Last week in London, I was invited to speak alongside Kirsty Wark and Rosamund de la Hey, at a Lunch, in aid of The Prince’s Trust.
The Prince’s Trust helps reach out to young people across the UK, who have faced terrible barriers, preventing them from reaching their full potential: unemployment, time spent in care, criminal records, those who are or have been homeless, and suffer mental or physical health problems. The trust helps these kids develop their confidence, boost their skills, gain sustainable jobs and start their own businesses.
The trust was founded in 1976 by The Prince of Wales. His Royal Highness became dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people. The trust delivers on that commitment to this day. Transforming hundreds of thousands of young lives, for the better.
We heard from one of these young people. Catriona. She told us her story. Speaking softly about growing up with mentally ill parents, a junkie brother and being brutally assaulted and raped. The Prince’s Trust found Catriona. They helped her feel safe. They helped her heal. I don’t think anyone in that room, who heard her story, will forget her shocking, yet poetic words.
An interval followed. We ate lunch. Two hundred women lunching together. A committee member sat beside me “I don’t feel very worthy of speaking” I said “Oh don’t worry my dear, you are here as the light entertainment”.
Knowing I was going to be chatting alongside two extremely accomplished women, Kristy and Rosamund, I googled them both to inspect the line-up. Bloody hell. It was heavy. They’ve achieved a lot. Rosamund’s clearly one smart literary cookie and Kirsty’s Wikipedia page of accomplishments runs on forever. I wasn’t sure I even had a Wikipedia page. I went to look. India Hicks: 600 and something in line to the throne. Expelled from Gordonstoun. Modelled Pucci cat suits.
There of course would have to be some kind of nuclear bomb for me to get near a throne, and for the record I was NOT expelled from Gordontsoun, I was asked to go home for a week and think about things and Emilo Pucci did invite me into a cat suit, but how that ends up on Wikipedia I have no idea.
The Chairman had asked me in advance if I would talk about fostering our son Wesley, who had been dropped off at the end of our drive by his mother’s boyfriend, the day after her funeral. Four years ago, this month.
I also talked about the balance of life. Balancing entrepreneurial dreams, big goals, romance and most importantly family. I’m not sure I’ve found my balance quite yet but I’m giving it a go.
The Prince’s Trust gave Catriona a dream and a goal. She now has the tools and the confidence to find the rest. Remarkable.