On Monday, The Princess Royal visited Droitwich Rugby Club to thank the club members and Droitwich Community Voluntary Service for all of their hard work and efforts during the pandemic. The service has supported their local community since last year, including providing 16,000 meals through food parcels and wellbeing packs.
Princess Anne visited the club to hear about all of the details around the successful ongoing partnership, and how the Rugby Club and the Community Voluntary Service had adapted to offer valuable services within the community.
Anne, 70, heard how over 90 people had given up their time to ensure that the local community of Droitwich and the surrounding areas were covered, and people in the local area received the help and support they badly needed.
Droitwich Community Voluntary Service took calls and requests from those in need while Droitwich RFC repurposed the club house to allow them to purchase, source, package and distribute the food parcels to the local community.
The Princess Royal heard from the Community Voluntary Service how food parcels were developed which would cover the basic needs using dried and tinned products, adding in other donated goods when received.
As word spread about the scheme and the numbers kept increasing, the contents were changed to include enough ingredients for five meals for five days. One of the volunteers designed recipes to match the contents of the food parcels, giving people ideas as to what meals they could make.
After the first lockdown re-opening, the club started distributing free breakfast sandwiches to all areas of the community. The service soon became an in-person event, where people were invited to the club for a sit down socially-distanced breakfast, particularly those who had to shield were allowed out.
Anne has carried out a number of engagements since her father, The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. (IMAGE: Droitwich Rugby Club).
Members of the Community Voluntary Service told the mother-of-two how the aim of the in-person service became a way to get the shielding groups back out into communities, but in a safe and staggered manner. This gave the shielding community not only a first visit out of the house for many months, but also provided an opportunity to discuss their experiences with other individuals who had been through the same circumstances.
Brigadier Roger Brunt, Worcestershire’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant, said: “All the volunteers at the Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground were thrilled to see HRH and warmly welcomed her interest and encouragement of their fantastic efforts for their community over the past 12 months.”
We were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to the County yesterday. HRH visited @OfficialDRFC to thank club members & @Droitwich_CVS for supporting the local community during the Coronavirus pandemic. @RoyalFamily pic.twitter.com/8lkX9Sta1O
— Worcestershire Lieutenancy (@WorcsLieutenant) April 27, 2021
Speaking about the royal visit, Craig Browne, from Droitwich RFC, said: “It was a great privilege to welcome HRH The Princess Royal. We really enjoyed re-visiting the excellent work of all our volunteers, at a time when the local community were most in need.”
Tonia Enderbury, from Droitwich CVS added: “It was a huge honour and privilege to meet HRH and for our partnership to be recognised. With a small team we have been able to support thousands of residents, not just with food parcels, but prescription deliveries, transport to medical appointments and well-being bags.
“It has been wonderful to see how the community has come together and we are proud to be at the centre of this.”
Last week Anne visited three hospitals in Gloucestershire, where she opened a garden to commemorate the lives lost to coronavirus at one of the hospitals. The Queen’s only daughter spoke to frontline NHS staff about their work during the pandemic, at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Wotton Lawn Hospital, and Cheltenham General Hospital.
Princess Anne also attended two memorial services to mark Anzac Day on Sunday 25th April with her husband, Sir Tim Lawrence. The first service was at Wellington Arch, where Anne laid a wreath and signed the Book of Remembrance. The Princess Royal and her husband attended a second service at Westminster Abbey.