The Prince of Wales has visited a community organisation to meet the people involved and learn about projects which are transforming lives in the area.
Charles went to the Bromley by Bow Centre in east London, which he last visited in 2002, to see how it has approached health, well-being and social enterprise in the last decade.
He met doctors and patients from the centre’s GP practice as well as staff and clients from the Pollen project, which offers therapeutic, horticultural and art-related activities for people with mental health issues.
He also chatted with staff and clients from Arteast, which runs design and print enterprises, along with social entrepreneurs who have recently set up their own businesses through the centre’s Beyond Business programme.
Each week the centre supports families, young people and adults of all ages to improve their lives in areas such as health and employment. There are more than 100 projects and social enterprises ongoing at the centre, including complimentary therapies, art studios, a nursery, community care projects, landscape design, graphic design, furniture, public art and a community café.
Charles planted a tree in the centre’s garden in memory of Vanessa Barker, who founded one of the Bromley by Bow’s successful social enterprises, Green Dreams, which was a landscape gardening project.
The centre’s assistant chief executive, Dr Julia Davis, showed the Prince around the health centre today and said they talked about some of the centre’s programmes.
“There were lots of community members that came for the whole event and I think they were really excited,” she said.
“He seemed very impressed with what we’ve done here and what we’ve developed since 2002. I hope he was impressed. You rarely get that chance to showcase your work. I think it brings the whole community together and when something like this happens, well, there was a lot of excitement here today.”
Lord Andrew Mawson, founder and president of the centre, said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome Prince Charles back to the Bromley by Bow Centre, and even more of an honour to introduce him to the people and partners that are helping us to transform lives here in Bow.”