Princess Anne heads to Bracknell to open new crime victim charityBy Becky Barnes
September 27, 2012
A royal visitor arrived in Bracknell by helicopter to open the new office of a charity supporting the victims of crime.
Princess Anne, president of Victim Support, met staff and volunteers at the charity’s new Thames Valley base at Amber House, in Market Street, on Friday.
Linda Darrall, divisional manager for Victim Support Thames Valley, said: “It has been amazing. The princess made the time to speak to everybody individually and really values the work of the volunteers, which is great and what it’s all about.”
The Princess Royal spoke to around 60 representatives from the charity and its partner agencies before unveiling a plaque marking the occasion.
Jon Piper, homicide case worker for Victim Support, who was the first to meet the princess, said: “She asked a lot about our work – it’s good to see someone so interested.”
Before unveiling the plaque, Princess Anne said: “It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet just a few of you, so thank you very much for all you do.
“The relationships you have and the partnerships you have struck up really make the difference in terms of your being able to support victims wherever they are.”
Her Royal Highness was accompanied by Bracknell MP Dr Phillip Lee, mayor of Bracknell Forest Councillor Jennie McCracken, mayor of Bracknell town Cllr Shelagh Pile, Victim Support trustee Nick Griffin and Judge Charles Elly.
Cllr McCracken, who was a victim support volunteer from 2002 to 2004, said: “It is a service we could not do without and yet again it is down to our wonderful volunteers.
“Once I am no longer in politics I will get back to it, if they will have me.”
Cllr Pile added: “The princess showed such support for the people doing this work and was very interested in what they were doing. She is amazingly down to earth.”
Victim Support Thames Valley has around 200 volunteers across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and offers support to victims from the moment they report a crime, offering guidance through the court process and beyond.
Jennifer Sprott, operations manager at Berkshire Crime, said: “Victim Support is vital within our courts because they look after all our vulnerable witnesses.
“It provides emotional support as well as guiding people through the court process.”
For further information about volunteering with Victim Support visit www.victimsupport.org.
n Visit www.getbracknell.co.uk to see a video of the Royal visit.