Naomi Campbell Set to Bring 'Amazing Visibility' to Queen's Global Charity Aiding Young Leaders

Naomi Campbell, the new ambassador for the Queen's Commonwealth, was praised as "an icon for all ages" who is "invested in the future and young people"

Naomi Campbell
Photo: David Fisher/Shutterstock

Naomi Campbell is modeling good behavior.

The fashion icon was named the new ambassador to the Queen's Commonwealth Trust on Thursday, and the charity's biggest advocates are thrilled about how the supermodel can amplify their important work supporting young leaders across the world.

"[Naomi's] one of the most recognizable names, not just in fashion but around the world," sickle cell disease and blood donation advocate Bukky Bolarinwa told PEOPLE, "and to be associated with her, and the work she does — especially Africa-focused work, which is really something she has been championing — is going to bring amazing visibility to us and the work that we do."

Bolarinwa is a lawyer and campaigner who has been supported by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust in her Haima Health Initiative's work implementing "social distancing blood drives" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Campbell, 51, "is a household name in Nigeria," she says. "In the last year, she was over there a lot. She does so much for fashion, for music for lifestyle. She will be so recognizable."

Naomi Campbell
David Fisher/Shutterstock

Bolarinwa shared a stage with Campbell on Thursday as the style legend spoke about taking on this new "very grown-up role" and what is meant to her personally.

"I just want to start with I'm from a Jamaican heritage," she explained. "And so I always grew up hearing about the Commonwealth and never thought I would ever be anything to do with the Commonwealth, but I know how proud my grandmother and my great aunts and uncles were of being part of the Commonwealth, being a Jamaican."

Chris Kelly, CEO of the QCT, praised Campbell's appointment as "really powerful. You're an icon for all ages and yet you're invested in the future and young people."

Stressing how 60% of the Commonwealth's 2.5 billion people (across 54 countries) are under 30 years old, he added, "The future is going to be the young. These are the people who have the vision, the ideas and the energy to transform our communities."

Naomi Campbell
David Fisher/Shutterstock

The trust has just launched QCT Platinum Jubilee Fund for Young Leaders, which not only supports their service to others around the Commonwealth but also aims to generate further support for young entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth.

Bolarinwa's initiative is a great example "because the need for blood is constant, we quickly implemented socially distanced blood drives, where we went to pick up donors from their home, took them to the the blood drives. They give blood and then took them back home. We were able to do this using the grants from the QCT," she explained.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

"It was very important for us to keep on, to keep that messaging out and let people know that blood donations were safe and that they were vital to keep people alive. More importantly, QCT has provided me with a network of young leaders across Africa, and the world abd also support me. Through their support we're hoping to also launch on Heima in Ghana next year."

That will be a year of celebration across the Commonwealth as the Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee is marked. Kelly added of the Queen, "Her commitment to service for 70 years and her recognition of the Commonwealth and young leaders is continuing. It's incredible that the Queen committed to service 70 years ago and it still exists."

The QCT was one of the charities that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry vacated when they stepped down from their royal roles. They were President and Vice President respectively.

Related Articles