Richard is currently Chairman of UTV Media Plc and since 2010 has been Chairman of Princes Trust Trading Limited, a wholly-owned trading subsidiary of The Prince’s Trust. Here he sends a message to all supporters of The Prince's Trust during its 40-year history and explains why the ITV documentary When Ant and Dec Met The Prince: 40 Years of The Prince’s Trust will be essential viewing.
2016 is going to be a very special year for everyone connected with The Prince’s Trust as we mark 40 years of The Trust helping disadvantaged young people turn their lives around. It’s remarkable to think how much The Trust has achieved since our President, HRH The Prince of Wales, launched the Trust in 1976.
I still have very fond memories of my first involvement with The Trust back in December 1992 when I helped with Sir George Martin’s production of Under Milk Wood at Air Studios in Hampstead, featuring Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Jones (and many other fine Welsh voices), which raised money for The Trust, with our President, The Prince of Wales, in attendance.
Fast forward to 2016 and The Prince’s Trust, during its 40 year life, has helped a staggering 825,000 young people turn their lives around.
On January 4th at 9.00pm on ITV you can see for yourself the extraordinary difference that The Trust has made, and continues to make, to so many young people by watching “When Ant and Dec Met The Prince: 40 Years of The Prince’s Trust”. It’s a fascinating look at the work of The Trust through the eyes of television’s most popular duo and our President. It’s full of incredibly inspiring stories of the exceptional young people that The Trust has been able to help through the kindness and generosity provided by our supporters over the years. Any anniversary is a great time to look back and reflect on past achievements and we will offer plenty of ways for you to to do that with us over the next twelve months. Details about events will be released throughout 2016.
However, whilst we celebrate the past 40 years, we must also look forward. Youth unemployment is still a major issue, with unemployment amongst young people almost three times higher than overall unemployment. For many young people, through no fault of their own, the future looks incredibly bleak. More than one in ten young people often feel too anxious to leave the house, increasing to more than a third for those not in education, training or employment.
The work of The Trust remains crucially important and, despite having helped nearly a million young people turn their lives around over the last 40 years, The Trust wants to support many many more in the years to come. But to achieve this goal, we will need all the help we can get from our army of loyal supporters and volunteers around the country.
So, do please continue to do anything and everything you can to help us. Together, I’m sure we can achieve our ambition and, in doing so, make life-changing differences to even more young people’s lives.
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2016.