I would like to congratulate everybody for braving the snow and getting here today. It is an enormous pleasure for me to be at Camerton today to open this wonderful new extension to our headquarters – and to help celebrate a brighter future for osteoporosis.
I have to pinch myself to believe how far the NOS has come since its founder – the indomitable Linda Edwards asked me to become a Patron.
Then, only 11 years ago, the NOS was a small and struggling charity. The nurse’s helpline was only manned part time – mostly as far as I can remember from a cupboard! Awareness campaigns were virtually unheard of and fundraising was extremely difficult. Tragically my mother had died a few years earlier as a result of osteoporosis, and my family and I were horrified at our complete ignorance of this silent disease.
Like any growing charity we dreamt of many things – raising awareness nationwide – increasing our membership numbers – providing better services and more scanners to the hundreds of thousands of sufferers, and pumping more funds into the vital research into osteoporosis itself.
As we stand under this new roof today I think we can – Ladies and Gentlemen – take some pride in looking around us to see that a significant part of this dream has been realized.
The NOS has been lucky enough to have been supported by a group of very special donors – who we could not exist without… and I wanted in particular today to mention Peter Cruddas – whose staggering generosity and unconditional support has helped make this building possible.
Thank you Peter again, on behalf of us. You really are a star!
This rejuvenated building will hopefully breathe new life into the NOS. and, as President, I would like to thank every one of you here for your commitment and enthusiasm for the work you do for it.
Now – whilst I am on the subject of commitment, there is one person here that I would especially like to thank – and to give my award for an ‘outstanding contribution to osteoporosis’. As well as being a most eminent Professor he has earned the respect and affection of so many – for his work and his dedication to this devastating disease.
I am delighted to give you – Cyrus Cooper, this award – and to thank you personally for your help, friendship and kindness over the years…
But before I hand this award to Cyrus I would like to thank you all again for helping to celebrate a new era for the National Osteoporosis Society.