Prince Harry will be in the North East on Wednesday 25th February as he visits the Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Red Squirrel Northern England Project based in Haydon Bridge, Northumberland. The Prince will then pay a visit to Army veterans charity, Armed Forces and Veterans Launchpad at Avondale House in Newcastle.
The first port of call for Harry will be Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Red Squirrel Project where he will get the chance to see how the project is working to conserve the population of red squirrel’s. Part of the visit will see Harry witness two woodland areas where he will learn exactly how RSNE are working with the local community to safeguard the population of red squirrel’s, one of their main focuses being on a grey squirrel control programme.
The RSNE is a conservation partnership which works across the north of England principally in Northumberland, Cumbria, Merseyside, Durham, Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales. The main aim of the project is to maintain the red squirrel population through landscape grey squirrel control and conservation science. The partnership consists of over 600 individuals and groups who work together to conserve a much valued heritage of England’s northern counties. Four main bodies make up this partnership and they are: Northumberland Wildlife Trust, The Forestry Commission, Natural England and The Red Squirrel Survival Trust of which The Prince of Wales is Patron.
Throughout his visit to RSNE, Prince Harry will be accompanied by Conrad Dickinson, who was Harry’s Polar guide during his Walking with the Wounded Antarctic Expedition in 2013 and is also a Patron of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust. During his tour of the two woodland area’s, Harry will be introduced to local wildlife photographer and RSNE supporter, Will Nicholls, who will explain to Harry how he is helping to promote red squirrel conservation through photography.
Prince Harry’s second engagement of the day will see him travel to Newcastle where he will visit the Armed Forces and Veterans Launchpad at Avondale House in Byker. Upon his arrival to the Veterans Launchpad, Harry will be shown around the residential house, which has 34 one-bedroom flats and communal facilities for leisure, training and I.T services.
Launchpad is a charity that provides affordable supported rented accommodation with on-site support to Armed Forces veterans of all ages. Residents at Launchpad are able to make a comfortable transition from Military to Civilian life and address the issues that can lead to homelessness and unemployment among a small section of the veteran community. The charity also works with other organisations to ensure that the veterans are able to gain employment as well as long-term accommodation. Avondale House is the residence of veterans for up to two years after which it is expected they have established alternative accommodation which matches their personal and employment circumstances.
Harry’s visit to Avondale House will see him meeting many Armed Forces veterans who currently reside at the house as well as meeting members of Launchpad’s staff and support agencies.
Byker Community Trust own Avondale House and have invested £1 million to refurbish the building in order for the house to play an integral role at the centre of the strong Byker Estate community. It is widely known that leaving the Armed Forces is a difficult yet important transitional phase for ex-servicemen and women and a phase that requires a range of support services, not least from local communities. Launchpad and Byker Community Trust aim to encourage community interaction through events and activities as well as through developing effective partnerships with local support agencies.
Prince Harry is committed passionately to those currently serving in the Armed Forces and those who are veterans of the Armed Forces. This issue is a key area of focus for The Royal Foundation, the Foundation founded by Prince Harry and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Royal trio have in the past supported this cause through numerous charitable endeavours and it is something thy are committed to continuing in the future.