Action for Children
3 The Boulevard
15 December 2014
LETTER TO EDITOR – SIR TONY HAWKHEAD – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF ACTION FOR CHILDREN
THANKS CORNWALL RESIDENTS FOR THEIR SUPPORT IN 2014
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 Cornwall Leaving Care and After Care and Cornwall S.P.A.C.E.
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 impact 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 in Cornwall 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 £1 million 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 frontline 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 Cornwall and across the UK, please visit actionforchildren.org.uk
Sir Tony Hawkhead
Chief executive of Action for Children