A HINDLEY carers centre received a royal visit yesterday, Wednesday, as Princess Anne praised the ‘incredible’ work done there.

The Queen’s daughter was at Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre on Frederick Street to see first-hand the work it does to support carers in the borough.

She was shown around the facility by chairwoman Clare Wareing and chief executive Pauline Gregson and met funders, trustees, staff, therapists and volunteers who deliver its services, as well as many unpaid carers.

The Princess Royal, who is president of the Carers Trust, said to those present: “Can I just say a big thank you to everyone who set up the centre and for your involvement with the network with the Carers Trust.

“There’s no doubts that our ability to help carers generally actually requires us to know a lot more about individual carers and their needs.

”Centres like this have been important in helping us to understand those needs of carers and how to represent that more widely.

“You’ve done incredibly well here and thank you very much for that and for your contribution to the network as a whole.

“It’s been a pleasure to be here today.”

Among those that Princess Anne met were a group of young careers who are supported by the centre.

Before leaving she unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit, received a bouquet of flowers from a young carer and signed the visitors’ book.

Pauline, 63, said: “She spoke to each and every carer and showed real empathy. I can’t praise her enough.

“Her visit was important to all the staff and carers. She said we were a unique resource and seemed to be very impressed with the place.

“I think from speaking to people she got a real idea of what issues carers can face.”

The centre offers a wide range of respite therapies and activities to its carers and provides a place where they can go for advice, advocacy, support and friendship.

Pauline, who has worked in the voluntary sector for 15 years, added: “We support carers regardless of their age, conditions or situation, so we are a unique facility.

“It’s about bringing carers into the light and showing them continuous support.

“It was great to see the Princess Royal being so approachable to people here and we cannot thank her enough.

“We are just a small centre and it meant a lot to us.”