On Thursday 30 September, HRH The Princess Royal visited Kent. Her Royal Highness started the day with a visit to The British Horse Society’s Healthcare and Education Clinic in Ashford. These clinics are a pioneering nationwide educational initiative to help with the horse welfare crisis, prevent overbreeding and facilitate compliance with equine identification legislation.

She was then welcomed at The Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate where she met with the staff and children at the school and the Education Business Partnership Kent. The school serves areas that have some of the highest levels of deprivation in England. During the pandemic, exceptional efforts were made to ensure that all students were safe, that families received weekly food deliveries and that students had access to learning, including many that were given computers by the school. EBP Kent is a small charity dedicated to helping young people have positive experiences with Kent Employers during their school years. Projects run from Key Stage 1 through to Sixth form with a wide variety of themes and outputs.

Her Royal Highness then visited Wetwheels South East in Dover. Wetwheels offers opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people of all ages, including those with multiple, profound and complex impairments, to access the water. They encourage active participation, helping to broaden aspirations, increase confidence and directly impact on health and wellbeing. During the pandemic, all their participants were shielding however 2021 has seen them start to offer these opportunities once more as lockdowns have ended.

The Princess Royal ended the day by visiting Dover Castle where she had the opportunity to enjoy a tour of one of England’s oldest and most famous fortresses, with its network of tunnels that played a vital role in Britain’s war effort. Also at the Castle, were a number of organisations that played a key role in the county throughout the Covid-19 effort to showcase the vital work that had been performed under some of the most challenging of times. English Heritage very generously offered the use of the Castle and its grounds to enable this element of the visit to happen. The organisations present were; Dover District Council, Kent County Council, Medway Voluntary Action, RE:ACT, Rotary, Border Force Agency, HM Coastguard, Kent Search and Rescue, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police, 11 Brigade, Royal Air Force, 36 Regiment Royal Engineers (Maidstone), 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles (Folkestone), 3rd Battalion Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment (Canterbury).

It was an absolutely fantastic day and we are so grateful to Her Royal Highness for taking the time to visit our wonderful County and meet so many people who make such a difference to people’s lives, especially during the difficult past 18 months. We thank everyone involved in this brilliant day.