As a business leader I have been convinced for many years that the most important strategic priority for the nation is the education of its young people. I passionately believe that business has a duty, a responsibility and a great opportunity to support our schools and to help more young people to succeed.
There is still work to do, both to raise awareness of the benefits of strong human rights protections and to make sure they apply effectively, to everyone. The Equally Ours partners are proud to be working together to raise awareness of the everyday benefits of human rights for people from all walks of life, in every part of the country.
Every year in the UK 80,000 young people experience homelessness, a fact known to too few but one that should trouble all of us. Tonight members of the public in eight cities will make their feelings known by giving up their beds and spending a night on the street in the largest national Sleep Out of its kind.
Local authority support and in particular financial support for local Councils of Voluntary Service (CVS) is ebbing away in too many places. This is tragic. They serve the same communities. There should be common cause to promote community well-being and much more. Well-being and outcomes in challenging times require strong public - social/sector partnership.
How charitable is the charity sector? It depends who you ask. If you are the executive of one of Britain's leading foreign aid charities you are likely to give a positive answer, but then you would be a beneficiary of this generosity of spirit. If, however, you are one of thousands of unpaid interns currently working for free for charities across the UK, you might be inclined to disagree.