Thanks for help with our vi­tal work

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

THIS has been a land­mark year for me and for Ac­tion for Chil­dren.

I be­came the chief ex­ec­u­tive of this won­der­ful char­ity in March, and in July we cel­e­brated our 145th an­niver­sary. That’s 145 years of sup­port­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and young peo­ple in so­ci­ety.

I have spent my first year re­ally get­ting to know Ac­tion for Chil­dren, and I have been hum­bled and in­spired by the im­pact of our work through ser­vices such as Ayles­bury’s Bucks Ac­tiv­ity Project and Kite Ridge House, in High Wy­combe.

As well as pro­vid­ing in­no­va­tive and ef­fec­tive ser­vices, Ac­tion for Chil­dren also speaks out on be­half of the most vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren in so­ci­ety and I am pleased to say we had some im­por­tant wins in 2014. In June, the suc­cess of our cam­paign to change the law on child cru­elty to in­clude emo­tional as well as phys­i­cal harm was an­nounced in The Queen’s Speech. This change will save lives: emo­tional abuse may not leave vis­i­ble scars, but its ef­fects, both long and short-term, can be dev­as­tat­ing.

We also held a whole host of en­ter­tain­ing, un­usual and some­times chal­leng­ing events this year. Beloved chil­dren’s book The Very Hun­gry Cater­pil­lar cel­e­brated its own an­niver­sary – its 45th – and to­gether we held the Gi­ant Wig­gle, a fundraiser that saw chil­dren from across Buck­ing­hamshire join thou­sands across the UK for a spon­sored wig­gle that was en­joyed by all.

Ar­guably less en­joy­able was Byte Night. I was one of more than 1,500 peo­ple who slept rough to high­light the is­sue of youth home­less­ness. It was cold and un­com­fort­able, but we raised more than £1mil­lion for our home­less­ness ser­vices, so it was def­i­nitely worth it!

I would like to thank your read­ers for ev­ery­thing they have done for Ac­tion for Chil­dren this year – from mak­ing do­na­tions, to back­ing our cam­paigns, to tak­ing part in fundrais­ing chal­lenges. To­gether we have achieved a lot, but sadly there is still more to be done.

Our front-line ser­vices are in­creas­ingly sup­port­ing chil­dren and fam­i­lies on is­sues such as de­pres­sion and self-harm. We’re com­mit­ted to do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to stop sit­u­a­tions get­ting worse and to trans­form lives, but we need your support.

To find out more about how you can help Ac­tion for Chil­dren make 2015 a happy new year for chil­dren in Buck­ing­hamshire and across the UK, please visit ac­tion­forchil­dren. org.uk.

Merry Christ­mas.

SIR TONY HAWK­HEAD

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Ac­tion for Chil­dren

this prob­lem, and think about how we can get the right homes in the right places at prices that are af­ford­able for every­body in the bor­ough.

We need more lo­cal voices say­ing Yes to Homes so our com­mu­nity lead­ers take no­tice, and more im­por­tantly ac­tion, to de­liver those homes.

If you join the cam­paign, to­gether we can make them lis­ten. Please sign the pe­ti­tion for more of the right homes, in the right place, at the right price at www.yesto­homes.co.uk.

JULIE FENN Yes to Homes

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