Lambeth Children’s University Graduation Ceremony

I was delighted and felt proud to be at the Lambeth Children’s University graduation ceremony tonight.

Hello all,

I am delighted to be here today.

The Children’s University is a fantastic initiative, that is doing great work to inspire our young people.

All of you, from Vauxhall, Hitherfield, Granton, Christ Church Streatham and Lillian Baylis schools, have made such a fantastic effort. It gives me great hope about the future of our borough and the future of this country! This is one of the best parts, of being a mayor. I’m sure in this room now, we have future doctors, lawyers, musicians, artists and community leaders. And one day, I’ll be able to look back and say, I met you before you were famous and went on to do such amazing things.

You have all already started on your journeys. And where you end up is now up to you. I know that it will not always be easy.

When I first came to this country, around the age you are now, I couldn’t speak English. I had to learn everything from scratch. It felt overwhelming. But I decided that I would learn one thing every day. And little by little, I built up my knowledge. Not just at school! I quickly realised that everywhere I went, from everyone I met, I could learn something new.

By taking small steps, you can go a long way. And this too is what you have all achieved. So today you should take pride in looking back at how far you have come. Day by day, week by week, you have done hours and hours of extra learning. And hopefully had some fun along the way. It wasn’t that hard, was it? Keep that up, and the sky’s the limit. One day, you can all be sitting there, with a certificate in your hands from a top university, and the world at your feet. All that it takes, is that you stay on this path, step by step.

I’m still learning all the time. Often from my own sons, who know much more about things like computers than me… Can you believe I grew up in a time before the internet? It’s hard to imagine anyone, getting homework done before Wikipedia…

As young people, you have many advantages. You already understand the modern world, much better than any of us adults, and this gives you, a unique perspective, that we can learn from.

It’s inspiring to see your generation, take the lead on issues like climate change. And I hope you all, will use some of the things you have learnt, both inside and outside school, go out and make Lambeth, and even the world, a better a place.

Lord knows us oldies, could use some help at the moment… But as adults, we can still play an important role. And that’s why I am delighted to see, so many parents and carers here, celebrating with us today. Because they deserve a lot of credit. Their support and sacrifices, often go unnoticed but can make all the difference. You are helping give your children the best possible start in life and that is an invaluable gift not only to them, but to our whole community, and I thank you for it.

I would also like to once again thank Angela and the Children’s University and their team for all the hard work they do making days like today happen and, of course, inviting me to be a part of it. It’s always an honour.

And once again, congratulations to everyone, receiving an award or certificate today.

I know it will just be one of many achievements, you go on to make in the future.

Thank you.