Charity birthday party gets a royal visit
Crafty volunteers welcomed a royal visitor as they celebrated their charity's 10th birthday.
The Princess Royal returned to Making Space in Leigh Park yesterday – 10 years after she declared the dab-handed arts hub open.
Princess Anne enjoyed a guided tour of the cause’s Bishopstoke Road studio complex, meeting artists, tutors and volunteers along the way – before she was bade farewell with a hand-crafted gift.
It was budding 16-year-old designer Isobel Haly who presented Princess Anne with her present, a bespoke tin brooch, made by Making Space creator Sarah Macrae.
Reflecting on the moment, Miss Haly – a member of Making Space’s Young Designers group – said: ‘I was quite nervous about meeting the princess, but she was so in tune with what Making Space is all about.
‘She was more than willing to stop for a chat and, I have to say, I was quite starstruck. I’m so glad I met her.’
Alongside Princess Anne’s visit, the charity marked its ‘tin’ anniversary with an invite-only party, entertaining the likes of the Lord Mayor of Havant, local CEOs, and Conservative MP Alan Mak.
Making Space director, Lynne Dick, branded the fixture and the past 10 years a success.
She said: ‘This has been an amazing honour – the best possible way to welcome our 10th birthday.
‘When Making Space was in the pipeline 15 or 16 years ago, I think trustees and funders imagined and hoped they could create something that would make a difference to local people.
‘I definitely think that’s true of what we’ve become.
‘We have worked with more than 28,000 people since we opened this building, which is fantastic for a team that essentially has two full-time workers.’
In a speech thanking the Princess Royal for her attendance, Making Space trustees announced they had just sealed thousands of pounds in Arts Council England funding as part of its Catalyst Small Grants programme.
Touching on the cash boost, Ms Dick said: ‘Like many charities, we get turned down for many grants – it’s tricky as an arts organisation.
‘But I was speechless when we found out our application for this money had been successful. We’re overjoyed.’
Celebrations culminated in the evening when Making Space held a tin-themed, art auction in partnership with much-loved palliative care charity, Rowans Hospice.