The Princess Royal has opened a new community hub which will support more than 400 Royal Navy children and their families in Gosport and Fareham.
The hub, which was made possible by a £400,000 donation by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, will help 435 service children and is located at Brune Park Community School.
The Gosport Community Hub, a partnership with the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust (GFMAT), means these families have a dedicated space of their own to meet, socialise and find valuable peer support from those who share the unique challenges of having a parent in the Armed Forces.
The Princess Royal, who has been Patron of the RNRMC since 2007, was greeted by children from the area and met a number of Royal Navy families. She also discussed key ambitions for the community and visited the community walled garden project.
“As a Royal Navy veteran and Gosport resident of over 40 years, I am part of a proud and significant Royal Navy community in this area,” said Mandy Lindley, Director of Relationships and Funding at the RNRMC.
“My husband and I both served, and my family have experienced some of the unique challenges and difficulties that come with service life, experiences shared by many families here in Gosport.
The Princess Royal was greeted by children from the area and met a number of Royal Navy families (Credit: Angus Rosier, RMRMC).
“Therefore, the creation of the Gosport Community Hub to support local Royal Navy families and the wider school community has personal significance for me, and I am proud that the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has been at the forefront of delivering this milestone facility.
“However, it is the hard work and vision of Chris Willis and his team at the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust that have brought the Hub to life, and we know that under their stewardship it will be an invaluable resource for Gosport’s children and their families for many years to come.”
The hub, which is being used by 250 families, includes a kitchenette, meeting rooms, IT facilities and community space.
Chris Willis, Executive Headteacher at the GFMT, who was crowned Income Innovator of the Year at the National School Awards 2021 for his involvement in this project, added: “The Hub is part of our wider Gosport community strategy, which focuses on raising the aspiration and engagement of our families and community partners across the town.”