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Princess Anne officially opens Citizens Advice New Forest base in New Milton



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THE Princess Royal flew into New Milton by helicopter on Wednesday to officially open a new information and advice centre.

The regal arrival in the town was to unveil a plaque at the base of Citizens Advice New Forest (CANF) in Old Milton Road, as she is the patron of the national charity.

Princess Anne officially opened Citizens Advice New Forest in New Milton, and met staff from Fareshare, New Forest Basics Bank and Mencap (picture: Trevor Pogson)
Princess Anne officially opened Citizens Advice New Forest in New Milton, and met staff from Fareshare, New Forest Basics Bank and Mencap (picture: Trevor Pogson)

Princess Anne stayed about an hour and met staff and volunteers at the town centre office, including Kickstart trainee Dan Higgins who is learning how to be a telephone assessor for the charity.

He told her: "I have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, and learnt new skills. This Kickstart role has been absolutely amazing."

She also met Ken Hardy, CANF’s oldest volunteer who has just celebrated his 90th birthday. He told the princess about his volunteering as a specialist employment advisor.

(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)

The plaque she unveiled at the new facility was created specially by Forest Marque woodcarvers BearWood.

The centre is a partnership with New Forest Mencap and, following the office opening, members hosted a reception for Princess Anne at the nearby Nedderman Centre, off Marryat Road.

(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)

There she was met by Sandy Negrescu, advice services manager from Citizens Advice. Sandy introduced the princess to volunteers and staff from Fareshare and the New Forest Basics Bank who are partners with Citizens Advice in the New Forest foodlarder project.

Claire Martin from Fareshare said: "It has been great to work with our partners at the food larder, Citizens Advice and the New Forest foodbanks.

(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)

"They all support the larders and together we have helped hundreds of people across the New Forest reduce their food shopping bills."

Princess Anne was also introduced to Mike Snell, chair of New Forest Mencap who invited her into the centre to meet staff, trustees and service users.

(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)

The Princess concluded the visit by joining a reception in the main hall of the Nedderman Centre which was hosted by the New Forest Basics Bank.

There she met advisors, digital champions, trustees, food larder volunteers and New Milton town councillors.

(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)
(picture: Trevor Pogson)

To round off the visit she was presented with a posy by New Forest Mencap user Danielle Belk.

For more information about Citizens Advice New Forest visit newforestcab.org.uk or call the free advice line 0808 278 7860.



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