The Princess Royal visited a number of charities in Swindon and Princes Risborough yesterday, plus a company that frequently raises money to donate.
At Excalibur Communications, Princess Anne unveiled a plaque and met staff and local dignitaries including South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, Mayor of Swindon, Maureen Penny, and police and crime commissioner, Angus Macpherson. Also in attendance were representatives from charities Excalibur and its staff have raised funds for, including Jessie May children’s hospice, The British and Irish Orthoptic Society, and the Younite Foundation, which aims to help disadvantaged children and young people in the area improve their motivation and skills.
Founder and executive chairman of the firm, James Phipps, said it was honoured to have the visit. “At Excalibur we are extremely proud of the work we do within the community, and indeed the working environment we provide,” he said.
“But we are particularly proud that such a strong culture of giving and community involvement runs throughout the team. There is a genuine desire to support the communities in which we work that goes beyond corporate social responsibility.”
Excalibur was originally a successful mobile phone trading shop, but in 2000, it rebranded to Excalibur and moved from mobile retailing, into the business to business marketplace as well as IT services. Earlier this year it reached 55 in the Sunday Times top 100 Employers.
Over the past three years staff have raised thousands for more than 200 good causes in the area, including £50,000 for Bath RUH Forever Friends Appeal in 2015, helping to fund the teenage cancer ward.
Princess Anne then went on to attend the Annual General Meeting of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, at The Grange in Princes Risborough. At the meeting Chairman Faith Clark announced the charity is to merge with Hearing Link. Anne is Patron of both charities and will continue as royal patron of the merged charities.
Michele Jennings, Chief Executive of Hearing Dogs, said: “The merger of our two organisations has secured the future of Hearing Link, which has found it increasingly difficult to maintain financial sustainability. The wealth of knowledge and expertise within Hearing Link will now be made available to even more people through the development opportunities provided by the combination of our more than 100 years of experience in helping deaf people.
“The merger will provide logical cost benefits by efficiently combining back-office functions, such as finance and administration, to ensure our donated funds are used in pursuing our core purpose as much as possible. Hearing Dogs applicants and recipients, and deaf people in general, will all enjoy wider access to the extremely well-developed suite of services Hearing Link offers.
“We will maintain the identities of both charities, as both are well loved and well recognised organisations. And both charities benefit enormously from the kindness and generosity of their volunteers, who collectively number almost 2,500. We will continue to grow this important aspect of our organisations, as we simply couldn’t do what we do without the altruism of our volunteers.”
The Princess Royal then attended an awards ceremony and dinner at The Royal College of Physicians in her capacity as Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Engineers.