Terry Waite CBE

Author, Humanitarian Campaigner & UK's Longest Held Hostage

Humanitarian campaigner and best-selling author, Terry Waite had his life changed forever when he became the longest-held hostage in the entire history of the UK. He returned home with a new attitude towards life and has now made it his mission to fight for as many humanitarian causes and participate in a multitude of charitable activities.

As a passionate Christian from a young age, Terry began working for the social welfare organisation of the Anglican Church named the Church Army. He became the Education Advisor to the Bishop of Bristol in 1963 before moving to Uganda as the Provincial Training Advisor to the first African Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, Erica Sabiti. A time in his life where he was often avoiding death, was also when he founded the Southern Sudan Project and become responsible for aid and development programmes for a region that was scarred by war.

It was when he finished working for the Medical Mission Sisters that he returned to the UK from Rome and began working with the British Council of Churches. He became the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs and once again travelled to various countries including Australia, Burma and Canada in order to assist the archbishop.

By 1980, Waite was a regular hostage negotiator. He was responsible for the release of many hostages in Iran and Libya before becoming involved in a negotiation in Lebanon. He was successful in the release of Western Hostages Lawrence Jenco and David Jacobsen before he was held captive himself and remained a hostage for a grand total of 1,763 days. With his hands and feet chained to a wall and his only element of freedom being one trip to the bathroom a day for four years, it was expected that when he was finally released in 1991 that he would return in a wounded mental state.

However, he adopted a proactive approach, wrote an account of his experiences in a book titled Taken on Trust and began devoting his life to humanitarian activities. He became the patron of the Warrington Male Voice Choir, co-founded of the charity Y Care International and founded Hostage UK which aims to offer support to the families of hostages. He has also become the patron of Storybook Dads which allows children to remain connected to their imprisoned parents, Habitat for Humanity and Emmaus UK which supports formerly homeless people.

With an incredibly interesting and moving story to tell, Terry Waite has the power to inspire audiences of all age groups at any event. His astounding mindset and mental resilience is so motivating that his listeners are left with a lasting and effective impression and determined to make a difference within society.

To book Terry Waite as the motivational speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency using the contact details below.

When at corporate events, Terry is known to cover the following topics:

  • Leadership & Teamwork
  • Dealing With Pressure
  • Drive & Determination
  • Overcoming Adversity

“The spontaneity of the standing ovation told its own story.”
– ProManchester