Year after year, The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award has recognised the incredible achievements of young people who have turned their lives around with the help of my Trust. Over the last 16 years I.T.V.'s Pride of Britain has been a loyal supporter of my Trust’s work, helping to highlight the way in which so many young people have overcome the appalling challenges facing them.
This year – as perhaps some of you might possibly have noticed – my Trust marks its 40th anniversary. Since I established my Trust with the help of my Royal navy settlement grant, over 825,000 young people have been supported and three out of four young people have moved into employment, education or training.
While I am enormously proud of what has been achieved during this time, our young people still face great challenges which we must help them to overcome – many for instance are in, or leaving, care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or have been in trouble with the law.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am always so moved and inspired by the achievements of my Trust's young people, and this evening's Award recipient is no different. Francesca’s remarkable story demonstrates the importance of my Trust’s work and the impact such support can have in changing young people's lives. However, it is also a reminder that we must not forget about those young people we haven't reached yet, who still need our help.
I know many of you are already wonderfully generous supporters of the work of my Trust, and I cannot possibly tell you how grateful I am for all you have done for our country’s youth. It is only with this support that my Trust can possibly continue to work with some of our nation's most vulnerable young people.
Well done, Francesca, many congratulations on this outstanding achievement.