaders in their community. These 60 young people will receive a prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award. The Award, which will be presented in London by Her Majesty The Queen in 2016, and is part of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.

Howard Nelson-Williams

27 year-old Howard Nelson-Williams has been has been acknowledged for his work on supporting Sierra Leone’s health system. During his time at medical school, Howard helped to create a national medical students association in Sierra Leone (SLEMSA) which aims to provide a forum for students to promote health in their communities. After graduating he became an intern at a surgical referral centre, before going on to study for a Master’s in Public Health degree at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US. Since the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Howard has dedicated his time to advocacy and research into controlling the spread of the disease and working out how to rebuild the country’s health system.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme was established in 2014 by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society in recognition of The Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. Over the next three years the Programme will support thousands of young people to achieve their goals.

Dr Astrid Bonfield, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said: “Once again 60 incredible young people from around the Commonwealth have shown strength, leadership, empathy and drive. Some of our winners are just embarking on their leadership journey and others are more established. Either way, we recognise not only what these amazing young people have achieved, but also their potential in changing people’s lives for the better in the countries and communities in which they live.”

On winning the Award, Howard said ‘’ I have dedicated my time to advocacy and research into controlling the spread of the disease. I am so honoured to be part of the Queen’s Young Leaders programme”.

To see a full list of Award winners and Highly Commended runners up, and read more about their stories please visit

Published 29 December 2015