BUSINESS leader Peter Russell is buzzing about the huge impact the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Birkenhead could have on the image of the town and its future.
Peter, chairman of Russell Taylor Group, was among guests invited to The Hive Youth Zone on the day Harry and Meghan went to see charities and organisations that support and empower local people and projects.
Peter, whose company supports The Hive as a founder patron, said: “Like everyone on Wirral, I was excited at the thought of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex coming here to see the tremendous work done by organisations like The Hive and other empowering community groups.
“Being part of the visit was a great honour – Harry and Meghan were genuinely interested in what goes on at the youth zone, a place where young people can have fun, learn and have their aspirations raised in a safe environment. They took part in activities and workshops, watched as young members sang and danced for them and talked about their hopes and dreams for the future.
“What is really brilliant though is that the trailblazing work of The Hive and the other organisations they visited in Birkenhead has now been put on a national and international platform.
“The impact this visit will have on our local communities is likely to be huge, particularly as Birkenhead is about to undergo a massive transformation with redevelopment plans under way for landmark projects that will bring major investment and thousands of jobs.
“This royal visit can do nothing but boost confidence for an area with an image as a place of deprivation with the lowest national average incomes to be transformed by the creation of a vibrant economy driven by a local workforce.”
Peter, who mentors in work and life skills at The Hive, said key to supplying a future workforce for these multi-million pound projects were the young people from the youth zone who, with support and development, would be able to fulfil their job aspirations.
He said: “Giving youth a vital foothold on the first rung of the jobs ladder is high on the Russell Taylor agenda as we work in partnership with The Hive to set them on the road to employment.
“I’m certain the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have gone away in the knowledge that what we are all doing is helping young people to reach goals they would once never have imagined possible.
“It was a remarkable day for everyone not only to raise awareness of the important work being done in our local communities to make a difference to young people’s lives but also one that will give us all some very special memories.”