Thank you Alistair and hello to everybody here today.
I’m delighted to welcome you all to St James’s Palace today to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan and City Police Orphans Fund.
Over the past 150 years – as the oldest police charity in the world – the Fund has provided care to the children of police officers in their hour of greatest need.
Our society is defined by how we look after those who keep us all safe. It matters deeply that we help the families who play such an important role in supporting them.
I am therefore immensely proud that the Metropolitan and City Police Orphans Fund provides such comfort and reassurance to the children of police officers who have so sadly lost their lives or livelihoods.
Since 1870, over 15,000 children have directly benefitted from this support.
And today The Fund provides around £1 million a year to help just over 300 children with educational costs, holidays, university fees and extracurricular activities.
It has been wonderful to hear from so many of you today about the tangible impact that the support provided by the Fund is having on your lives.
People like Aidan Gurr – the winner of last year’s Philip Cronin Award for Endeavour and Achievement.
With the Fund’s support, Aidan has gone on to become a special constable and a graduate with a degree in Paramedic Science.
Aidan was supposed to be here today but I understand he was on night shift last night so sadly hasn’t been able to make it. We all know how difficult night shifts can be!
Many congratulations to Aidan, and everyone else here today who have achieved such great things in the face of such challenging circumstances.
Finally, I wanted to end by thanking all the staff and volunteers who dedicate their time to the Fund.
Today’s event, and the celebration of such a landmark moment in the charity’s history, is a testament to the hugely important role that you all play.