Teen who made 1,500 facemasks named World Changer of the Year
- Credit: Chili Tozer
A 14-year-old girl has won Pearson's 'World Changer of the Year' award for her efforts in helping young people with their mental health during the pandemic.
Chili Tozer, who lives in Lowestoft and goes to school at Notre Dame High School, Norwich, has won the award for her impassioned response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The awards are judged and supported by leading explorers, creatives, entrepreneurs and social campaigners, who find inspiring young people across Britain who are sparking positive change.
After teaching herself to use an electric sewing machine in lockdown with the help of her grandma on Facetime, she created and sold over 1,500 colourful facemasks for her community, raising £4,000 for young people’s mental health - a cause close to her heart.
Ms Tozer's entrepreneurial efforts helped fund vital twice-weekly counselling sessions for young people struggling with their wellbeing over lockdown, as well as education and sport courses that work to increase confidence and motivation among young people through local mental health charity Inspire Suffolk.
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She is committed to continuing to make a difference and raising awareness about mental health in her cousin Harley’s memory.
Ms Tozer said: “I am very proud to have been crowned Pearson’s World Changer of the Year and I dedicate my award in memory of my cousin, Harley.
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“I have seen first-hand the impact mental health issues can have on young people and their loved ones.
"Mental health can affect everyone, regardless of whether you are rich or poor, young or old, male or female.
"Half of mental health conditions start by the age of 14, and most go untreated and undetected. This has to change."
From winning the award, Ms Tozer has won a package of prizes including a mentoring call with award ambassador and inspirational polar explorer Ann Daniels, who campaigns for the protection of the planet and is the first woman in history to reach the north and south poles as part of all-women teams.
Ms Tozer added: "I have been committed to making a difference and raising awareness on this important issue - my facemasks were just the start of this.
"I hope winning this award will bring more awareness for young people suffering with their mental health.”