Congratulations to our President Sir Terry and Chair Phil Bigley OBE for their inclusion in the King’s first birthday honours list
Hostage International’s president and co-founder Sir Terry Waite and chair Phil Bigley OBE have both been included in the King’s Birthday Honours list announced on June 17 in the UK.
Former hostage Sir Terry has been appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for his for his exceptional and sustained voluntary charitable contribution since he was previously recognised with a CBE in 1992.
Aged 84, Terry continues to provide direct emotional and practical support to those in need within the UK and internationally, including hostages and their families through Hostage International. He also supports children, young people and the homeless, delivered both in person and through the numerous charities and organisations he has founded or works with.
Terry said: “I am greatly honoured to be given this particular award but having received it I recognise that I am merely a figurehead – the real credit goes to the many many people in Hostage International, Emmaus and YCare who all work so hard for relief of suffering in the world and I share this honour with them and they are the ones who have made this possible.”
Phil has been awarded an OBE for his services to the voluntary sector, particularly for his work with former hostages and the families of those affected by hostage-taking and arbitrary detention.
He said: “When I received this news, I really thought someone was playing a joke on me. It was a mixture of disbelief and then shock. My immediate thoughts were for my brother Ken and the tragic circumstances of his kidnap and subsequent brutal death in 2004. Little did I know then how much those traumatic days would ultimately influence my life’s journey.
“The effect it had on my own family was huge. Helping at Hostage International has been a privilege. I have met so many wonderful and kind people, both past and present.”
He added: “The commitment and dedication of those involved is inspiring – the leadership team, staff, our patrons and our many volunteers. I would especially like to thank our founders, Terry Waite and Carlo Laurenzi. Their passion to create an organisation that could support those affected by kidnap has since made a real difference to many families and returning hostages.”
Phil has recently been trying to encourage more people to give a little amount on a regular basis to the charity to enable us to continue our work.
He said: “To those that support Hostage International, be it through your pro-bono input, your professional expertise, your voluntary work or those that simply donate £5.00 per month, thank you so very much.”
Hostage International CEO, Lara Symons, welcomed the news of the honours, saying: “Sir Terry and Phil are so well deserving of these accolades. Both continue to be tireless in their commitment to Hostage International, not only in helping to steer and guide the charity but also through offering direct support to those affected by hostage taking and arbitrary detention.”
17 June 2023