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Sarah Ferguson hails 25 years of Children in Crisis charity: 'It saved my life'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 13/07/2018 JOnathan Prynn

Sarah Ferguson has revealed her charity work with suffering children “probably saved my life” because it gave her a sense of perspective and purpose during tough times in the public eye.

Writing in the Evening Standard today, the Duchess of York said the Children in Crisis charity she founded 25 years ago has “been like a third child to me” and had made her a better mother to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

The duchess has agreed to merge her charity with Street Child, which is supported by the Standard, and to be patron of the new organisation, with her daughters as ambassadors.

She described her article as “a big embrace of gratitude” to the team “who have stoically and steadfastly taken a vision of mine back in 1992 and made it all possible”.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Sarah-Ferguson2462463.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited Sarah-Ferguson2462463.jpg
Calling: The duchess in Nepal this week (Jocelyn Bain-Hogg)

The duchess, who was married to Prince Andrew from 1986 to 1996, said: “As I look back over the work of the last 25 years, I’m so grateful to everyone that has supported us and so proud of the fact that we have defied the odds, and kept the charity going all these years.

“It has certainly made me a better mother to my daughters, giving me a sense of perspective and allowing me to encourage them to use the platform they have to get involved in charitable work.

“It has probably saved my life, too, by giving me purpose through difficult times. As my grandmother always said, ‘When you feel bad about yourself, go out there and do something for somebody else.’”

The merger of the charities will mean “we can pack a bigger punch and achieve bigger goals — and of course be more efficient too, meaning more of our resources flow to the children that need our help”, she said.

Street Child, which raised £10 million last year and operates in countries such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, is run by Tom Dannatt, son of the former chief of the defence staff Lord Dannatt.

The duchess, who is working with the charity in Nepal this week, said: “Very simply, I met Tom Dannatt and his team and we had so much in common with them and their mission that the question quickly became, ‘If we are serious about our mission, why wouldn’t we stop competing and join forces with them?’

“I see it a little bit like my daughter Eugenie getting married later this year. She’s 28, and when your children get to that age, you let them go off and do their thing, confident that they will forge the right path.”

a group of people standing in front of a crowd © Provided by Independent Print Limited
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