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Princess Anne visits Training for Life Downside

The Princess Royal came to Druid Street on Thursday when she visited Training for Life Downside to open a new community kitchen.

Princess Anne
Princess Anne is welcomed to Southwark by Riverside ward councillor Eliza Mann, current Mayor of the borough, watched by Simon Hughes MP.
Princess Anne

The Downside Fisher Youth Club building has been refurbished at a cost of 3.2 million by Training for Life who will make use of the building throughout the day.

The youth club – which has been in temporary accommodation since 2006 – will continue to use the premises in the evenings.

Guests at the royal visit included Simon Hughes MP, Mayor of Southwark Eliza Mann and other senior councillors.

The Princess is patron of rugby charity Wooden Spoon which has given 50,000 for the creation of a new training kitchen at Training for Life Downside where people young and old can learn how to create healthy meals.

The kitchen has seven hobs where one-to-one tuition can be given, or groups can cook larger meals. There are plans for a rooftop vegetable garden on the terrace alongside the kitchen.

The princess watched a cookery demonstration given by celebrity chef Anton Edelman with young people from the Downside Fisher Youth Club.

Training for Life Downside is what the charity calls a 'Prospect Centre' where young people can find ways in to productive, enjoyable employment.

The charity's best-known initiative is the Hoxton Apprentice restaurant which provides routes into the hospitality industry. In Bermondsey they aim to apply the same model in the health and fitness sector.

In the first year 20 apprentices will undertake 6-month placements at the centre learning about the operation of leisure facilities including the swimming pool, rooftop football pitch, sports hall, and dance studio.

The well-appointed building also has a creche, music studio and IT suite.

Training for Life has been working with groups such as the Riverside Parents & Carers Association to find ways of meeting local needs, and is keen to talk to other local organisations which might like to use the building.

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