THE Princess Royal has helped to boost the profile of a little-known organisation which does a lot of good work.
Staff and volunteers at Wirral Victim Support (WVS) were delighted to play host to Princess Anne at a special meeting held in her honour in Bebington yesterday.
Her Royal Highness is patron of the National Association of Victim Support Schemes and said it was 'a pleasure' to be able to meet with workers in Wirral.
As she unveiled a plaque to mark her visit, she thanked them for their unstinting work and support for the organisation, especially through the recent amalgamation of Bebington, Birkenhead and Woodchurch branches.
"I wish you well and hope that you find a few more volunteers," she said. Volunteers, who all had the chance to speak to Princess Anne, hope their high-profile guest will help to highlight the good work carried out by the organisation.
Volunteer co-ordinator for the Heswall & District branch Moira Smyth says the group is always desperate for volunteers and fundraisers to keep the good work going.
"People don¹t have to have any special skills to be a volunteer, as long as they are sympathetic, have an interest in people and genuinely want to help," she said.
The volunteers, many of who were nervous at the prospect of meeting the Princess, said she seemed very natural and spoke to them about the work they do.
Angela Watson, who works as a volunteer across Wirral, said: "She asked us how we came to join, where we worked. She was very relaxed and well-informed about Victim Support."
Mrs Watson, along with the other invited guests who went to the meeting at the Mayer Hall in Church Street, Bebington, hopes other would-be volunteers who have not heard of WVS might offer their services.
"We are always short of volunteers and always short of funds, so any help is fantastic," she said.
Princess Anne arrived at Mayer Hall at 12.30pm, after opening emergency homeless hostel Mary Cole House in Birkenhead.
After she was presented with a posy of flowers by nine-year-old Jessica Day, she was whisked away for a private lunch where she received a report on the amalgamation of Bebington, Birkenhead and Woodchurch branches.
At 1.40pm the Princess came into the hall and was met by a round of applause from supporters.
She then spent the next 30 minutes touring the hall and speaking to groups of volunteers, before unveiling the plaque.