Prince Edward visits Peer Productions in Knaphill

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HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, visited Peer Productions in Knaphill on Wednesday 12th January. The visit was part of the 5th Anniversary celebrations of the work of the Community Foundation for Surrey in supporting local community projects. 

The Prince started his day visiting the Foundation’s offices in Guildford. Later he travelled to Knaphill to spend time with some of the young people involved in Peer Productions at their base at the Woking Youth Arts Centre (WYAC), on Trinity Road.

Peer Productions is a highly praised and very popular local organisation working with 8 to 23 year olds, which specialises in providing peer education through the medium of theatre and film. The Earl is a known supporter of the arts and youth projects. The Earl of Wessex was received by the Deputy Lieutenant Sally Varah, who introduced him to the Mayor of Woking, Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Councillor Diana Smith, and Dr Helen Bowcock, author of Hidden Surrey and trustee of the Community Foundation for Surrey. 

Co-Artistic Directors of Peer Productions, Nina Lemon and Jason Orbaum, created a special 15 minute performance for the Earl, which was performed by the group’s young volunteers. The piece was a humorous and entertaining ‘Day in the Life’ look at the work of the group, focusing on the three groups of beneficiaries they work with.  The Earl then spent time chatting with the young actors, as well as members from Peer Productions Youth Theatre and previous graduates from the company’s full time course. 

Peer Productions full time volunteer Rebecca Alloway (18) said “We were really excited when we were told that Prince Edward would be coming to see us perform.  It was like our own Royal Variety Performance!”.  Nina Lemon said “It was a huge honour to be chosen by the Community Foundation for Surrey to receive the Earl of Wessex.  He was a lovely, down to earth man, who really engaged with all the young people he spoke to.”

You can find out more about their wide range of current projects by checking the Peer Productions website: www.peerproductions.co.uk 
Or for more information please contact Claire on 01483 476825 or email claire@peerproductions.co.uk

Other local community groups and the people of Knaphill have also benefitted from the generous support of the Community Foundation for Surrey through the grant KRA received for the Knaphill Village Show 2010. The Show  brought the whole community together and involved a great deal of work for the Residents’ Association. Without the valuable support of the Foundation we could not have undertaken such a substantial project.

In the last five years, as well as Peer and the KRA Knaphill Village Show, the Foundation has awarded grants to over six hundred community and voluntary groups and built a permanent fund for Surrey which will be used to support projects throughout the county. 

Following the Royal visit Professor Patrick Dowling, Chair of Trustees of the Foundation, said, “This was a very special occasion for the Community Foundation and follows a really extraordinary 5th birthday year which has seen us celebrate a record number of grant donations as well as a glowing Quality Accreditation from the Community Foundation Network (CFN). We were delighted to be able to highlight these achievements as well as some of the extraordinary work that goes on in Surrey to support need.

You can find out more about the Community Foundation for Surrey on their website: www.communityfoundationsurrey.org.uk

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Andy is a business systems and operations consultant for The Business Delicatessen and has helped the KRA over several years. He is former editor of the magazine and also runs Fat Crow Design.

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