PHOTO SPECIAL: Prince Charles wows the crowds in Workington
Last updated at 17:19, Thursday, 10 April 2014
Prince Charles came across a few surprises on his way to the official opening of Hospice at Home West Cumbria’s Finkle Street centre on Wednesday.
The Prince of Wales, patron of the charity, was greeted by a replica Prince Harry as he met volunteers and staff in the new hospice shop’s store room.
Shop manager Pauline Mitchell had spent several hours dressing a dummy in a suit, with a mask of Prince Harry’s face. It held a sign saying ‘Hello Dad!’.
As he gave the dummy a prod, Prince Charles laughed and said: “Oh dear, oh dear. Is anyone behind there?”
The prince was shown around the new centre by the hospice’s chief executive Linda Hewitt.
He also met patients from the Workington and Millom art therapy groups where he was presented with a quilt for his grandson Prince George, made by local volunteers for Project Linus UK.
The hospice donates quilts from the project to patients and families.
Chris Robertson, 60, of Barnett Drive, Seaton, who uses the service, made a wedding anniversary card for the prince and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Charles said: “Thank you for these gifts. They are absolutely brilliant.
“I am sure my grandson will appreciate the blanket. They grow up way too quickly.”
He chatted to Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham, mayor of Allerdale Bill Bacon, mayor of Workington Konrad Hansen and hospice chairman Dr Rob Walker.
The prince took a look at the centre’s complementary therapy room and then the lymphoedema treatment room, where he chatted to nurses and to patient Val Thompson, of Cockermouth, as she used a lymph-assist machine.
He asked about the condition, whether she found it painful and how the machine worked.
Ms Thompson said: “The staff here have been so supportive of my condition. To have somewhere that treats lymphoedema is fantastic.”
During his tour he talked to Times & Star head of content Nicole Regan about the newspaper’s Hospice @Finkle Street campaign, which raised more than £21,000 towards the centre from readers’ donations.
He spoke to Lynne Stewart, of Poole Road, Salterbeck, Workington, who, with Margaret James, Maggie Burr and Marie Jolly, raised £10,000 over two years from charity nights in memory of their friend Elaine Burr.
Ms Stewart said: “We’re so glad we donated the money to hospice. They have done a brilliant job with the centre.”
Hundreds of people lined the streets outside with Hospice at Home West Cumbria and Union Flags to greet the prince.
He made an effort to shake hands and chat to spectators before entering the centre.
Charles Watson, 68, of Peter Street, Workington, said: “I said ‘nice to see you sir’ and he replied that he was happy to be in Workington and he was enjoying his visit so far.
“I have always been a fan of the royal family so it was nice to meet him in person.”
Ken Hitchen, 75, of Chapel Street, Workington, said: “He was such a pleasant man. He had a big smile on his face and was asking people questions and cracking jokes with everyone.”
Harold Brown, 76, of Brookside, Maryport, said: “He had a firm handshake and he seemed to want to speak to everyone who was out to see him. Such a nice man.
“It’s great that he was here to support the hospice because it’s such a good cause.”
Before his departure the prince had a slice of fruit cake made by volunteer Felicity Watson.
He met David Clifford and David Atkinson, of builders Thomas Armstrong, and architect Philip Brooks, of Day Cummins.
To round the visit off he signed the guest book, unveiled a plaque and made an undisclosed donation from the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation.
He said: “As patron I am so pleased and proud to be able to make it here today. It is a remarkable site that does so much to help the people in this beautiful part of the world.
“I would like to thank everyone who made this happen.
“I would like to thank the volunteers – all of the ladies in the shop, drivers, patrons and everyone else.
“I hope the hospice will go onto providing its wonderful service to the people of West Cumbria.”
Deb Muscat, head of marketing and income generation, said: “It is fantastic that the prince has visited us today and has made the effort to meet everyone who has been involved.”
Prince Charles is believed to have stayed at his favourite Lake District farm near Keswick this week.
The prince is a regular guest at Yew Tree Farm, Rosthwaite, which is home to Joe and Hazel Relph.
Earlier in the day he met Kit and Charles Graves, owners of Lake District Hotels, and their daughter Dani, at the launch of the Prince’s Countryside Fund tourism initiative at the George Hotel in Penrith.
He visited the Northern Fells Group to mark its 15th anniversary at the Oddfellows Arms, Caldbeck, near Wigton.
He also met farmers, apprentices and business owners at the Rural Action Centre in Crooklands.
First published at 12:17, Thursday, 10 April 2014
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Nicole - I love the picture with you sharing a joke with the Prince. Thank you so much from Everyone at Hospice at Home West Cumbria for everything you and the team did for the Finkle Street Appeal. What a fantastic way to celebrate our new centre. Debs, hospice at home
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