Prince Charles visits Connect Assist

HRH Prince Charles sees the work of his Trust in action at Connect Assist

Prince Charles visits Connect Assist

8th July 2019

By Gwen Collingridge

It’s not every day that a member of the Royal Family turns up at the office. But the 1st of July was no ordinary Monday. Of course, Prince Charles never just ‘turns up’ anywhere. It’s only when he pays you a personal visit that you start to realise the extent of the planning and preparation that goes into each and every one of his public appearances.

HRH Prince Charles being gifted with a piece of jewellery from a business owner that went through the Princes Trust programme

 The police sniffer dogs and their handlers were on site nice and early carrying out their thorough checks and we were briefed on what to expect and how to address His Royal Highness. The building looked at its best and the staff were all dressed to the nines. A host of dignitaries and press were in place and we finally got the signal: ‘two minutes to HRH arrival’.

We were all a little nervous about making sure we didn’t put a foot wrong, but when HRH the Prince of Wales finally stepped onto site and began meeting the Connect Assist team, everyone was quickly put at ease.

The President of the Prince’s Trust was visibly interested in how the Connect Assist team fields calls for the charity, speaking to the team members about how they go about their working day. One of the people who met the Prince was Bethan George. Bethan George, 22, from Caerphilly, landed her job with Connect Assist shortly after completing The Trust’s Get into Customer Services programme.

HRH Prince Charles visiting the Princes Trust contact centre and speaking with a member of the team Bethan George

“I enrolled onto The Trust’s programme with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water a couple of years ago. Initially I was very shy; I didn’t think I had the right skills to land a job.

However, as the programme went on I soon felt much more confident, particularly in speaking to new people in the office and on the phone. At the end of the Get into Customer Services programme, I was invited to attend an interview at Connect Assist. This was a great opportunity for me and, as I would be working for The Prince’s Trust, it gave me a chance to give something backusing the skills that their programme had helped me to develop.

Prince Charles in the Princes Trust contact centre “I feel happy in my job at Connect Assist, as I know how the young people feel when they first call The Trust and am in a position to help them. I lean on my own experiences when speaking to callers, as many are in a situation I once found myself in. I love the feeling that my team is making a difference and changing young people’s lives on a daily basis.”

Our CEO, Ron Moody, was another person lucky enough to exchange a few words with the Prince. He remarked about HRH’s sense of humour and how willing he was to get “in and amongst it”.

“We’re very proud that The Prince has chosen to visit Connect Assist today. We’re also very proud to be the first touch point for anyone who calls The Prince’s Trust helpline looking for more information about its programmes, or who would simply like to donate”.

The Trust is an amazing charity and we support it seven days a week from 9am through until 9pm

The fact that a number of the helpline staff have been through a Prince’s Trust programme themselves means they can speak passionately and inspirationally about the cause and the support the charity can offer to young people”.

Icing on the cake

HRH Prince Charles being presented with a cake with Princes Trust logo on the top

“He even offered to cut one of the cakes, made by our very own Kim Willets,” Ron said. “We knew that Kim was a bit of a baking extraordinaire, so we commissioned her to bake enough cakes to accommodate all 200 members of staff. Little did we or she know that a picture of one of the cakes, decorated with the Prince’s Trust emblem, would appear on the BBC website – and several other media outlets!”

It was a detail that nicely summed up the day. Although the visit was over in a blink of an eye, it’ll live long in the memory of the Connect Assist team, who saw first hand just how invested Prince Charles is in the charity.

The Prince’s Trust team at Connect Assist manages over 6,000 inbound calls, 3,000 outbound calls and 350 web chats with people who are looking to find out more about The Trust each month.