A Royal celebration: Her Majesty The Queen hosts Reception at Buckingham Palace

A Royal celebration: Her Majesty The Queen hosts Reception at Buckingham Palace

The Queen, accompanied by The Countess of Wessex, held a Reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening to celebrate the work of the Trust and those who have been at the forefront of its work. 

The Reception marked the achievements of the Trust’s five-year programmes ahead of its planned closure in early 2020. Supporters of the Trust were in attendance, as well as eye health professionals from 28 countries who have been instrumental in delivering the Trust’s work.

The Trust was set up in 2012 as a time-limited charitable foundation established to enrich the lives of people from all backgrounds within the Commonwealth by working with partners towards eliminating avoidable blindness and empowering a new generation of young leaders.

Over the past five years, the Trust has been part of the global movement to end avoidable blindness and has mobilised people and organisations around the world to ensure no-one in the future becomes blind from causes that can be prevented. The Trust has also discovered and championed a cadre of 240 young leaders who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform people’s lives through the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme. 

At the Reception, The Countess gave a speech, reflecting on her role as Vice-Patron of the Trust. The Countess became Vice-Patron of the Trust in 2015 and has visited the Trust’s work to eliminate avoidable forms of blindness in Malawi, Bangladesh and India.

In the speech, The Countess said:

On behalf of the people The Trust has helped thank you to each and every one of you for all your incredible support, and to Your Majesty thank you for choosing to give the gift of sight.

To mark the completion of the Trust’s five-year programmes, a short 10-minute film has also been released which highlights how the legacy of the Trust will continue in the work of the Queen’s Young Leaders and the millions of families who will not be burdened by the loss of sight.

A special book has also been published, entitled A Lasting Legacy, telling the stories of 62 individuals from across 54 countries whose lives have changed as a result of the Trust.