This is a strong society, I know, and one which places special emphasis on family and community. As you celebrate, this year, everything that St. Lucia has achieved over these four decades of her Independence, I know that you also take pride in committing yourselves to building the strongest, brightest future for this country.
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.
It’s a matter of enormous pride to hear the difference, to hear the fact that their lives have been turned around by The Trust and by all the wonderful people we have in The Trust, who dedicate so much of their lives to taking care of these young people, to working with them. As you can imagine, helping them to overcome the enormous difficulties and challenges they have had in their lives, and to give them that sense of self-confidence and self-esteem, which of course is really why I started the main Trust all those years ago, 43 years ago!
I can only say how much I appreciate the tremendous difference that Amref Health Africa makes in so many parts of Africa, and just how much I appreciate the invaluable support that so many of you give to the vital work they do.
Ireland also offers its traditional hundred thousand welcomes - cead mile failte - to so many of the British people who have made their home across the water, or who travel there to experience the warmth and beauty of your country.
From these stories grow conversation, debate and, most importantly, action. Over the last nine years, WOW has held 65 festivals in 15 countries, reaching over 2 million people. As we know, these festivals are both a joyous celebration of women and girls across the globe, and, at the same time, a frank examination of the issues that prevent them from achieving their potential.
It was important to me that we should find this opportunity to celebrate your community, in its broadest sense, and to express, however inadequately, the gratitude of this country for everything that people of Cypriot heritage have brought to it over the years. For my part, I can only say how much I appreciate the tremendous difference that each and every one of you makes.
I am so thrilled that the Prayer Book Society still work so hard to spread the word about the Prayer Book and its value. As I’m sure many of you understand as well as I do, as you get older, the words in the Prayer Book mean more and more and more. This is, I think, the point of it, as repetition and familiarity makes such a difference to one’s life – particularly towards the end of it, which you don’t realise at the time when you are younger.
I can’t believe 25 years later what I’m seeing now. We’ve got all these wonderful medicines, there’s been incredible research going into it. We’ve got people on helplines helping others who obviously need a cheery chat to get them through it. It’s just incredible what’s happened and I just wish my mother was here today to see what could have been done.
It seems to me that every young person, wherever they live, deserves a chance to succeed – and that when that chance is given, we all share in the dividend. With your support, we can offer such a chance to even more young people in Greece and empower them to play their part in shaping the future of their country and their society.