Princess Anne visits Porthcawl and HM Prison Parc during royal visit to Wales

Princess Anne met with volunteer crews at Porthcawl RNLI and staff at HM Prison Parc in Bridgend during her visit to Wales on Monday.

The Princess Royal was invited to unveil a plaque to commemorate the 50th anniversary and re-founding of Porthcawl RNLI.

Coastguards there were the busiest in Wales in 2014. Statistics released in January revealed a 49% increase in lifeboat launches during the year after they took to the water 73 times and rescued 60 people.

During the visit Princess Anne was introduced to Porthcawl RNLI chairman John Abraham and lifeboat operations manager Phil Missen.

Mr Missen introduced her to a number of volunteer crew, who saved 16 lives in 2014.

He said: “From being named the busiest station in Wales to having a royal visitor, it really has been an exciting start to the year for Porthcawl RNLI.

“As volunteers the crew give up so very much of their time to help save lives at sea, especially as 2014 was so very busy.

“It fills our crew with a real sense of pride to know their efforts appreciated and to be congratulated by a royal visitor was really quite something.”

The Princess Royal also visited Parc Prison to see first-hand the work of Invisible Walls Wales, a project run to work simultaneously with prisoners and their families to reduce offending and re-offending by strengthening family ties.

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The princess met seven of the prison team who between them have won two consecutive awards from the Butler Trust, which was set up to celebrate outstanding practice by those working with offenders.

Princess Anne unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of a new unit in the prison as part of the recent extension, which includes a new residential block with 387 new prison places, a new workshop, visitors centre and gate house.

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Prison director Janet Wallsgrove said: “It’s an exciting time at our prison and we were delighted to welcome the princess to meet our team and see the work that we’re doing first hand.

“The extension allows us to take the success of these specialist units to more prisoners and build on our achievements here at Parc.”

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/princess-anne-visits-porthcawl-hm-8611461