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King Charles III comes to Ealing Broadway to meet community groups

Hundreds of people gathered at Ealing Broadway shopping centre on Thursday (7 December 2023) to see King Charles III as he visited Ealing to meet six local volunteer-run community groups who are recipients of The King’s Award for Voluntary Service previously known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The King met and spoke to the founders and leaders of the community groups as well as being taken on a tour of Ealing Broadway’s famous annual Christmas Market, meeting local business owners and catching up with Santa and two of his elves.

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The local recipients of The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) and The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) who The King spoke with were:

  • Ealing Wildlife Group: A volunteer-run group focusing on protecting local wildlife (KAVS 2023)
  • LAGER Can: A litter action group for Ealing residents (QAVS 2021)
  • Descendants: A charity for children and young people with its main focus on African and Caribbean culture (QAVS 2019)
  • PACE: A voluntary organisation promoting the inclusion of young disabled people in sports and leisure activities (QAVS 2021)
  • Mael Gael: A Southall-based project for the elderly and for young people (QAVS 2021)
  • The William Hobbayne Charity: Supports residents of Hanwell who are in need, hardship, or distress (QAVS 2022)

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Dr Sean McCormack, vet and chair of Ealing Wildlife Group said: “It was a pleasure to chat with His Majesty The King about all our work in Ealing, including our Beaver project. He was charming, had a good sense of humour and was well clued up on nature conservation and rewilding.”

Dr McCormack added: “He was surprised to hear of some species we’re lucky to have now thriving in our urban green spaces like Harvest Mice and Barn Owls, and agreed on the need to protect those spaces from development or destruction. As he left I said we’d be happy to help him with beaver reintroduction on the Royal Estates, so watch this space.”

King Charles III meets Dr Sean McCormack, vet and chair of Ealing Wildlife Group. Photo: Janusz Zajaczkowski
King Charles III meets Dr Sean McCormack, vet and chair of Ealing Wildlife Group. Photo: Janusz Zajaczkowski

Also meeting King Charles was Cathy Swift, chair of LAGER Can. Ms Swift told EALING.NEWS: “It was a real honour for members of LAGER Can to meet His Majesty King Charles, not least because we know he shares our environmental concerns – and even took his son’s litter picking when they were younger.”

Founder of Descendants, Margaret Noel told EALING.NEWS that she said Richard Kornicki: “Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful opportunity and inviting Descendants to take part. It was lovely to meet some of the other charities in Ealing, who like Descendants’, have won the Queen or Kings Award. Jaquam, our young ambassador, was especially excited to meet you again and very pleased the King shook his hand, and spoke to him about his education, and about going to University next year.”

As well as meeting the volunteers, the King met with with local business owners at the Ealing Broadway shopping centre Christmas Market

Thirty local school children from Christ The Saviour COE Primary School and a local Polish choir provided festive cheer for the event, with renditions of Christmas carols on Ealing Broadway’s Town Square Stage.

The King also ensured that he saw Santa and visited Santa’s Grotto where he met the man himself along with two elves and watched a special signed dance performance by Impact Theatre Group. The group, which supports adults with learning disabilities, previously won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018.

Andrew Rollings, centre director said: “We’re incredibly proud to welcome His Majesty The King to the centre and to celebrate the brilliant local community and volunteers we have in Ealing.”

Mr Rollings added: “It really is a town where people come together to support others, which we’ve experienced first-hand this year with the incredibly generous volume of uniform and winter coat donations we’ve received as part of our ongoing ambition to provide initiatives that give back to our community and beyond. We truly hope His Majesty enjoyed his visit to the centre and left feeling inspired by Ealing’s community spirit, with a touch of festive cheer.”

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