A Surbiton charity founder has had the honour of meeting with a member of the Royal family during a trip to Laos.

Steve Blevins, founder of Conversion, met with Princess Beatrice while she was on a visit to Laos to support British NGOs delivering social projects and mine clearance in the country.

Mr Blevins’ charity Conversion, started 3 years ago at Shrewsbury House School, collects used sports shoes and sends them to Laos to give to children used to playing sport in bare feet.

The scheme has delivered around 1,000 pairs to children living in rural areas of Laos involved in a youth rugby development scheme so they don’t play barefoot or in flip-flops on often rough and stony grounds.

Mr Blevins said: “Our biggest challenge is to fund the transportation of the shoes to Laos, as there is no sea port. All the shoes we receive have to be sent by Airfreight, which is considerably more expensive.

“We are keen to raise awareness for the scheme in order to grow the scheme and secure funding to enable more children in this under developed country to enjoy simple pleasures of playing sport safely.

“Most of these children currently play on very poor surfaces so we are also looking at improving these conditions.”

Headmaster Kevin Doble, of Shrewsbury House school, said: “The Shrewsbury House School community has been enormously proud to support the Conversion project for the last three years and will continue to do so.

“Thanks to the efforts of Mr Blevins, the donated shoes and sports shirts have made a big impact to the lives of the children involved in the project.

“We are delighted that the project continues to grow and hope that many more children will benefit from the scheme.”