Princess charming!

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CARNOUSTIE welcomed the Princess Royal on Friday when she made a visit to officially open Carlogie House.

The former hotel has been transformed into a respite facility for young carers by the East Ayrshire Carers Centre (EACC), which is part of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

Carlogie House has played host to young carers from East Ayrshire since September last year, as a place where they can come to have a well deserved break from looking after a sick or disabled relative.

The chief executive of the EACC, Jane Smith, is originally from Monifieth and knew that Carlogie House and Carnoustie would be the perfect place for young people.

However, as well as respite, the venue is a social enterprise business and it employs and trains young people from East Ayrshire who aren’t presently in education, employment or training to work at the house as cooks, cleaners, gardeners and managers.

And on Friday afternoon, Princess Anne stopped off at the facility while on her tour of Angus to officially open Carlogie House. She also met some of the carers who will be using the retreat in the future.

The building had lain vacant for some years until it was revamped by the EACC and the Princess was given a tour around the former hotel taking in the kitchen, bedrooms and dining rooms.

She also got the chance to chat to some of the carers who have used or will be using Carlogie House, and to local carers from the Angus area.

And finally she made a short speech about the importance of carers in our society before unveiling a plaque to officially declare the residence open.

One of the youngsters who was lucky enough to chat to the Princess and present her with a bouquet of flowers was 14-year-old Chloe Lamont, who often cares for her younger brother.

It was Chloe’s first visit to Carnoustie from Kilmarnock but she will be back at Carlogie House in the summer on a respite break.

She told the Guide & Gazette: “This is the first time I have been here but it looks very nice and it will be good to come back here and stay during the summer holidays.

“The Princess was very down to earth and she asked about who I looked after and what it is like to be a young carer.”

A family support worker from the EACC, Angela Duncan, also got the chance to speak to the Princess Royal and she added that Carlogie House is a great place for young people.

She explained: “I have been here about four or five times now on respite breaks and we just try to organise fun activities for the young people such as cooking and baking and also trying to build their self confidence.

“It is a great place to come and stay and we just try to make the young people who come here have as much fun as possible.”

After the Princess Royal’s visit to Carlogie House she then travelled to Arbroath to officially re-open the Signal Tower Museum, having already having spent Friday morning at engagements in Kirriemuir and Forfar.