Royal date for charity worker

Tom McAlpine and his partner
Tom McAlpine and his partner

A COUPLE who run a mental health charity have secured a date with Royalty thanks to their work.

Tom McAlpine has been chosen by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) as one of 80 champions to travel to St James’s Palace later this month.

He and his partner Linda Wilson, from Hartlepool, will get to meet the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

They were chosen for the Royal honour at a WRVS regional event by a judging panel.

They will join 70 other champions from all parts of the UK for the honour to be held on Thursday, November 29.

Tom and Linda run a Manchester-based charity called Mood Swings.

Dad-of-two Tom has been involved in mental healthcare for more than 40 years and he set up the charity Moodswings in 1999. He is now its chairman.

The charity helps people recover from mood problems and the severe emotional distress they can cause.

Linda said: “I am thrilled that Tom has won this award, having been chosen from around 5,000 nominees.

“He devotes around two days each week to voluntary work and hugely deserves to be recognised for this commitment.

“As always, I’m very proud of him.”

Tom, who is dad of Jennie McAlpine, who plays Fizz in Coronation Street, said: “It was a big surprise to be told that I’d been chosen to receive this award.

“I am looking forward to travelling down to St James’s Palace with Linda and I’m grateful to the people who nominated me and chose me from all the nominations.”

It is Tom’s second brush with royalty this year after Tom McAlpine enjoyed the luxury of the Buckingham Palace ballroom in February when he was given the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on the Queen’s birthday honours list.