Ladies and Gentlemen,
I can’t believe now how many years we’ve been doing this. But every year I come I have this slight anxiety that quite a lot of you in the audience have been here before and that I’m merely repeating myself for which I can only apologise. But one thing I will go on saying every year is just how enormously grateful l am to Philip and Fearne for the remarkable efforts they’ve made today to make sure all this celebration and the awards ceremony have been so special. In fact, I have a feeling that it won’t be long before we need to celebrate Philip’s Silver jubilee as a Prince’s Trust Ambassador. He is unbelievably loyal and devoted and it makes such an enormous difference, if I may say so.
Now Ladies and Gentlemen, the other thing about these awards is that it gives me such enormous pride to hear about the way in which the Trust has helped to turn around people’s lives, the people you’ve heard about this afternoon. And when you think that Grace Graham has done so much to turn her life around, the other great thing is that I might have discovered somebody who can come and sort out my neck every now and then! The other thing I found out today is that I’ve discovered a long lost relation in Danny Dyer, who told me he is descended from Edward III which was interesting, so I must do some research when I go back. Anyway, the only thing missing this year has been Ant and Dec, because they always supply me with some very good jokes so I will have to write to them and thank them for appearing in their slightly disembodied form.
But, Ladies and Gentlemen, I just wanted to say that the wonderful thing is that the Trust has been able, as a result of all the fantastic staff we have, you’ve seen just the impact that mentors can have on the lives of young people. Let alone all those wonderful staff who do all the work in helping to give young people the confidence and self-esteem that they all talk about, that helps prevent them from committing suicide, that literally transforms their lives. So it is a wonderful opportunity just to say another immense thank you to them, so often unseen and unsung, all over the country and in Prince’s Trust centres. It has enabled us to help more than 950,000 young people. We are very nearly at the million. And I hope we can support many many more young people in the future. This year along the Trust will support 60,000 young people. And the wonderful thing is currently 78% of young people who complete a programme through my Trust go on to achieve a positive outcome, and that again is a fantastic tribute to the fantastic people who work so hard to achieve that.
The other thing you may have noticed is the fact that we managed to develop the international Trust side of things – The Prince’s Trust International. We launched it in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015 in Malta and it now works in Australia, Canada, Barbados, Greece, India, Malta, Jordan, New Zealand and Pakistan. And for me a very special part of this year’s ceremony has been having people from some of these countries to come and receive awards. And by the end of this year we will have worked with 4,218 people around the globe, in total we’ve supported 10,382 young people since 2015 and we aim to try and work with 100,000 young people over the next five years.
So all I can say Ladies and Gentlemen is watch this space and I very much hope that we can go on making an even more important contribution to the lives of young people, to investing in their future and our future in this country. And you can imagine it moves me greatly to see the difference that could be made to them. So if I may say so, thank you all for coming, for the contribution you make, particularly the donors and the supporters without whom we could not do any of this. So it is a wonderful team effort.
Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen.