HRH Princess Royal Meets Volunteers

Posted on the 20th February 2019

Lattitude Operations Director Sharyn Hight was in the UK for a Senior Leadership Team Planning week, which coincided with an event involving our Patron, HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne visiting New College Worcester, one of our long-standing host schools.

Sharyn: “Princess Anne has been the Lattitude Patron for many years and often attends 3-4 events a year to visit our volunteers at their placements. New College Worcester was an amazing place to host the event. New College is a boarding school for blind and partially sighted students and we have had many New Zealand volunteers placed there over the years so it was wonderful to visit it and to see our volunteers. Princess Anne was most impressed with the work of the volunteers, as well as the amazing staff and students at the school. The Princess Royal gave a profile and status to an event that enabled us to invite other hosts and volunteers nearby, all of whom were equally excited to meet her.

HRH Princess Royal with Lattitude

While Princess Anne was taken on a tour of the school to see students and volunteers in action, we were able to mingle with the several hundred people who were present. I spoke to the staff of New College, the Board of Governors and the Head Girl, all of whom said how much they appreciated having Lattitude volunteers at New College and what a difference they made. Put simply, the Head Girl said (among other things) they made school life more fun for her.

HRH Princess Royal Lattitude

I spoke to several other hosts, from both schools and outdoor camps nearby. They were also delighted with the contribution their volunteers were making. Two of the hosts I had spoken to had previously been volunteers themselves and as a result had had such a great experience that they went on to become hosts themselves. There were many volunteers there from around the world, but it was especially great to catch up with so many of the New Zealand volunteers who were present and hear about their experiences to date.

The Princess Royal spent several hours meeting everyone and taking the time to speak with each person individually. I was required to make a speech (which I do all of the time), but found myself feeling a little nervous, and even worried that I may have to courtesy or call her by the wrong title. In the end, she was so welcoming and interested in everyone, she made the day go by enjoyably and smoothly.

HRH Princess Royal with Lattitude

 

Princess Anne spoke warmly about the contribution Lattitude volunteers make and the development they gain as young people. She commended Lattitude’s long and successful history as a youth development and volunteering charity and praised the hosts who look after our volunteers so well and encourage their development. It was very clear that having such a high profile patron is hugely beneficial in drawing attention to the role of Lattitude volunteers, and really highlighted to me how much of a contribution Princess Anne makes to our organisation. I was grateful to be able to attend, to meet her and for the work she does on our behalf.”

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