Ladies and gentlemen I did just want to say how really delighted my wife and I are to be able to attend this very special award ceremony with which my Prince’s Trust has had such a close association, and to hear so many inspiring stories about some truly remarkable people.
I’m very grateful that for the last ten years there has been a Prince’s Trust Young Achiever’s award, which recognises young people who have not only overcome enormous challenges to turn their own lives around but who are also now making a real difference to the lives of other people around them.
In my experience, it is often those young people who have come through the toughest challenges who are in the strongest position to become role models and help others - indeed we find with my Prince’s Trust that the most bloody-minded people invariably become the best leaders. Well, tonight, we are also honouring the veterans of the Battle of Britain, the Few and I have a very special pride in being Patron of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, which I inherited from my darling Grandmother and those Few who remain with us today are truly the Pride of Britain, we salute their courage, their dignity, their duty and their service. They too are our lasting role models.
The young people who have collected this award over the last ten years have faced huge obstacles: some have spent a childhood moving from care home to care home and they’ve gone on to become role models to young people growing up in care today. Others have experienced depression and are now helping other young people through similar mental health problems. The story of our winner tonight shows how we should never give up on young people. They have so much to give back and with the right support they can help change the lives of many others like them.
So, finally, before we hear a little more about the winner of tonight’s Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award, I should just add that the Prince’s Trust Pride of Britain Winners are representatives of the 40,000 young people that my Trust helps every year, and I’m always so moved and inspired ladies and gentlemen by their achievements and it gives me infinite reward and immense pride to know that we have helped them to have a positive future. Well done.