Livewire were honoured to host a visit by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester on the afternoon of 8th September 2016, as part of our youth club’s 70th anniversary celebrations.

A snapshot of the visit below illustrated is courtesy of Mike Pitches Photography, who kindly gave permission to reproduce his images.

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HRH arrived around 2.20pm at Livewire, having walked down from previous engagements in Saltash, and was greeted by one of the Livewire Trustees – Steve, and Youth Work Co-Ordinators Julie Rance and Andy Rance, before Viv Yandell showed HRH into our main coffee bar area, where HRH met one of our young bands – Helvellyn – who performed for her in our downstairs practice room.

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The visit moved on to an informal chat with two gentlemen from the early days of the ‘Saltash Boys Club’ – the name of our youth club before it was renamed Livewire in the 1990s. HRH was very interested in our display of old photographs from decades gone by of the Saltash Boys Club.

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Proceedings moved into our 250 capacity Venue which was well attended by local business people, dignatories, past members and volunteers of the Saltash Boys Club as well as current volunteers and young people, two of whom performed a song for the assembled, and told us their stories of how Livewire has helped turn their lives around to the successes they consider their lives and futures are today for them.

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Mitch Slim-Fitzpatrick performed a ‘free-form’ rap on the occasion of the visit – Mitch is a talented young rapper who has the remarkable ability to pull together rhyming lyrics on any topic you care to throw at him. Nicole Higgins followed with her story, and performed a lovely song. Nicole is now at university studying music production, and has part time work in live music production thanks to her confidence which grew through attending Livewire.

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After the entertainment and stories of how Livewire is so important to the young people, HRH was keen to chat with Mitch and Nicole, before chatting with Andy Rance – our Youth Work Co-Ordinator – and other volunteers past and present of Livewire to find out more about what we do.

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The visit ended with Jess presenting a posy and photograph of a royal visit from some decades past, in which we believe to be one of the Duke of Gloucester’s close relatives. HRH promised to check and get back to us! To finish, HRH kindly signed our visitor book, before parting from the adjacent quay to travel down the River Tamar to her next appointment.

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Livewire were proud to host HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, and to all accounts HRH was very interested in what Livewire does for the local young people, and was a most gracious guest. We also extend our thanks to all the members of Saltash that came to share the visit, and took the time afterward to find out more about what Livewire does from the young people who showed round all that were interested to find out more.

A brilliant day for all!