Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Royal visit to Bangor and Holywood

The Queen and Prince Philip are shown pictures from a previous visit by Her Majesty in the 1960s by Mayor of North Down Leslie Cree at the Royal Ulster Yacht Club in Bangor
Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip are shown pictures from a previous visit by the Queen in the 1960's by Mayor of North Down Alderman Leslie Cree at the Royal Ulster Yacht Club in Bangor this afternoon (Thursday) as part of her visit to Northern Ireland.Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited Holywood and Bangor today as part of a three-day trip to Northern Ireland.

In Holywood, Her Majesty took time out to visit the Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust (PRRT).

The PRRT provides personal development and employment transition sessions, employability workshops, training and education programmes, an employer liaison service and evidence-based physiotherapy and psychological therapies for regular, retiring and retired police officers and their families.

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness toured the facility meeting a number of staff and viewed ongoing training programme and courses.

The Royal couple were presented with a Tyrone Crystal rose bowl, unveiled a plaque marking the occasion and signed the visitors' book.

Chairman of the trust's board Sheamus Hamill presented the bowl.

"For 10 years we have been assisting retired police officers and those planning to leave the police service to recognise their employment potential, upskill and to regain their self-confidence in the job market and to provide the clinical treatment required to allow clients to enjoy the optimum physical and psychological wellbeing in their chosen lifestyle," he said.

"Today was indeed recognition of the hard work of the trust, its board of directors, the senior management team and the staff."

Trust chief executive Eddie Gaw said the Duke was impressed with their services.

"His Royal Highness was also interested in how the organisation has moved ever so slightly beyond policing," he added.

Phyllis Carrothers, chairwoman of the Royal Ulster Constabulary George Cross Widows' Association, said: "It is a wonderful recognition of the services that the PRRT provide to the police family and the wider police family.

Jenny Brown, business development manager at the PRRT, said the Queen was keen to learn of the organisation's work. "She was interested in what we were doing," she said.

A short time later the Royal guests visited the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in Bangor.

The MCA promotes safety at sea to minimise loss of life amongst seafarers and coastal users. It also protects the environment by minimising pollution from ships and responds to maritime emergencies 24 hours a day.

The Queen and Prince Philip met a number of off-duty watch managers and were later given an outline description of the coastal area under the responsibility of the MCA by watch manager Ian Murdock. They also viewed operation room workstations and met a number of staff.

In the conference room Her Majesty and His Royal Highness met around 50 guests representing marine surveyors, volunteer coastguard officers, Irish Coast Guard officers, Bangor Marina staff and RNLI.

Later, Brett Cunningham, coastal safety manager at MCA, invited the Queen to unveil a plaque to commemorate the visit. Prior to departure Her Majesty and His Royal Highness signed the visitors’ book.

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