The Prince and Princess of Wales have made their first joint official visit to Cornwall since taking on the roles of The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall started the day at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth where they learnt more about the rich maritime heritage of Cornwall and how the Museum is working to highlight the relevance of maritime issues to the present day.
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is located in Discovery Quay and is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, having been established in 2003. It features fifteen galleries, a boat building workshop and interactive exhibits, making it a popular destination for families and tourists across Cornwall and beyond.
During their visit, The Duke and Duchess first spent time in the Museum’s workshop where they met local people working on the refurbishment of the Kiwi, a fourteen-foot sailing dinghy which was presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh as a wedding present from the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Their Royal Highnesses also heard from a group of young people who are taking part in the ‘Young and Talented Cornwall’ scheme which provides financial support to help young people from across Cornwall fulfil their potential, regardless of their financial means or background. In total, the fund has given out almost £350,000 to some 275 individuals in the past ten years – supporting future Olympic medal winners, international rugby players, and musicians now playing in major orchestras.
The Dracaena Centre
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall visited The Dracaena Centre to learn about the wide variety of support and services that the organisation provides to local people, with a mission of building a healthy, happy and mutually supportive society.
Located between Falmouth and Penryn, the Centre serves both towns and the surrounding rural area. It has been in operation since 2008 and supports around 10,000 people a year. Through services including family and youth support, children’s activities, legal advice, sports and fitness and community food programmes, the Centre aims to empower individuals, promote equal opportunity and build a stronger community.
Progress is monitored using a range of indicators from improved physical and mental wellbeing, increased self-esteem, better development of relationships and the advancement of life skills. During their visit, The Duke and Duchess spent time in a session for local mothers and their young children, hearing from them about how The Dracaena Centre has supported them as parents and promoted their children’s development through play and creativity.
Their Royal Highnesses then spoke to representatives from St Petrocs, a local, independent charity working with individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Cornwall. The organisation provides services including outreach, housing advice, emergency accommodation, counselling and training with the aim of supporting its clients to find a permanent route out of homelessness.
To finish the day, The Duke and Duchess visited the NHS Wellbeing Hub hosted in the Centre and hear how they are providing community based mental health and wellbeing support across the local area.