Published 30 September 2010

A fire alarm had thrown us together. Either that or Fate.

The Duke of Cambridge

Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening. Thank you all for being here tonight – I know that some of you have come a very long way.

My relationship with 100 Women in Hedge Funds started on a cold November night when I found myself in the dark with Anne and Amanda … gazing up at the Guildhall, expecting it to burst into flames at any moment.

A fire alarm had thrown us together. Either that or Fate. Right from that first conversation, the similarities struck us – the causes that I feel so passionately about, and the magnificent work that you do in supporting mentoring, family health and education.

Over the past two years, I have learned more of what you have achieved for charities, large and small. It is no exaggeration to say that those lucky organisations which you support are utterly transformed by you. It is a record of which 100 Women in Hedge Funds should be truly proud. You have made a life-changing difference to so very many people.

Centrepoint is just the latest of this fortunate band. It is an extraordinary organisation, which I am deeply fond of. The work it does, day after day, night after night – and has done for 41 years – provides the lifeline to young homeless people in this city and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. More than that, though, it has developed a model of best practice for all who work to eradicate homelessness.

Like all the best models, it is simple: Centrepoint helps those who are without help. It restores hope and, with it, reignites self-confidence. And then it provides opportunity, mentoring those in its care back to the stable life that we all take for granted.

This summer, my brother and I went to Southern Africa. There, we met a group of young people, working hard on a conservation project. All of them were self-confident, driven and happy. Centrepoint did that.

And because of all of you gathered here tonight, many more young people like them will have hope again for the future.

Thank you for your support for my charity Centrepoint. I am so proud to be associated with 100 Women in Hedge Funds.

Have a wonderful evening.