Her Majesty, who became First Story’s Patron in 2011, held a reception at Clarence House on 11 July to celebrate 15 years of our work empowering young people with the confidence and skills to tell their own stories. During the reception, The Queen met First Story guests including programme alumni, writers, teachers, supporters and trustees.
Guests included: First Story’s co-founders Will Fiennes and Katie Waldegrave MBE; former Chairs Charlotte Hogg and Drea Minton Beddoes and our current Chair, Ed Baden-Powell; First Story writers Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Rachel Seiffert and Francesca Beard; First Story Ambassadors Tracy Chevalier and Patrice Lawrence MBE; Young Writers Programme alumni Habiba Desai (co-founder of independent publisher Fox and Windmill Books), Chloe Holland and Priya Gill; and many of our funders, donors and supporters.
Antonia Byatt, CEO of First Story, gave a speech in which she thanked the many long-standing supporters in the room who have helped First Story reach this milestone anniversary.
Daniella Koranteng, who participated in our Young Writers Programme in 2021/22, whilst a student at Skinners’ Academy in north London, was invited to read at the event. The piece she chose to perform developed on a poem originally published in her First Story’s group’s anthology.
Another Young Writers Programme alumna, Priya Gill from Derby, presented Her Majesty with a selection of First Story anthologies. Alongside her keen interest in supporting young people’s literacy, Queen Camilla is known to be an avid reader.
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