We are coming to the end of what has been a very challenging and unprecedented year. At the start of the year no one could have foreseen the events and turbulent times we were to face. Thank goodness there is now hope for the future with vaccinations due to begin imminently.

COVID-19 will leave a lot of devastation in its wake; many have suffered losses to family and friends, the human cost across the world is so distressing and our thoughts go out to everyone who has been personally affected. Our economy has suffered too, with many charities and organisations struggling to make ends meet.

Despite this, I am proud that we have managed to weather the challenge of lockdowns and social distancing to maintain our vital services to support children and young people in care across England and Wales. In a challenging year, we have still seen some great outcomes, new contracts, financial strengthening and some incredible new charitable initiatives that will help to make a real difference to the lives of everyone who turn to NYAS for our help and support.

I am so very grateful to all our wonderful colleagues, volunteers, supporters and trustees – collectively you are what makes NYAS the fantastic organisation it is. I am extremely privileged to work alongside such dedicated, passionate and committed individuals.

As we reach the end of this tumultuous year, I would like to finish by thanking you all for being part of NYAS and wishing you a very happy, healthy and safe Christmas.  Let us hope that 2021 will bring relief, joy and lots more triumphs in our mission to ensure children and young people have the right to be heard.

With warmest wishes,

Rita Waters

Group CEO for England and Wales