The Duchess of Edinburgh visits the Walton Charity, Elmbridge
The Duchess of Edinburgh has visited the Walton Charity, where she met a number of Elmbridge community groups.
Walton Charity is a local charitable foundation supporting people in Elmbridge who are experiencing financial hardship. The charity works with local partners and the community to tackle issues of poverty and inequality, homelessness and isolation in our local area.
During her visit, The Duchess met the Walton & Hersham Foodbank team, learning about their 10-year anniversary and their new project called ‘The Bridge’.
Based in a shop just of the High Street in Walton on Thames, the project offers long term support for working families who are struggling with rising living costs but cannot access government or other support.
Her Royal Highness helped to sort donations and prepare emergency food packages for local people in crisis, before moving on to meet members of the Charity’s independent living schemes’ art group, where she admired their latest artwork.
The Duchess then joined a parachute game with the members of Elmbridge Mencap’s Day Service and the pupils of neighbouring Walton Leigh School, before cutting out cookies during a cookery session in the kitchen.
The Walton Charity was established over 800 years ago and has a strong track record of providing grants and housing to those in need. During the visit, Her Royal Highness met longstanding volunteer, Jean Rigden, who has worked with Mancap for 50 years.
Outside, The Duchess joined Walton Charity’s Community Allotment volunteers to sow spring seeds and planted a tree with the Elmbridge Tree Wardens group.
Her Royal Highness then joined the Guided Wellbeing group where she wrote a word of gratitude on a pebble – this was added to the group’s mandala before the children from Rewilding Forest School showcased their special portrait of The King, made entirely from leaves!
The Allotment is a place for people from all walks of life to come together, socialise and learn new skills. It encourages those who feel isolated or who face barriers because of mental or physical health conditions to join in regular outdoor activities, building confidence and independence.
Towards the end of the visit, The Duchess was surprised with a birthday cake to celebrate her forthcoming birthday!
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