Prince Charles visits oxygen therapy centre and food bank

The Prince of Wales has visited a centre which offers vital oxygen therapy more than 15 years since he opened the original facility.

Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, visited The Healing Hub Oxygen Therapy Centre in Wick on Friday, as part of a visit to the town.

When it first opened it was called The Old Man’s Rest and then The MS Therapy Centre.

He opened the original facility in 2005, and it continues to offer oxygen therapy treatment for a range of auto-immune deficiencies including multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue and certain cancers.

Royal visit to Caithness
The Prince of Wales during a visit to the Healing Hub Oxygen Therapy Centre in Wick to hear about the benefits of oxygen therapy, especially for long Covid sufferers (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The treatment at the centre has also been used recently to support those suffering from the effects of long Covid.

When Charles opened the original facility in 2005 it still belonged to Highland Council and the Therapy Centre were the tenants.

However, in 2017 a successful bid enabled the Therapy Centre to apply for grants to upgrade and refurbish the building as well as become owner of the building.

Work at the centre finished in 2019, just before the start of the first lockdown.

Royal visit to Caithness
Charles views a model of a memorial by the Seafarers Memorial Group in Wick after meeting volunteers and supporters of Caithness food bank (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Charles was given a tour of the centre and also met with its volunteers as well as patients who have used the oxygen therapy treatments available.

To date, the centre has around 50 users, some of whom use the centre weekly while others visit monthly.

The centre is manned completely by volunteers with funding raised independently and with support from the local community.

The Prince of Wales also visited the Caithness food bank, based at Wick’s Carnegie Library, where he was taken on a tour of a facility and learned about the vital work done there to support people throughout the county.

Royal visit to Caithness
Charles met locals during a visit to the Healing Hub Oxygen Therapy Centre in Wick(Andrew Milligan/PA)

Caithness food bank was set up in 2014 as an initiative by members of various Caithness churches and other members of the local community in Thurso and Wick.

It has two centres, one in Thurso and one in Wick, and has continued to expand over the years and has cultivated a large network of local referral agencies.

At the centre Charles met food bank volunteers and charity organisations to hear about the work they do to support their local community.