Recognising the island’s third sector
Wednesday 27th February 2013, 3:00PM GMT.
BACK in October, we ran a front page headline, Thank You for Making it Happen, in recognition of islanders’ efforts to make the £4m. rebuild of Les Bourgs Hospice become a reality.
It was an incredible achievement and a testament to the significance that Les Bourgs has in this society and the support it commands.
Yesterday’s news, however – that Prince Charles has agreed to become its patron – goes beyond even the most significant fund-raiser ever launched in Guernsey.
The Prince of Wales is rightly selective about what he puts his name to and has hundreds of invitations to select from.
That he agreed to become patron is very telling and, as his spokesman revealed, was based on two things: the careful design and therapeutic environment of the hospice and the welcome that he and the Duchess of Cornwall received when they visited the island last summer.
And that level of recognition matters.
What has been achieved at Les Bourgs is remarkable on many levels and the agreement by Prince Charles to become its patron is a very clear acknowledgment of that.
What makes this all the more extraordinary is that it has been achieved by volunteers without any government assistance.
In some respects, this is a reflection on the island’s thriving and increasingly pivotal third sector, the largely unsung heroes who identify un-met needs and go about providing them in a quiet, efficient and cost-effective manner.
As Les Bourgs and other organisations have shown, Guernsey has the ability to do amazing, probably world-class, things because there are individuals here with vision, drive and the willingness to give of their time for others.
It is one reason that the Guernsey Community Foundation was formed in 2010 with the main aim of promoting effective philanthropy and building on the enthusiasms and commitment that already exists and, if possible, making it even more effective.
The foundation is also a recognition of the importance of the voluntary sector and how, like Les Bourgs, it can make a massive difference if it is focused.
And through Prince Charles’ patronage, those efforts now have the royal seal of approval.
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