We last left Mark rather damp, but basking in the glow of an award from The Duke of York’s Community Initiative. This, you will remember, was awarded to schemes within the region which are ‘of real value to the community, well run, and an inspiration to others’.
If you also remember, the only disappointment was that the Duke of York was unable to be there in person because a sudden spell of atrocious weather forced the cancellation of his helicopter flight.
So it’s a delight to be able to report that the Duke of York asked if the award recipients could meet him at Merchant Taylor’s Hall in York last week. Both Mark and Mick were invited. Unfortunately Mick was unwell and not able to attend.
The Duke, who is Colonel in Chief for the Yorkshire Regiment, was in York to attend a thanksgiving service for members of the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment. The service at York Minster marked the return of the battalion from operations in Afghanistan in September.
This was, quite rightly, a high-profile media event.
What was less publicised was the fact that The Duke also gave time that day to speak to some of the charities in Yorkshire which are working hard on behalf of their local communities. And, of course, one of them was Orb.
‘He almost didn’t make it again this time,’ Mark confided, in a rare moment of Royal Gossip.
‘I heard they had to thaw out the helicopter. But he made it, and spent a good period of time with us. He came round and met us all personally and took a genuine interest in the work we are doing. He seemed very impressed with the range of organisations that work within the Yorkshire region.
‘One phrase from the Duke’s speech that stuck in my mind was this – “We have the power in our hands, through organisations like this, to change society for the good.”
Over the past weekend the media has been full of bad news for charities in the current economic climate.
Isn’t it good to be able to share a little good news?