A Royal visit to a community play day in a Gloucester park during Halloween sounded spine tingly scary when we were invited to showcase our charity to HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. Lots of preparation went into the visit, not least security considerations, and provision for adverse weather. However, we’re delighted to say that the visit was all treat and no trick and HRH seemed to love what we do.
On arrival HRH was met by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, along with the Chairman of Gloucestershire County Council and Leader of Gloucester City Council. After introductions to the civil dignitaries it was over to Team PG with Matt, our Chair of Trustees, introducing Pip, our Director of Play, and Katie, our Play Ranger Team Leader. Pip & Katie escorted ‘Ma’am’ around the play site, showing some typical PG activities – including both active and creative play. The first stopping point was watching some edgy teenage play on the high roundabout, which HRH said looked like a lot of fun. It immediately relaxed everyone, as HRH spoke about her own freedom to play during her childhood.
After stopping to enjoy pushing a grandparent with grandchild on a basket swing, HRH viewed some chalk art, Halloween creativity and warmed her hands over the fire pit before seeing a display from our summer Love Outdoor Play campaign. HRH chatted with Play Rangers, Young Volunteers, Trustees, parents and youngsters before being introduced to our main charity sponsors – Lanes Health and Big Yellow Self Storage.
Young Volunteer Taz presented HRH with a big curtsey and a lovely bunch of flowers, made by the Rangers and kids from scrap, before a final round of thanks and fond farewells from us all. A few days later a letter postmarked Buckingham Place arrived at PGHQ thanking us for “the very warm welcome when visiting PG last week. It is a truly inspirational organisation, providing so much for so many children. The atmosphere was a credit to all those involved, giving so much time to make this difference to childrens’ lives”. We proudly take that as a Royal stamp of approval for our very memorable day!
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