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Royal visitors to Surrey

Organisations, schools, companies and the military across
Surrey have welcomed Royal visitors over the past months



23 February 2017

HRH The Earl of Wessex visited four Surrey organisations on one day, starting with the Leatherhead Youth Project (LYP) and the Community Foundation for Surrey to hear more about the work undertaken by both organisations. LYP hosted the event at All Saints Church in Leatherhead, where The Earl met young people and staff linked to the Project, including those who attend the BFree after school drop-in hub, and students who benefit from LYP one to one mentoring. HRH was taught how to make coffee by the Allsaints Coffee Shop team, a group of young apprentices who run the LYP on-site social enterprise. Community Foundation for Surrey staff, trustees, donors – and groups supported by the Foundation – were also presented to The Earl of Wessex. By working with donors who want to give back to their local communities, the Community Foundation awards grants to disadvantaged individuals and voluntary groups that provide vital services for people in need – over £1 million was distributed to local communities in 2015-2016 alone.



Next on The Earl’s itinerary was a visit to the GASP Motor Project Workshop at Albury, where young people from across the social divide take part in programmes of basic engineering and motor mechanics in ways that re-engage them with learning. He met the GASP team – staff, volunteers and Board trustees and advisers – together with stakeholders and funders. But mostly, he talked with students from St Peter’s School in Guildford and Woking High School working on four-stroke engines; girls and boys from Bishop David Brown at Sheerwater, gaining workplace experience in the GASP Industry-Linked programme with Stanhope-Seta at Chertsey and Woking Community Transport; and pupils from Broadwater School at Godalming and its COIN Centre, where sessions have been delivered by the charity’s Mobile Unit. Six enthusiastic young people who regularly attend the GASP evening programme in their free time talked HRH through the electric kit cars they have built and raced – at Goodwood and Dunsfold – over the past year. And HRH met GASP alumni now embarking on apprenticeships, university and college courses, thanks to what they have learnt with GASP.



From there, the roar of the greasepaint beckoned at the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre in Guildford, where The Earl watched an excerpt of Guildford School of Acting’s current main stage production of Guys and Dolls. He also received a tour of the set for Roald Dahl’s The Witches in the Mill Studio and met the young cast and youth theatre team. In a busy visit schedule, HRH observed the youth theatre working with students from King’s College, Guildford on a project to create a piece of theatre about the perceptions and reality of their locality, which will go on tour. Later, he learnt about the Guildford Aspire project, a Guildford Borough Council initiative to involve the Youth Theatre in deprived areas of the borough in ways that promote the belief that ‘every person matters’.



7 February 2017

HRH The Duke of Kent visited Sesame Access Systems Limited to celebrate the West Byfleet company winning The Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2016. Sesame Access, which designs bespoke wheelchair lifts and access solutions, was founded in 1996 by hydraulic engineer and inventor, Charlie Lyons. When his son Steven finished university, father and son built early prototypes and improved the technology. Over the years, Sesame’s technology and innovation has developed into a world-class product, with installations in the Sydney Opera House, Qatar, Germany, France and the USA – overall, some 200 premises across the world, particularly London. The Duke’s visit also included a live link-up to Sesame’s international design team, who explained how the lifts are designed, innovated and tested using the latest cloud technology.

Steven Lyons, Management Director of Sesame Access said: “The Duke was very interested in our technology and engineering, and how Sesame is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the world of disabled accessibility. The Duke was also very supportive of our International Trade achievements, flying the flag for British innovation and Engineering across the world.”



22 October 2016

HRH The Duke of Kent, in his role as Chancellor of the University of Surrey, was welcomed by the Lord-Lieutenant at the institution’s 50th Anniversary Celebratory Procession and Thanksgiving Ceremony on 22nd October 2016. The procession up Guildford High Street, leading from St Mary’s Church past the iconic Surrey Scholar statue, culminated in a Thanksgiving Service at Holy Trinity Church. The event, part of an exciting programme across this 50th anniversary year, brought together academics, staff and students with civic and county dignitaries, who were welcomed by the university’s recently appointed President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Max Lu.



6 May 2016

HRH the Duchess of Gloucester shows great support for the Royal Alexandra and Albert School at Reigate. In her role as President, she joined pupils, staff, governors and past pupils for the annual Founders’ Day service on 6th May; it was the last for Paul D Spencer Ellis, who retires this summer after 15 years as Headmaster, and a celebration of the ongoing success of the school under his leadership. During the service, the Duchess heard how the school continues to support children whose home circumstances make boarding education desirable. She presented prizes to this year’s winners and joined staff and pupils for a brief reception before greeting junior pupils who were waiting excitedly to meet her. She even ‘high-fived’ one of the juniors during her walkabout.



