Princess Royal opens hub for Royal Navy families

Princess Royal opens Gosport Community Hub Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The Princess Royal has opened a community hub which provides support for families with a parent in the armed forces.

Anne met users and staff at the new Gosport Community Hub which will serve 435 children from service families in the Gosport and Fareham area of Portsmouth.

The centre has been built and staffed thanks to a grant of £400,000 from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) which Anne has been the patron of since 2007.

The Princess Royal meets members of the sea cadets as she opens the Gosport Community Hub Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

Mandy Lindley, director of relationships and funding at the RNRMC, said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

The centre is partnered with the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust (GFMAT) with the aim of providing families with a dedicated space to “meet, socialise and find valuable peer support from those who share the unique challenges of having a parent in the Armed Forces”.

Chris Willis, executive headteacher at the GFMAT, was named Income Innovator of the Year at the National School Awards 2021 for his involvement in the project.

He said: “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.”