Months of preparation paid off on Wednesday when Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited us to celebrate 5 years of our restorative justice project, ROC Restore.
So how does one prepare for a royal visit? Here’s a little insight into what we’ve learned over the past few months.
- You can never have too many spreadsheets. Count how many you think you’ll need, then triple it.
- Do the same again with planning meetings, briefings, rehearsals, the list goes on.
- They weren’t kidding when they said ‘it’ll all be alright on the night’.
- There’s a certain electricity that comes only when 150 people know that royalty is pulling up outside the building. If only we could bottle up the energy in the room in that moment!
- Teamwork is important. Great volunteers are invaluable. Without our team of staff and volunteers the event simply wouldn’t have happened. From making salmon butties at 7am to clearing the path for HRH’s exit to the chopper, we’re so grateful to everyone who helped out.
- However impactful we think we already know restorative justice to be, just wait until a victim of crime, who’s been through the RJ process, stands up and tells their story, from their perspective. There’s nothing quite so powerful.
So how did the visit go? We think it was a roaring success, and we hear Her Royal Highness enjoyed herself too.
As Patron of the Restorative Justice Council, restorative justice is a real passion of HRH’s and that became apparent very quickly. She took the time to speak to those who’ve been through the process, volunteers and partners and she was particularly interested in how people became interested in RJ.
However impactful we think we already know restorative justice to be, just wait until a victim of crime, who’s been through the RJ process, stands up and tells their story, from their perspective. There’s nothing quite so powerful.
The pièce de résistance was the unveiling of a plaque commemorating HRH’s visit and a specially commissioned poem about RJ.
We’re so pleased HRH The Princess Royal, volunteers, supporters and friends were able to celebrate 5 years of this important work with us and we can’t wait to see what the next 5 years might bring.