The Princess Royal was greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant when visiting the County on 1st December and was escorted to the following destinations –
AC Goatham and Son Cold Storage Facility and Packhouse
The Princess Royal opened the new £10million Goatham packhouse and coldstore. Named the Arthur Goatham building after company founder and father of Clive Goatham , the packhouse is located at Flanders Farm, Hoo. The Princess was met by the senior management team of AC Goatham, where she was given a tour around the new state-of-the art facility. She also met members of staff, local dignitaries and unveiled a plaque. Arthur Goatham set up the business with his wife Phyllis in 1947 and they began as agricultural contractors and together with their son Clive, purchased their first farm, Street Farm in Hoo in the 1980s. Since then they have expanded their fruit growing business across 27 farms in Medway and Kent, growing some 200 million apples and 50 million pears each year which are sold in supermarkets across the UK.
Medway’s Copper Rivet Distillery
The Princess Royal officially opened the Copper Rivet Distillery which is based in Pump No.5 at Chatham Dockyard. The family-run company produce Dockyard Gin, Vela Vodka and Son of a Gun – an unaged grain spirit with a whisky flavour profile, which has been designed especially for use in cocktails – with Masthouse Whisky due to be ready in 2020. HRH enjoyed a tour of the premises and a tasting. Matthew Russell, co-founder of the distillery, said: “It’s a really exciting day. It’s a true honour to have her come so we’re very excited.” Princess Anne unveiled a plaque to officially open the business and was presented flowers by some of the employees’ children.
Bracton Centre, Dartford
The Lord-Lieutenant introduces The Princess Royal to from left to right: Mayor of Dartford, Cllr Rosanna Currans; MP for Dartford, Mr Gareth Johnson MP and shaking hands with HRH, CEO Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Ben Travis. (c) Oxleas NHS.
Oxleas NHS was delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to the Bracton Centre in Dartford. The Princess Royal received a warm welcome from Chief Executive, Ben Travis and Chair, Andy Trotter, before enjoying a tour of the occupational therapy services for service users in the medium secure service, led by Patsy Fung, Head of Profession for Occupational Therapy.
HRH unveiling the plaque.(c) Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.
As patron of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, HRH has a particular interest in occupational therapy and was introduced to a number of therapists to talk with them about the care they provide. The Princess Royal was told about the many and varied therapy programmes provided via a busy daily schedule of daytime, evening and weekend pro-social activities. These include spiritual care, design and technology, Black and Minority Ethnic Group Drop-in and the Forensic Recovery College.
Unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit, HRH The Princess Royal, said: “Thank you for the opportunity to learn about the work that you do at the Bracton Centre. It has been a pleasure to meet so many staff and service users and I was really impressed to see so much support on offer here through occupational therapy. The centre is the perfect platform to help people along the stepping stones of their recovery journey.”
Citizens Advice Swanley Centre
From left to right: HRH; The Lord-Lieutenant; Lady Newey, Chief Executive Citizens Advice in North and West Kent; Steve Whitehead, Director of People & Equality Citizens Advice. (c) Barry Duffield DL
The Princess Royal toured the new offices in the Swanley Centre, meeting Citizens Advice volunteers, staff, trustees, sponsors of the building refurbishment and local dignitaries. Citizens Advice Swanley had to leave its former home on Swanley High Street in 2015 to make way for redevelopment. It moved to temporary accommodation in the Swanley Link.
HRH speaking with the Swanley Citizens Advice volunteers. (c) Barry Duffield DL
Angela Newey, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice in North & West Kent, which includes Swanley, was delighted by The Princess Royal’s visit. “It was a fantastic opportunity to launch our new Citizens Advice Swanley and let people see the services we can provide,” she said. The advisers are looking for more volunteers to join them at the new offices, and also for local partner organisations to share the space and offer a more joined-up service to the community.
The Princess Royal unveils the plaque to officially open the new Citizens Advice Swanley. (c) Barry Duffield DL
The new Citizens Advice is easy to find in part of what used to be the West Kent Housing Association offices in the Swanley Centre. The revamped offices are between Wilko and Specsavers. Arranged on two floors, the ground floor has disabled access. Trained advisers are available at a drop-in service on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10.30am to 2.30pm. Clients can also call the Advice line for advice on the spot or to make an appointment. The Advice line is open Monday to Friday, from 10am to 3pm on 0300 330 9001.
As national patron of Citizens Advice, The Princess Royal welcomed the new offices which she said were “a huge improvement”. She added: “I wish you well for the future, and a few more volunteers wouldn’t go amiss!”