In November, St Mungo’s Royal Patron, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, came to visit our New Street project in Bristol and we worked closely with the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Mary Prior, on the arrangements. We were delighted when Mary extended an invitation for staff and clients to attend a recent Royal Buckingham Palace Garden Party. Sian, Becky and Barbara caught up with us following the event.
Sian, it must have been dificult deciding who would go. Why Becky and Barbara?
Obviously, it was a difficult decision but it came down to the fact that both Becky and Barbara have both really gone over and above for our women’s services in Bristol this year. Becky set up a women’s group and her work has really broken down barriers and made our New Street project an inclusive and welcoming space for women. It’s wonderful to see women having fun there and that’s all down to the lovely Becky and her persistence and creative thinking.
Barbara is an inspiration to us all. Having gone through St Mungo’s services as a client, volunteer, apprentice and now a fantastic support worker, Barbara deserves to have her hard work and journey recognised.
So, how was your day?
Sian: Awesome! It was a really great day, very relaxing and exciting at the same time. We were really honoured to be representing St Mungo’s in Bristol in recognition of our work in the city.
Becky: Fantastic, it was amazing to see the gardens at Buckingham Palace and sit in the sun.
What did you do?
Sian: We had lunch on Hyde Park Corner before queuing to get into the Palace gardens, with lots of very well dressed ladies and gents, clergy and army personnel.
Becky: We listened to the two bands and tried to spot Royals – the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were all there. We didn’t speak with them but we were sitting close by!
What did you eat?
Sian: Cucumber sandwiches and cake
Becky: We had lunch in Hyde Park and tea at the Palace was beautiful. We had tea, cucumber and mint sandwiches and lovely cakes all in the most delicate of portions. The ice cream was a nice touch after tea.
What’s the one memory you will take away from the day?
Sian: It was a once in a lifetime experience and I felt really special being there representing all our St Mungo’s clients and colleagues. You don’t realise how much the Royal family do. We were surrounded by around 8,000 people but the Royal family took it all in their stride, speaking to as many people as possible and making everyone welcome.
Becky: How lucky we are to have our Royal family and heritage. We were looking at this fabulous lady in yellow and remembering what she did for morale during the war and the difficulties she has had to face, both personally and for her country, historically and recently. I would like her to come to my house for tea so I could thank her.