Royal visit for Sheffield Forgemasters

An African prince spent an afternoon at Sheffield Forgemasters during a recent visit to South Yorkshire.

HRH Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso of Lesotho enjoyed a tour of the company’s Brightside Lane site where he was keen to learn about company operations and environmental policies.

Prince Seeiso, who was visiting the city as part of his work with Sheffield-based social enterpirse Connecting Communities Worldwide, was shown round some of the Sheffield Forgemasters 64-acre site by group director Peter Birtles and finance director Neil Maskrey.

City School's former assistant headteacher Ken Dunn, who set up Connecting Communities Worldwide, joined Prince Seeiso on his visit to Sheffield Forgemasters, which included a presentation by the company’s group environment manager, Vicky Hinchcliffe, on the ways in which the company manages its environmental impact – an area the Prince was interested in learning more about.

Prince Seeiso said: “I used to think this kind of operation was as simple as ABC, I didn’t quite realise the sophistication of the process. The sheer size of the machinery here is incredible.

“The experience today has been brilliant and I have learnt so much about what happens here. The investment that Sheffield Forgemasters makes in its young apprentices is a very exciting element for me because it is so important, as is the consideration the company shows for the wider community and the environment.”

Peter Birtles said: “We were delighted to welcome Prince Seeiso to Sheffield Forgemasters and to provide an insight into the operations of a world leading manufacturing company.

“Prince Seeiso seemed to enjoy the tour of the site which included a visit to our Forge, Foundry and North Machine Shop where the Prince was able to see our hard-working staff in action.

“We know that investment in young people and taking care of the environment are important issues to the Prince and are the focus of much of his work in Lesotho, so we were pleased to be able to share with him the processes we put in place to ensure we take care of both.

“We hope to be able to welcome Prince Seeiso back on site for another visit in the not too distant future.”

Prince Seeiso has close bonds with Prince Harry after the pair co-founded a charity, Sentebale, that offers funding and support to community services that care for Lesotho’s most vulnerable children, many of which are orphans after losing one or both parents to the AIDS epidemic in the country.

Lesotho is a small country completely land-lock by South Africa. It is ruled by Prince Seeiso’s older brother, King Letsie III.