It's a date - by Royal appointment

It is unlikely to become the best selling charity calendar of 2007. But a school project to promote four East Anglian emergency services is set to raise more money for good causes after receiving a royal seal of approval.

It is unlikely to become the best selling charity calendar of 2007.

But a school project to promote four East Anglian emergency services is set to raise more money for good causes after receiving a royal seal of approval.

Teachers and students at Rosemary Musker High School, in Thetford, spoke of their delight yesterday after getting a personal message of praise from the Prince of Wales.

Since the summer, members of the school's XL club have been putting together the charity calendar for Norfolk Fire Service, East Anglian Ambulance Service, Norfolk Police, and the East Anglian Air Ambulance as part of a Prince's Trust scheme to help develop new life skills.

But the ten pupils were left stunned after receiving a letter from Prince Charles expressing his “delight” and “heartfelt thanks” after being sent three “marvellous” and “splendid” calendars.

In a letter dated December 23, he told the group: “I was so touched that you enclosed three copies of the calendar for myself and for my sons. I am so glad that you have found your membership of the XL club so worthwhile and I hope that the sale of your calendar will raise a lot of money for local charities.”

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The news comes as the school's XL group reaches the end of a two year Prince's Trust scheme, which encourages pupils who are facing difficulties in the last two years of secondary school to “re-engage” back into education and to learn new life skills such as first aid, communication, citizenship and entrepreneurship.

Susie Green, vocational tutor at Rosemary Musker, said it was a big surprise to get the heartfelt message from the Prince's Trust founder.

“We knew that we would get a reply and thought it would be a bog standard letter, but the students were really excited to get a personal letter,” she said.

Mark Keddie , XL advisor for the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service run club, said the calendar had already raised more than £300 for the four fire service charities.

“We started last summer and it has been a gradual process from planning it, to taking photos, speaking to local printers, getting quotes, approving the final draft and selling them to local businesses. Their life skills and communication skills have improved so much since they started,” he said.

Lisa Jackson, 16, added: “The whole two years has been good. At first we did not get on at all and everyone was in separate groups, but now we are very much a team.”

Copies of the calendar are available for £5 at the Keystone Enterprise Factory, in Brunel Way, Thetford.