Duke of Sussex to Visit Birmingham

The Duke of Sussex
The Duke of Sussex meets members of the public on a visit to Birkenhead.



Monday 4th March, 2019

The Duke of Sussex will visit Birmingham on Monday 4th March for two separate engagements.

His Royal Highness will first attend a dedication ceremony and officially open a memorial in Cannon Hill Park to the victims of the two terrorist attacks which took place in Tunisia in 2015. The memorial has been designed by George King Architects and overlooks the park’s boating lake. The centre piece of the memorial is a sculpture titled ‘Infinite Wave’ made up of 31 individual streams, each one representing the British nationals who lost their lives in the Bardo Museum attack in March 2015 and the Sousse attack in June 2015. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have led on both the development of the memorial, which included a consultation with families on the design and location, and also the unveiling ceremony.

The memorial will be a place of remembrance, commemoration and reflection for the families of those injured and killed and following the ceremony His Royal Highness will attend a reception and meet some of the families of those affected by the attacks. In 2016 The Duke attended a Service of Solemn Commemoration at Westminster Abbey for the victims of the 2015 attacks where he gave a biblical reading.

His Royal Highness will then visit The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research based at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The Centre is a ground-breaking national facility that aims to minimise the psychological and physical impact of scarring among armed forces personnel injured in service and civilians wounded in terrorist attacks. More than 6,000 members of the British Armed Forces have been seriously injured or scarred in recent conflicts and veterans who have survived physical injury are at greater risk of experiencing mental health problems. The new centre will support the creation of bespoke psychosocial interventions to help veterans and their families adjust to living with scars.

The establishment of the Centre for Conflict Wound Research was led by The Scar Free Foundation in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, as well as the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, and the CASEVAC Club.

The CASEVAC Club, which was set up in 2017 with initial seed funding from The Royal Foundation, is an organisation set up by and for armed forces personnel wounded in recent conflicts. The Club, based on The Guinea Pig Club, aims to assist in the advancement of medical science and treatments for all, help others experiencing traumatic injury and provide wounded personnel with a close knit community.

During his visit The Duke will find out more about different techniques being developed by The Centre to help treat scars. This will include Decorin, a pro-healing protein being developed within a new biomaterial gel for use as an anti-scarring dressing, and laser therapy to correct historic scars. Before departing, His Royal Highness will also drop in on a workshop run by the UNITS study involving veterans and members of the CASEVAC Club. UNITS aims to better understand and address the psychological needs of military personnel affected by appearance altering conflict wounds and will be looking to recruit over 200 participants. The Duke will have the opportunity to find out more about the study, why participants have chosen to get involved, what they hope to get out of it and their hopes in terms of their own personal recovery.

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