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Celebrity congratulations for Southwark’s young ambassadors

London SE1 website team

A message of congratulation from Michael Caine was read at the beginning of the Southwark Young Pilgrims 10th anniversary celebration.

Charlie Cherrill, Veronica Alden and Josie Cherril
Charlie Cherrill, Veronica Alden and Josie Cherrill

Sir Michael, who is in the USA making a new Batman film, said he was "proud to be associated with the project which gives young people skills and confidence".

Southwark Young Pilgrims project provides accredited training and work experience in tourism and customer service for young people aged 14-16 years.

In a video message, actor and Southwark resident Patrick Stewart, said "I too am from Southwark" and admitted that although he was working in the USA he was always very happy to return from California to his home area on the south bank. He praised the opportrunities afforded to the Young Pilgrims and their achievements.

Co-founder Canon Peter Challen read a message from Simon Hughes MP who has also been a supporter during the first ten years.

More than 120 people attended the anniversary dinner held in the undercroft of Shakespeare's Globe. Guests included US Cultural Attache Michael Macy and Richard Taylor of the Damilola Taylor Trust as well as a number of former Young Pilgrims.

The guests and supporters were received by former Southwark Mayor and project patron Charlie Cherrill who later in the evening presented Dee Brooks with the Fred Sage Award for Student of the Decade.

"This is one of the most important projects in the borough," said Mayor of Southwark Cllr Bob Skelly. A special recognition certificate was given to project founder and co-ordinator Veronica Alden.

Master of ceremonies was London's town crier Peter Moore who conducted a lively fund-raising auction where lots included a children's bicycle donated by On Your Bike and a Southwark Experience day out arranged by HMS Belfast, St Martin's Property Corporation and London Bridge Hotel. During the meal Young Pilgrims past and present sold raffle tickets for donated prizes.

The main sponsor of the anniversary dinner was More London.

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