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On the 26th July, HRH The Duke of Gloucester was invited to visit the Aldingbourne Country Centre, to see first-hand how award winning charity Aldingbourne Trust supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live an independent life and learn skills within a variety of social enterprises to develop into paid or voluntary employment.
On arrival to the Country Centre, HRH The Duke of Gloucester was received by Mr John Shippam, Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex and a Trustee of the Aldingbourne Trust; Mrs Davina Irwin-Clark High Sheriff of West Sussex; Cllr. Janet Duncton, Chairman at West Sussex County Council and Miss Frances Russell, Chair of the Trustees of the Aldingbourne Trust.
Mr Peter Stanley, General Manager of the Aldingbourne Country Centre, welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester and presented a tour of the newly opened Quarry Building; highlighting the facilities and specially designed features of the new venue, HRH was shown how the new Quarry Building had been designed to promote sustainability and reduce its future environmental impact.
After meeting some of the Country Centre staff, HRH was then given an escorted tour of the outdoor facilities, including the sand and water play area, and the new indoor soft play area. Visiting the wood recycling enterprise and furniture restoration project, he was greeted by Brian Alden the Wood Recycling Enterprise Lead and took pleasure in meeting some of the people the Trust supports.
To commemorate his visit to the Country Centre, HRH The Duke of Gloucester planted an Alder tree near the Country Centre orchard. The tree was grown from a seedling by one of the people they support and has been planted to eventually grow and create a sheltered resting area for future visitors.
HRH The Duke of Gloucester completed his visit to the centre by meeting some of the Trustees, volunteers and people the Trust support over a light lunch in the Quarry conference room.
Peter Stanley said – “It was an honour to provide a guided tour of our facilities and introduce HRH The Duke of Gloucester to the people we support. He appeared very interested in our charity and took the time to engage in conversation with staff and the people we support.”