Welcome – High Sheriff Youth Awards

Good evening, everyone.

My name is Max Lu. As Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, I’m delighted to welcome all of you here, and to meet many inspiring students who share our aspiration to make the world a better place.

Their ambition and drive to achieve never fails to inspire me.

I would also like to welcome and thank Dr Julie Llewelyn High Sheriff of Surrey, and all other distinguished guests here this evening.

This is the second year that the University of Surrey has supported this event and we’re extremely proud to do so.

In the last year, the High Sheriff Youth Awards has funded many important projects which have supported over 5,000 people.

I congratulate you all for being part of that.

I also congratulate you for the role you have played in making Surrey safer.
Through your dedication, imagination and self-belief you have made a positive difference on your community and especially the lives of the young people in it.

What’s more, I commend you for doing so at such a challenging time for the world.

The restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have presented unprecedented challenges for us all.

Your spirit and ability to find creative solutions at a time when young people have needed help more than ever can only be admired.

The High Sheriff Youth Awards recognise what our young people can achieve with support, empowerment and leadership.

The programmes showcased this evening bear testament to what can be achieved when young people are given the opportunity to make the most of their unique gifts.

I hope that all of you will go on and build on the impressive contribution you have already made to society – and that perhaps, in time, you’ll join us here at the University to build on the world-changing research carried out by our experts.

In February, we launched our first fundraising campaign.

It’s called ‘The Future Says Surrey’ and aims to raise £60 million over three years to fund four key areas.

They are: Artificial Intelligence, One Health and One Medicine for both humans and animals, Sustainability, and Student Experience.

The cutting edge research and innovation in these areas, combined with our talented graduates, will help shaping a better future for our planet. Our world-leading research and education at Surrey will contribute to addressing climate change and tackling illnesses like cancer and dementia, and offering greater opportunities to the brightest young people, irrespective of background.

This campaign will further position us to lead in many such critical areas.

Be it global or local, never underestimate the importance of taking the lead and making a difference.

Finally I would like to congratulate all of you involved in this year’s projects and look forward to hearing some inspirational stories from you.

Thank you.