Today (Tuesday, 8th February), Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited The Skill Mill, a social enterprise focused on rehabilitating young ex-offenders, to present two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
The Skill Mill delivers an intensive six-month employment programme to get 16 to 18-year-olds into work and away from crime. It was one of only five organisations across the UK to win a double prize, claiming recognition in the ‘Sustainable Development’ and ‘Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility)’ categories.
Her Royal Highness arrived at Exhibition Park, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne this afternoon, and met David Parks, Managing Director of The Skill Mill. During the visit, HRH met with Skill Mill teams from around the country and was shown around the park where she heard about what the organisation does to help young ex-offenders break the cycle of offending through employment in environmental construction services and saw examples of their work. HRH also met the team from Urban Green who manage the parks and allotments of Newcastle Upon Tyne and who co-hosted the visit.
Her Royal Highness then presented the social enterprise with the two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2021 and planted an Apple tree, to commemorate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022.
Having almost closed during the early stages of the pandemic, The Skill Mill has grown four-fold in the last two years – with sixteen teams now operating across England.
David Parks, Founder of The Skill Mill and Managing Director, said: “It is an incredible honour to have met with Her Royal Highness, we are very grateful to her for visiting and seeing the work we do and present us with the Queen’s Awards.”