The Duchess of Cornwall to Visit Emmaus Greenwich and The Fan Museum

The Duchess of Cornwall, in her role President of the Royal Voluntary Service, during her visit to the Dolau Bran Lunch Club to celebrate the club's 40th anniversary at Dol Y Wern in Llandovery.


Wednesday 4th December 2019

Engagement 1 

The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron, will visit Emmaus Greenwich in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Her Royal Highness will tour the Plumstead charity shop, meeting companions, volunteers and staff, before joining a reception in recognition of their silver anniversary.

Emmaus is a homelessness charity with a difference, giving people not just a bed for a night, but a home for as long as they need it, meaningful work and a sense of belonging. The first Emmaus opened in 1992 and there are now 29 communities (residential sites) spread across the UK.

Emmaus helps more than 800 companions (formerly homeless people), by providing them with on-going support, a home and work in an Emmaus social enterprise. Living in a stable environment with the opportunity to gain new skills helps the companions to regain any lost self-esteem and confidence so they can get back on their feet.

Emmaus Greenwich is based in Plumstead and was opened in 1994 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Emmaus founder Abbé Pierre. Currently the community offers a home to 34 companions, who work both in the main superstore on the community site in Plumstead and in two other shops in Lewisham and Poplar. Since opening, the charity has provided a home and meaningful work for over 750 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.

Research shows that for every £1 invested in a community, there is an £11 social, environmental and economic return, with savings to the benefits bill, health services and a reduction in crime.

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, has been Patron of Emmaus (UK) since 2006.

Engagement 2

The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron, will visit The Fan Museum and tour the latest semi-permanent exhibition, showcasing the diversity of the collection. Her Royal Highness will then join a fan making class with a group from Royal Voluntary Service, of which The Duchess is President, taking part in the First time for Everything programme.

Her Royal Highness has been Patron of the Fan Museum since 2008 and President of Royal Voluntary Service since 2012.

The Fan Museum

The Fan Museum is an independent museum that opened to the public in 1991, housed in two adjoining Georgian townhouses in Greenwich. It is the first museum of its kind in the world, and for reasons of conservation, it changes its exhibits about three times a year.

Based on the Hélène Alexander (Founder & Director) collection, with the addition of numerous bequests and donations over the years, the museum is now home to some 8,000 fans and fan leaves from all over the world – the earliest dating from the 12th century. Collections and individual fans are often loaned and exhibited worldwide. The museum also comprises an extensive reference library open to researchers by special request.

Royal Voluntary Service

The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with nearly 20,000 volunteers a year supporting the NHS and helping people in the community to age well. The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafes and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.

In the community, RVS runs a raft of activities, clubs and services that provide older people with the opportunity to forge vital social connections that have a positive effect on their physical and mental health. The charity joined forces with Prudential three years ago to launch First Time for Everything, a programme designed to give older people an opportunity to try a new social activity for free in their local community each month to improve quality of life. These have included paddle boarding, seated archery, zip wiring and even Bollywood dancing. Since the programme began in 2017, RVS has run more than 500 First Time for Everything events in locations in England, Scotland and Wales, with 5,000 people benefitting.

CATCH UP on The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s most recent engagements in the latest issue of Royal Life.

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