HRH The Prince of Wales has congratulated villagers and staff at the Whiteley Village retirement community in Surrey for their ‘resilience’ and ‘indomitable spirit’ during the pandemic.
Prince Charles contributed to a video organised by the Whiteley Homes Trust, which runs Whiteley Village in Walton on Thames – a unique retirement community providing care and housing to 450 Surrey’s most vulnerable older people, who cannot afford to buy or rent their own homes.
The video was sent to villagers, staff and volunteers today to reflect back on 2020 and to remind everyone about all the amazing things achieved, despite the challenges.
In the video, the Prince said the village had met the challenges of the pandemic with great ‘resolve’ and that villagers and staff ‘should all feel truly proud of what you have achieved together’.
He expressed ‘particular gratitude’ to care and nursing staff for their ‘inspirational commitment’, and to ‘all those working behind the scenes’ delivering other services.
The closure of so many of the trust’s public facing services, such as its café and wedding and conference facilities, has hit the charity’s income hard while the costs of ensuring adequate PPE to protect residents and staff from the virus have spiralled.
The trust launched its Never Alone appeal to raise funds and recruit volunteers and was overwhelmed by the response from the community but also from villagers and their families.
The Prince concluded by congratulating residents and staff for meeting the challenges of the pandemic with ‘great spirit and resolve’ and wished them ‘a particularly happy and healthy Christmas and a safer and more encouraging new year’.
Rachel Hill, chief executive of The Whiteley Homes Trust said: ‘We’re so grateful to His Royal Highness for his support. I know his message will mean the world to our residents and staff after such a difficult year.
‘I couldn’t be more proud of Whiteley and how everyone has pulled together this year – residents, staff and volunteers, to help keep our services going and protect the Village. With just a handful of Covid-19 cases amongst our almost 450 older residents to date, it really has been an incredible achievement. The Whiteley spirit in action!’
Photo Credit – Pixabay