19th January 2024 | Royal Visits to Surrey

The Duchess of Edinburgh visits Walton Charity


On Thursday 18th January, Walton Charity hosted a visit from Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh, where she met a number of Elmbridge community groups.

The Duchess was received by Ms Christine Howard, a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey, at Burview Hall, where she met Walton Charity’s Chair of Trustees, Sarah Tomkins; and Paula Walsh, Chair of Elmbridge Mencap, who are based at Burview Hall.

Her Royal Highness met the Walton & Hersham Foodbank team, learning about their 10-year anniversary and their new project called ‘The Bridge’. The Duchess 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 in the excitement of a parachute game with the members of Elmbridge Mencap’s Day Service and the pupils of neighbouring Walton Leigh School, before having fun in the kitchen cutting out cookies during the cookery session. Moving to the games room, Jean Rigden, Trustee of Elmbridge Mencap, shared her family’s history of the charity she has spent 50 years volunteering for and The Duchess enjoyed a game of table football with members of the Day Service, before heading outside to be shown their new sensory garden.

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 then added to the group’s mandala* before the children from Rewilding Forest School presented her with a portrait of The King, made entirely from leaves!

Moving back inside to the warmth of Burview Hall, The Duchess unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit.  The Duchess was then presented with a birthday cake to celebrate her forthcoming birthday before the whole group joined in song to sign happy birthday to her.

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