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Knife crime campaigner from Stratford gets special invite to the Royal Wedding

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 May 2018

Ryan in his BBC interview with Dermot O'Leary and Kirsty Young. Picture: Ryan Hicks

Ryan in his BBC interview with Dermot O'Leary and Kirsty Young. Picture: Ryan Hicks

Archant

A 15-year-old pupil from Stratford had a front row seat to the Royal Wedding on Saturday.

Ryan in his BBC interview with Dermot O'Leary and Kirsty Young. Picture: Ryan HicksRyan in his BBC interview with Dermot O'Leary and Kirsty Young. Picture: Ryan Hicks

Ryan Hicks, a Year 10 student from Rokeby School in Canning Town, was one of seven young people to be invited to the celebrations for his work with the Diana Award Mentoring Programme.

The programme sees young people paired with mentors for six months to develop a campaign around a social issue – Ryan’s focused on knife crime.

“I didn’t see the invite first-hand, I was at my dad’s for the weekend,” he said.

“My mum rang and told me, I thought she was joking.

Ryan outside the steps of Windsor Castle. Picture: Ryan HicksRyan outside the steps of Windsor Castle. Picture: Ryan Hicks

“I just kept asking myself, why me?”

Once he’d let it sink in, Ryan started thinking about outfits.

“My mum drove me to Asda. I said, mum, this is the Royal Wedding, I can’t go in a suit from Asda. We went to Next instead and she spent more than £100.”

On Friday, Ryan was interviewed for Good Morning Britain, before meeting the other invitees from the Diana Award charity.

Ryan was invited to the wedding for his work with the Diana Award Mentoring Programme. Picture: Ryan HicksRyan was invited to the wedding for his work with the Diana Award Mentoring Programme. Picture: Ryan Hicks

“On Saturday we left at 8am,” he said. “We sat on blankets outside the steps where they walked out. I was right at the front. I took videos of them coming out and the kiss, and I gave them away for free – I wish I’d asked for money now.”

While he liked Meghan’s outfit, Ryan was less convinced by Harry’s.

He said: “I didn’t like the suit he was wearing, it seemed a bit serious. Her dress was nice, she looked really sparkly.”

Ryan stopped for one final interview with Dermot O’Leary on the BBC before he left.

Ryan withTessy Ojo from the Diana Award charity. Picture: Ryan HicksRyan withTessy Ojo from the Diana Award charity. Picture: Ryan Hicks

“At school everyone’s been coming up to me and saying they saw me on the TV,” he said.

Ryan’s previously spoken at Buckingham Palace in front of Prince Philip and Tom Cruise about Outward Bound, an educational charity, and he’s given a presentation at the Houses of Parliament for his knife crime campaign.

“I want to change things,” Ryan said. “When I’m older I want to continue doing stuff like this – I want to contribute to other charities, giving presentations and donations. I want to change things for young people.”

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