A trip to the circus and planting of a tree – all in a day’s work for a Duchess!
A return to Chailey Heritage Foundation turned into a trip down memory Lane for HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and her sister, Mrs Annabel Elliot. The Duchess came to open the £3.1 million Dream Centre – a state of-the art facility for sport, rebound therapy and the creative arts, designed especially for children and young people with complex physical disabilities.
The Duchess’s mother, The Hon Mrs Rosalind Shand, volunteered at Chailey Heritage for 17 years in the 1960s and 70s and today was an opportunity to mark her contribution with the planting of a crab apple tree in the grounds.
Chief Executive of Chailey Helen Hewitt said
“We are honoured and delighted to welcome the Duchess and her sister to Chailey Heritage. The family’s support over 50 years has been invaluable and it was wonderful that we could mark that commitment today with a tree dedicated to the memory and contribution of the Duchess’s mother, who was a great friend to Chailey Heritage.”
It was the Duchess’s second official visit to Chailey Heritage and today she told the young people that she was happy to be back at the Charity and congratulated everyone on the completion of the Dream Centre - the Charity’s latest venture. Her Royal Highness took to the stage to meet with the cast of ‘Cirque du Chailey’ – who gave a special performance including bubbles, confetti and smoke!
Director of Development Sally-Anne Murray said
“The Dream Centre will give all the children and young people from Chailey Heritage the chance to fulfil their potential. The immersive experience zone will make almost anything possible; from visits to the circus to the rainforest, we can’t wait to see what the young imaginations come up with. But none of this would have been possible without the support of all our wonderful donors; we are so grateful to them.”
During the build up to the event BBC South East Health Corespondent visited The Dream Centre and produced the following piece