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The West Mercia Scout County headquarters, on East Park Way, Wolverhampton, was opened by Prince Edward to help train new scout leaders.

The centre has cost around £280,000 to build and Denis Evans, one of the chief financial officers, said the money has come from a number of grants, charities and trusts.

The Queen's cousin Prince Edward, aged 80, has served as the President of The Scout Association since 1975 and was welcomed to open the centre by scouts, scout leaders, benefactors and the Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton.

The proposal for the site was originally put forward around eight years ago, when Christine Jones, county commissioner at the time, had a 'vision' to extend the foundations.

Mrs Jones, aged 68 from Stafford, said: "To see the building go from nothing, to how it is today, I'm absolutely over the moon. It's the realisation of a dream that's been in the making for the best part of ten years.

"We've all pulled together and to have the Duke of Kent opening the centre marks how far we really have come. He told me he was very happy to be here."

The Scout group has around 6,500 scout members with 1,500 scout leaders and offers 6 to 25-year-olds challenging and fun activities, with the chance to help others and make a positive impact in the community.

Upon unveiling the plague, Prince Edward, said: "A huge amount of hard work has been done here by a great amount of people.

"I think the whole core of scouting is so worthwhile and I praise everybody and thank them for what they've done. I'm very happy to be here today."

Mayor of Wolverhampton Ian Brookfield spoke with Prince Edward. He said: "The Duke remembered the last time he visited Molineux and how much it's changed since then. I invited him to visit next time he is in the city, it would be a lovely thing to happen for Wolverhampton."

Meanwhile, the Black Country Foodbank has been honoured for its efforts in supporting people across the region.

The Duke presented volunteers at the foodbank with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service yesterday (THURS) - an award described as the 'MBE for the voluntary sector'.

He was given a tour of the organisation's warehouse in Albion Street, Brierley Hill, before presenting the award to Kelvin Bates and fellow volunteer Sue Richens.

He said: "I think this is an astonishing organisation. It's remarkable - there are a huge range of items."

When the Duke was told demand from service users had plateaued in the past year he said 'that's such an encouraging sign'.

The foodbank shifted 5,669st (36,000kg) of food in the last 12 months according to volunteer Mr Bates, aged 67, who has worked at the organisation since its inception.

It has a network of more than 100 volunteers and operates from distribution points across the Black Country.

Mr Bates said receiving the honour from the Duke was a tribute to the hard work of the organisation's network of part-time workers and volunteers.

"It's fantastic to be recognised for what we've been doing," he said.

"We're totally volunteer-run and so we have a lot of people giving up their time - which is one of the most precious things in the world.

"It's good to get this recognition but unfortunately foodbanks are a necessity at the moment."

The Mayor of Dudley Councillor Steve Waltho said the honour was well deserved and praised the foodbank's work in the community.

Councillor Waltho: "The foodbank is amazing, we're so proud of it and the work it does to serve under-privileged people.

"It's an incredible organisation and this award is 100 per cent deserved."