Royal Wii lessons for Queen and Prince Philip at King’s Lynn Deaf Centre

The Queen and Prince Philip were given a quick lesson in the art of computer games during a visit to the West Norfolk Deaf Association in King's Lynn today.

Two young centre users were battling out a game of baseball on a Wii console and their antics attracted some close royal attention.

Ryan Waller, 11, and Oliver Kenny , 13, showed the Queen how the system worked and she told Ryan he was a 'good shot.'

The Royal party met staff, volunteers, trustees and centre-users during their 40-minute tour and association chairman Rick Cotton said everyone was honoured by the visit.

'It is something they will all remember for many years. It's not every day you get a royal visit and it means a great deal,' he added.

A Golden Jubilee portrait picture of the royal couple was signed by the Queen and Prince Philip and will take pride of place in the building.

Young centre user Erin Vanhinsbergh, 9, had a very special day as she presented the Queen with flowers.

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Mum Rachel said Erin, who was born profoundly deaf, had been counting down the days to the Royal visit.

'It has been a bit like Christmas - ten sleeps to go, nine sleeps to go - she has been so excited about it,' she said.

Erin's sister Neve, 6, also uses the centre as it encourages family members to become involved and offers sign language lessons to help everyone communicate.

Interpreter Maxine Sinclair, of Norwich, admitted to being nervous before the event as she had never worked with the Royal family before.

'It was an honour to do it, although I was very nervous, They were both really lovely,' she said.

West Norfolk Deaf Association was founded in 1991 and moved into its current home in 1997 following a National Lottery grant.

Mr Cotton said hundreds of deaf or hearing impaired people from across the area had made use of the centre and it had made a real difference to their lives.

Volunteer Geoffrey Williams, of Fairstead, has been helping out for ten years and said the centre was a vital part of supporting those with hearing problems.

'It is a life-line for people like me and helps us all,' he said.

The centre has recently completed renovations at the Railway Road premises where the first floor now has a children's activity centre and computer room. The alterations have meant the facilities can be used by other groups and a new club for autistic children has been founded.

Funding of �168.054 was provided by the Aiming High for Disabled Children Short Breaks Programme but, said Mr Cotton, the association relied on grants and donations and is continuing to look for funding streams.