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Dear Colleagues,

As I prepare to officially hand over as Chair of AIUK Section, I want to thank all of you for the tremendous support you have shown to Amnesty International and for your dedication and passion for achieving human rights change during my six years on the Board of Amnesty International UK Section.

There have been challenging times, of course, but I believe that AIUK and the global movement can embark on a new strategic period with ambition and optimism.  As we contemplate the significant changes that we want to achieve as a movement, we can take heart in the challenges we have successfully met in the past. Our shared passion for human rights makes us very powerful. I am proud of the role AIUK plays in the global movement and to play my part.

During my time as a Board Member, I’ve proudly watched AIUK have a really significant role in achieving human rights change such as helping to achieve an Arms Trade Treaty. I’ve been inspired by the hundreds of thousands of letters, cards and signatures generated by members and supporters during successive Write for Rights campaigns. I’ve been amazed by the progress that we are making on some really challenging issues closer to home.

We have to cherish and guard the achievements of the past, even as we push for more change, more justice and more solidarity in the future. And so, I thank you for everything that you will do in the years ahead to help enable more people enjoy their human rights. I look forward to continuing to support and contribute to Amnesty International in a range of different ways. 

I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone who attended our recent AGM and to those who contributed to the decisions-making by voting by proxy on-line. I urge you to keep playing a part in the democracy and governance of AIUK and please think about standing for the Board when the call for nominations is issued later this year.

Thank you also to everyone who has supported me personally and shared their insight and wisdom.

I would like to thank the Staff and Volunteers of AIUK and pay particular tribute to Kate Allen, the Senior Management Team, Rosie Chapman, Interim Company Secretary and Selma Shirazi. It has been a huge privilege and joy to work with such talented, dedicated, passionate human rights defenders, led so ably and inspiringly by Kate. Thank especially to Kate for all that you've done, with such wisdom and integrity.

Thank you to current and former Board members, Sub-Committee Members and Trustees of the Charitable Trust. They have contributed hugely through good and challenging times with integrity, dedication and good humour.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish my successor every success and I hope that they enjoy the role as much as I have done. I look forward to finding out who that will be following the Board meeting on 13/14 May.  

With best wishes

Sarah O’ Grady

Chair, Amnesty international UK Section