His Royal Highness The Duke of York visited the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), as part of the safety charity’s centenary year.
He met representatives of RoSPA’s work in road, home, occupational, leisure and education safety, and found out about current initiatives including Lifeline, a new freephone advice helpline for parents and carers, the Brighter Beginnings Appeal – to provide accident prevention packs to disadvantaged families with young children – and Stand Up, Stay Up, a project which aims to reduce falls among over-65s.
Among the staff to welcome him to RoSPA House in Edgbaston, Birmingham, were RoSPA’s current and former apprentices and information officer Anita Plumb, who is the longest-serving member of staff having worked for the charity for 41 years. Volunteers from the RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders network were also present.
During the visit, The Duke took time to talk to Beth and Martyn Amison, from Staffordshire, about their work with RoSPA to raise awareness of nappy sack safety, following the death of their seven-month-old son Maison who suffocated on one of the small bags in 2013.
The Duke passed on a message from Her Majesty The Queen, RoSPA’s Patron, in which she conveyed her continued support for the charity and its work. He also unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit, and was presented with a copy of Safety First, a book which tells the story of RoSPA’s vintage safety posters.
Also in attendance were Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Mr Richard Boot, the High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Dr Keith Bradshaw, and his wife, Mrs Pamela Bradshaw, and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Coun Carl Rice.
Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s deputy chief executive, said: “We were delighted and honoured that His Royal Highness The Duke of York was able to visit us during what is an extremely important year for our charity. Our centenary provides a valuable opportunity to look back, take stock and celebrate successes such as the significant reductions in accidental death and injury on our roads and in our workplaces, and we were pleased to be able to highlight some of our historical highlights to The Duke. However, we are also looking ahead to the challenges that remain within accident prevention – particularly in light of rising accidental death and injury figures in our homes and leisure time – and it was therefore extremely important for us to also outline our current areas of focus during the visit.
“RoSPA wouldn’t have made it to 100 years if it wasn’t for the charity’s dedicated staff, and as an Investors In People Gold Standard holder, we were pleased to demonstrate to His Royal Highness our commitment to the development and retention of our most important assets – our people – from apprentices through to those who have served for many decades.”
The Duke’s visit reflected the continuing and much-valued relationship between RoSPA and the Royal Family. His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, for example, acted as RoSPA’s President from 1965-68.
To find out more about RoSPA’s history and its centenary events, see www.rospa100.com