Southside is this year commemorating its 20 anniversary – and early this year we had a wonderful day hosting Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall at our Headquarters at Meade House, Whiteway.
The Duchess was in Bath as the Guest of St John’s Foundation, of which she is patron. Southside, which has been supported by St John’s for a decade, has been working in the Bath and North East Somerset area with a broad range of family support services as well as a service focussed on domestic abuse.
“Our organisation has been at the heart of the diverse BANES community for the last two decades – and we have supported families through a wide range of rapidly developing challenges,” said Penny Mckissock, Southside’s Founder and CEO. “We think the visit of Her Royal Highness is a timely recognition of the many and various issues faced by people of the area.”
The Duchess spent close to an hour with Southside, meeting staff, volunteers as well as service users. She unveiled a plaque that marks the charity’s anniversary and the visit. The Duchess struck a particular rapport with the young people that volunteer at the organisation. “The Duchess was obviously very interested in the work we do”, said 17 year old Kai Fletcher, who is an Admin Apprentice and Team leader of Southside’s Young Advocate programme. “It’s really refreshing to know that such a senior member of the Royal Family cares about the voice we aim to give to young people in the area.”
“This is the first time a member of the Royal Family has made a visit to our project, “said Operational Manager Lucy Fordham, “We hope that it will help to highlight the very real problems that exist, even in a relatively affluent city like Bath – and the hard work so many people have been doing to alleviate these problems.”