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Prince Charles' tribute to Dorset County Hospital's staff
PRINCE Charles has paid tribute to the ‘remarkable’ hospital staff and fundraisers during a landmark visit to the county.
The Prince of Wales enjoyed a busy itinerary in the Dorchester area yesterday, taking in a tour of Dorset County Hospital, tree planting in Poundbury and opening an ‘exciting’ facility to create renewable energy.
Wendy Nightingale, chair of the digital mammography appeal, got the chance to meet the prince during his tour of the hospital, his first visit in 25 years, which included the breast cancer unit where the £500,000 scanner is now up and running.
She said: “I am really proud to be here, and so grateful for the efforts of everyone who was involved in raising money for this.”
Anne-Marie Male, whose friends shaved their heads in support after her diagnosis, and created a calendar in aid of the appeal, shared a joke with the prince as she handed him a copy.
Staff and patients at the Ridgeway Ward were also on hand to greet the royal visitor and chat about their work or health, before the prince moved on to officially open dedicated cancer unit, the Fortuneswell Ward.
Sarah Young, who is receiving treatment on the ward, said: “It was exciting meeting him. He’s very charming, and was asking how I am and what I think of the food and staff.”
Lead cancer nurse Abigail Orchard, who took the prince on a tour of the ward, added: “This visit signifies the importance of this facility. I’m really proud to introduce him to the staff, who look after the patients with such enthusiasm and dedication.”
Unveiling the plaque to officially mark the opening of the ward, Prince Charles said: “I would like to take this opportunity to pay a very special tribute to all the remarkable staff of the hospital, and just to say how special they are. I know they put in so much devotion and unbelievable hard work. I would like to thank them and express nothing but the greatest possible admiration.”
Chairman of Dorset County Hospital, Jeffrey Ellwood, welcomed the prince to the hospital on behalf of the staff and fundraisers, including the Fortuneswell Trust, which donated £150,000 to the cost of the ward.
Chocolate fuel of the future provokes smile
CHOCOLATE fuelling the energy of the future sparked laughter from the prince as he officially unveiled the anaerobic digester (AD) at Rainbarrow Farm near Martinstown.
The technology is the first of its kind in the UK, and the prince described the opening as an ‘exciting and encouraging day’.
He said: “I am particularly pleased and proud we have been able to launch this remarkable engineering feat, of the first gas-to-grid operation.”
The AD project was created by JV Energen, the Duchy of Cornwall and Scotia Gas Networks, and during the summer, will be able to provide renewable gas direct to the energy network for up to 56,000 homes.
Project manager Alan Midwinter was on hand to explain the process to the prince.
He said: “He seemed quite knowledgeable about it already, and was genuinely interested.”
Howard Mason, of JV Energen, raised a chuckle by showing Prince Charles a bucket of chocolate which, among other products, is used to feed the AD and create energy.
He said: “It’s a fantastic day for us. The prince has always been keen on renewable energy.”
Charles in plea to care for oak
‘LOOK after it’ were the words of parting after the prince planted an English oak tree in Poundbury.
Staff at the Burraton Spa at the development turned out to welcome the Royal visitor with flags and cheers, before he continued to the planting site at Middle Farm.
Schoolchildren, residents and representatives of Trees for Dorset, who donated the tree, watched as Prince Charles planted it in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
After chatting about the project, which encourages the planting of trees to conserve and protect natural and physical environments, Prince Charles said to the schoolchildren: “It’s quite fun when you’re old, because you get to see them grow.”