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Archive for February, 2012

HRH The Princess Royal meets Young Offenders in North Kensington

Young offenders and Royalty are not the two types of people likely to be getting to know each other over a cup of tea… Well, today the two came together as Princess Anne, known for her charitable work, made a public appearance at the unveiling of her plaque at the ‘Young Offenders Team’ centre in Oxford Gardens, W11. The centre aims to show the young offenders the repercussions by forms of community ‘Payback’ such as community service and to also bring young offenders to talk to the victims of their crimes, to see the affect of their crime and the wider picture. Speaking to a young ex-offender named TJ, earlier convicted of robbery, whose response to the question of what he would be doing without the Youth Offenders Team was “if YOT wasn’t around I would probably be in prison”. Instead he was doing well with football. I’d say that’s a quite a bleak outlook to have and if this kind of centre can change someone’s prospects from behind bars to being on a football pitch then shouldn’t there be more of them and more high profile individuals like The Princess showing their support to them? Does seem like it.

The type of ‘Payback’ the young person must do is decided by a panel of volunteers from the community. Dawn, a panel member in her second year of studying Youth Justice said the role was about “getting to know the person”. Additionally, Nicky Gunter, Preventions Manager described it was that both victim and offender should be given “the chance to be heard” and maybe all that is needed for young offenders is for someone to listen to them to show that not everyone expects them to go down the same path over and over again.

After speaking to many of the victims of crimes and offenders involved at the centre, the Princess made a short speech at the unveiling of the plaque where she acknowledged that the Centre had “set an example of which one or two would like to follow”.

Text by: Hannah Mckellar-Ricketts (on work experience with The Kensington Magazine)
Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine

Images: Left to right:

Top: HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the Restorative Justice Council with Betty McDonald Head of Service; HRH Princess Royal.

Centre:  Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Councillor Julie Mills with ‘TJ’, Mr Graham Robb, Restorative Council Justice Trustee

Third line: Julie Mills; Grace Fredricks, Reparation Co-ordinator at the Youth Offending Service with Community Police Carlos Husbands and Helen Tilbury

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Snowy scenes in Kensington

Lovely morning! Somewhat slushy pavements, but get to Kensington Gardens and it looked like ‘Little Switzerland’ as myGrandmother would say.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/ The Kensington Magazine
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HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visits Trinity Hospice Charity Shops in Kensington Church Street, W8


The Duchess of Cornwall visiting Trinity Hospice caused great excitement amongst the staff and volunteers. Clothes for sale were arranged and re-arranged, the floor swept, hoovered and swept again. Now they were ready.

At precisely 6.00 p.m a chauffeur driven car arrived flanked by motorcycles. Accompanied by Protection Officers she entered the Trinity House Book Shop, managed by Paul Claxton. Immediately it became very clear that she has two key skills – within a very short space of time she can put someone at ease and engage in good ‘small talk’. Paul showed her around the shop, decorated with old record covers, old magazine front covers and general ‘past ages’ paraphernalia. The shop has some wonderful first or signed editions and should be the first place for enthusiastic book lovers to visit. If you have children do please come along since it’s a genuinely child friendly book shop selling not only children’s books but also toys – and there’s a squidgy sofa too to make them feel at home.

Camilla surprised everyone by suddenly producing a bag full of books for Paul to sell in the shop, causing interjections from those watching with “Oh I’ve read that”, and “Oh I’ve got that” – no doubt, bearing in mind from whence they came, these books will go for a premium in the shop.

Next stop was the Trinity Hospice Clothing shop – designer clothes, pashmina and cashmere scarves, men’s new shirts and evening dresses can be found here. Debbie Woodall the Manageress showed The Duchess around and introduced her to staff and volunteers. The introductions very quickly became relaxed and informal “And this is so and so, she/he works on a Tuesday” “Ah so you’re a Tuesday girl”. And to the next person, “… and are you a Wednesday person then?” and so on.

Having had a good look round she noticed two celebration mugs marking her marriage to Prince Charles – unusual and rather collectible since two cups had to be issued due to the Pope’s death on the original choice of wedding date. Hence two china mugs for the same occasion, just different dates.

Just as she was leaving she spied some special Trinity Hospice bears. Immediately picking one up she declared she must have five for her grandchildren. Sadly there were only four available, but she gamely declared that one would have to go without. And more gamely, the Lady in Waiting paid for them!

Trinity Hospice is a wonderful charity which gives care to people with advanced illnesses within their own homes or at a hospice. They currently look after about 750,000 people across London. The Duchess of Cornwall is their Patron.

If you would like to support Trinity, please donate your books, records, clothes or toys to the shops in Kensington Church St. To learn more about this charity please see www.trinityhospice.org.uk

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine
www.thekensingtonmagazine.com