Sir Terry Waite. Photo by James Gifford-Mead.

Peace envoy to be VIP speaker at annual awards

Sir Terry Waite will be the guest speaker at this year’s Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards in October. He will help showcase the work of 30 individuals, organisations and initiatives across Kent, Bexley and Bromley that improve wellbeing.

Simon Dolby from the awards team said he was delighted that Sir Terry would support the event.

In 1987 the humanitarian campaigner was a special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury when he traveled to Beirut to secure the release of British journalist John McCarthy and other captives held by Shiite Muslims. Instead Sir Terry found himself also held captive and for four years was frequently blindfolded, beaten and subjected to mock executions. He spent much of the time chained to a radiator, suffered from asthma and was transported in a giant refrigerator as his captors moved him about.

Sir Terry later wrote of his experience of mental distress during those years as a hostage in his book Taken on Trust which he will refer to at the awards celebration this October.

Mr Dolby said: “The themes for this year’s awards are kindness and compassion, wellbeing and mental health – all topics that have been hugely important for Sir Terry during his career and life, so we are absolutely delighted that he can join us to honour the organisations and initiatives supporting wellbeing in our county.”

The deadline to submit nominations is noon on 1 September. Visit to find out more.

This year’s awards are supported by Kent County Council, Kent Community Foundation, ADM Computing, National Grid’s Grain LNG, Medway Council, Cactus Graphics, Hempstead House Country Hotel and CommunityAd.