Growth Company staff Tania Richardson and Nicola Garry were chosen to meet His Royal Highness Prince William, The Duke Of Cambridge, when he officially opened Mersey Care’s Life Rooms in Walton, Liverpool on 14 September during a tour of the services on offer to the local community and mental health service users.
Life Rooms is a community hub for well-being and home to Mersey Care’s Recovery College, and key worker Tania and employment and training consultant Nicola, are co-located with the project. Tania and Nicola work on the Positive Directions project, which offers support to help people find employment and stay in work. Positive Directions is supported by the European Social Fund (ESF).
Of the many partner organisations that Mersey Care works with, the Growth Company was one of only four invited to meet the Duke. During his visit to the Life Rooms, the Duke met service users, engaged in an IT tuition class, attended a confidence building course and met members of the gardening group supported by partner organisation, the Cass Foundation, who have transformed the grounds surrounding the building into a ’life garden’.
The Duke spent time with former service users in the social enterprise café, North Perk, met several Life Rooms volunteers as well as staff working within the partner organisations providing help, advice and practical support to Life Rooms users. Since Life Rooms Walton opened last May, more than 16,000 people have visited and benefited from its services.
Tania and Nicola said: “We were honoured to be invited to meet Prince William at the official opening. We were able to explain to him the work that we do to support our clients, and how we work together with all the other local agencies. He seemed genuinely interested in our work, and it was a real pleasure to talk with him.”