April 2016

HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of The Royal National Children’s Foundation (RNCF), visited King Edward’s School, Witley on HM The Queen’s 90th birthday to meet secondary school pupils supported by the charity. King Edward’s educates 46 RNCF beneficiaries – the highest number of any school with which the charity works. The Princess Royal learnt more about the transformational effects achieved by the RNCF, heard the stories of four pupils whose lives had been turned around, and listened to a samba drumming demonstration, and saxophone and wind workshops.



The Silent Pool Distillery in Albury welcomed HRH The Duke of Kent for a guided tour of its still house. The Royal visitor was invited to try some of the hand-crafted spirits produced there by this young, dynamic company, set up in 2015 and already winning international awards. Resident distiller Tom Hutchings explained the three stages of distilling and the significance of the different fruits and botanicals that go into Silent Pool Gin.



The Duke moved on to a sun-drenched Albury Organic Vineyard where owner Nick Wenman, who planted the vineyard in 2009, showed the different varieties of vines and explained how the 12-acre vineyard is cultivated along organic and biodynamic principles. There was a chance to tell His Royal Highness about the naturally produced, award-winning wines created in the Surrey Hills, before a Toast to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday the following day, in a cocktail created specially for the occasion – Albury Royal.



February 2016

HRH The Countess of Wessex took part in a Royal Bake Off during a visit to Christopher’s in Guildford, one of two hospices run by Shooting Star Chase to care for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions. The Countess, who is Royal Patron of the charity, enjoyed decorating cakes with children and families to celebrate 15 years since the opening of Christopher’s and cut a specially-made anniversary birthday cake. The Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Michael More-Molyneux, welcomed the Countess to the children’s hospice, which was built on land donated by the More-Molyneux family in memory of their son Christopher.



When he opened the newly built community building, the Harmony Centre, at Ashley Primary School in Walton-on-Thames, HRH The Prince of Wales discovered how the work of pupils had been inspired by his book ‘Harmony’ . He was shown ways in which the school has been working to build these principles into a meaningful curriculum that helps children understand how to live in a more sustainable and harmonious way. His 1.5 hour visit concluded with the presentation of gifts by pupils, including two pots of honey produced from the on-site bees.



The Princess Royal was back in Surrey to visit two businesses and a charity. Her first stop was the head office and distribution centre of Dennys Brands, the Leatherhead based-hospitality uniform specialist. She met employees, toured the site and unveiled a commemorative plaque.



At Brocks Chocs in Brockham, she was greeted by 18-year-old Danesh Amin, founder of Brocks Chocs, the chocolate factory which this young master chocolatier built in the village in 2014, creating employment locally. Finally, she presented the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Camberley-based charity Limbcare. Its founder, Ray Edwards, MBE, introduced volunteers and those who benefit from Limbcare, which supports amputees and their families.



December 2015

British Army medics who helped tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa were presented with medals by HRH The Duke of Cambridge during a parade at Keogh Barracks in Ash Vale. He was welcomed by the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More-Molyneux. Prince William presented 160 government Ebola medals to Army medical staff from the UK and overseas, along with RAF and Royal Navy personnel, the first honour to be awarded for service in a humanitarian crisis.



November 2015

In an act of remembrance, HRH The Earl of Wessex officially opened a new Peace Garden at the site of the restored Muslim Burial Ground in Woking, once the final resting place for Muslim soldiers from the two Great Wars who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend Britain. Hundreds of volunteers, including students from Bishop David Brown School, were involved in the project to transform the Grade II listed structure.



October 2015

HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the University of Surrey’s new School of Veterinary Medicine. The £45 million building includes state-of-the-art clinical skills facilities and one of the best veterinary pathology centres in Europe.



September 2015

HRH The Duke of Gloucester met Mr Rob Poulton, Director of Excavations, and his team of professional archaeologists from the Surrey County Archaeological Unit when he unveiled a plaque to mark seven seasons of community excavations at Woking Palace. He then went on to open a new £3.6million teaching block, The Chaloner Building, at Glyn School in Epsom, where he spent time talking with students and staff.



Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Limited was one of only two UK companies in 2015 to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in two categories. HRH The Princess Royal visited the company at Merrow in Guildford to present both the Innovation Award – recognising the equine standing MRI (EQ2) developed by Hallmarq, which has completely changed how vets approach the diagnosis of lameness in horses – and the International Trade Award reflecting the company’s global success, with the EQ2 now used in 23 countries.






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Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012
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© Surrey Lieutenancy 2016