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A charity opening in Wokingham gets the royal seal of approval from Zara Phillips

Published: 19 May 2014 09:000 comments

A 10-YEAR dream came true for volunteers this week at a charity that has helped hundreds of youngsters through tough times.

 Zara Phillips, with Josh Arnott, 11, at the opening of JAC in Forest Road, Wokingham

Just Around the Corner (JAC) welcomed the Queen’s grand-daughter, Zara Phillips on Tuesday, to open its new stables and activity centre in Forest Road, Wokingham.

Members will teach horse training and arts and crafts to some of the borough’s most vulnerable young people.

The royal visitor unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the opening and was given a tour, where she heard how activities including pottery and painting have helped rebuild teenagers’ confidence to enter the world of work. Speaking to the guests, she said: “It is such a privilege to come and look around. It’s such a special place where you can relax and really be yourself. The horses look fantastic. You should all be very proud.”

The Olympic silver medallist also met two of the charity’s horses and was given a demonstration of the training visitors will be given at the stables.

Trainer Naomi Milligan said: “This helps our children gain confidence as they learn to look after a horse, and know they’re in control.”

Sam Milligan co-founded the outreach youth and community organisation 17 years ago and estimates more than 140 people have helped to make the centre possible, following 10 years of planning. He said: “It’s an amazing day – it’s difficult to put into words.

“It’s certainly a dream come true to see what the community have achieved here.

“We want this to be a place for young people to come and be themselves.

“If a young person is having difficulties then we can work with them, to develop them, and make a plan to help.”

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