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HRH Prince Charles visits Sunderland

Prince Charles arriving at National Citizen Service at Bethany City Church Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

His Royal Highness, Prince Charles is in Sunderland today to take part in his Step Up To Serve campaign and to visit Nissan UK’s plant.

The Prince of Wales is joined by boxing champion Amir Khan, who is a fellow panel member for a 'Dragon's Den' style funding pitch from the graduates of Step Up To Serve.

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Step Up To Serve is a campaign launched by the Prince of Wales to encourage more young people to get involved with helping others.

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Amir Khan joins Prince Charles in Sunderland

Amir Khan at a community centre in Sunderland today Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Boxer Amir Khan is in Sunderland today to join Prince Charles seeing graduates take part in a 'Dragon's Den' style funding pitch.

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will also visit Nissan's Sunderland plant with the Mayor of Sunderland to learn about the production of electric cars at the plant.

Northumbria officer recognised in New Year Honours

Richie Miles awarded British Empire Medal Credit: Northumbria Police

A Northumbria Police officer has been recognised for his services to the community on the New Year's Honours List.

Richie Miles, a retired sergeant who is now working with the force as a community engagement officer for South Tyneside, has been awarded a British Empire Medal.

The 54-year-old retired after 30-years as a police officer, 14 of which were spent with the Met Police. His final role saw him patrol the Whiteleas and Biddick Hall estates as a neighbourhood sergeant.

After his retirement Richie returned to the force in his new role working with vulnerable and hard to reach groups in the borough, engaging with them to provide a link to policing services.

He said: "It's an absolute honour to receive the award and to be recognised in this way.

"It came as a complete shock and surprise but I'm absolutely delighted.

"It follows years of working alongside and helping many people in my different roles who it's been a privilege to have met. I hope to meet many more in the years to come."

Chief Superintendent Ian Dawes, South Tyneside Area Commander, added: "This is a thoroughly well deserved honour for Richie.

"I'm delighted he has received this prestigious award for his professionalism and dedicated service to local communities across South Tyneside."

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Duke of Kent opens Teesside plant turning waste into power

The Duke of Kent officially opened the plant today Credit: SITA

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent KG has officially opened SITA Consortium’s new energy from waste (EfW) facility at Billingham, Teesside.

The new energy from waste plant will allow Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland councils to reduce their reliance on landfill, by providing an alternative service which uses waste to produce electricity to power around 30,000 homes.

10-year-old 'couldn't believe' meeting Prince Harry and Pixie Lott

Three years ago, when Rachel Hooley was 7, a routine visit to her GP quickly led to her being admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with heart failure.

In a matter of days her life hung in the balance - it was saved at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle by a heart transplant.

Life after the transplant has been a roller coaster ride and Rachel has been an inspiration, dealing with everything with a smile on her face.

Now, the 10-year-old from Cramlington has won a national award from the charity Wellchild.

The charity's patron is Prince Harry, who praised all the winners, saying: "Your stories are moving beyond words and remind us all of just how fantastic you all are."

Rachel loves dancing so she received her award from members of the dance group Diversity. She and her mum also got a chance to meet Prince Harry - and share the stage with the rest of the winners.

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