HRH The Countess of Wessex had to cancel a visit to Warrington today to drop in on the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre.
Peace campaigners Colin and Wendy Parry, founders of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace were due welcome the Countess to the international Peace Centre established in memory of the two boys who lost their lives in a terrorist bombing twenty years ago.
But the helicopter due to bring the Countess was unable to take off because of severe weather conditions.
The centre provides the home for the Foundation for Peace and their partners the NSPCC who operate a service centre from the building.
The visit was intended to be part of a series of events to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing and to celebrate the first year of operation of the refurbished NSPCC service centre.
Her Royal Highness was to have met Colin and Wendy and Alex Modder, NSPCC service centre manager as well as meeting members of the team and local community leaders.
She would have toured the building and heard about the Foundation’s work to prevent, resolve and respond to global violent conflict.
It had been planned that she would also meet people who had been directly affected by terrorism and political violence and who form part of a programme called ‘Survivors for Peace’ that assists in recovery and increases social participation to promote action so people can find their ‘normal lives.’
Wendy, mum of Tim, and the person who first came up with the idea to build a centre said: “Colin and I are so proud of what has been achieved in the boys’ names and in trying to ensure that other families do not experience the loss we feel every single day.
“The Peace Centre is vital to our work and also in housing the Warrington Youth Club and the work of the NSPCC. It is a unique memorial and working building that helps make a difference to people’s lives every single day.”
The Countess is president of the NSPCC, and was keen to see the work carried out at the Warrington centre.
Alex said: “We’ve got a highly skilled and dedicated team in Warrington, delivering innovative services that bring help and support to children who may have suffered abuse and neglect and assist and support young people in building their resilience, empowering them to cope with future life changes and circumstances. We also offer support to parents and families to ensure that they are kept safe from harm. The services we provide mean that many children and families can face their futures with hope.”
Pictures show the Countess on a previous trip to Warrington.