The Duchess of Cornwall to Visit Sussex

The Duchess of Cornwall meeting centre members, volunteers and staff of Jewish Care's Brenner Centre in east London


Thursday 17th October 2019

Engagement 1

The Duchess of Cornwall will open the new Dream Centre at Chailey Heritage Foundation. The multi-purpose centre features a sports hall, stage, immersive sensory zone and specialist rebound therapy facilities. With its versatility and 21st century innovations, the new centre will provide young people with complex disabilities the opportunity to participate in engaging activities.

On arrival at Chailey Heritage Foundation Her Royal Highness will be greeted by many of the children who use the facilities.

On entering the hall HRH will watch children playing a game of table cricket, before meeting supporters, fundraisers and teachers. HRH will watch a short film ‘Amazing Grace’ about the Charity’s founder, Grace Kimmins before viewing a short performance by pupils of Chailey Heritage School ‘Cirque du Chailey.’

Following the performance Her Royal Highness will meet children on the stage and unveil a plaque to officially open The Dream Centre before singing the visitors’ book.

Outside in the courtyard HRH will plant a tree in memory of her mother who volunteered at the Foundation. HRH will meet more young people and staff members.

HRH last visited Chailey Heritage Foundation in 2013. HRH’s mother Rosalind Shand volunteered at the charity for 20 years.

Chailey Heritage Foundation provides education, care and transition services for young people aged 0-25 with complex physical disabilities and health needs. It encompasses Chailey Heritage School, Chailey Heritage Residential, providing full time residential accommodation and short breaks, and Chailey Heritage Futures, a residential transition provision for young adults, alongside a Life Skills Centre and day provision for disabled young adults from the community, and most recently, Chailey Heritage Pathways, a brand new service providing highly trained specialist care at home or in the community.

They share their site and work in partnership with Chailey Clinical Services, part of Sussex Community NHS Trust. This enables children to benefit from totally integrated multi-disciplinary support. They currently have 90 pupils in the school, half of whom are accessing their residential services, 24 young adults residing in Futures transition service and 136 young adults using the Life Skills Centre. Their facilities are used by young people from all over the UK.

For 116 years, Chailey Heritage Foundation has supported children and young people with disabilities. In 1903, Dame Grace Kimmins took over a disused Parish Workhouse in East Sussex, making it a home for seven disabled boys from East London who had Rickets, Tuberculous of the bones or were disabled due to an accident.

During this time, it has transformed itself with new buildings, new skills, specially designed technology, and innovative approaches to education and care for children and young people with very complex disabilities and health needs.

Transforming the 1958 Dame Grace Kimmins Memorial Hall, now the Dream Centre was essential to create a stimulating space for learning and social activities suitable for wheelchair users and their families.

The Dream Centre Appeal began in Autumn 2016 with the launch of a £3.1m fundraising initiative to raise the funds required to replace their ageing and dilapidated 1950’s Assembly Hall with a modern, purpose built indoor sports and activity centre that will allow the young people, all of whom use wheelchairs, to play indoor sport, take part in drama and musical performances, develop their balance through rebound therapy, learn to drive powered wheelchair, and broaden their horizons through a state of the art 4D immersive experience zone. Work began on the centre in April 2019 and was completed by July 2019.

  • Sports, games, and exercise
  • Rebound Therapy
  • Performance & Celebration

Engagement 2

The Duchess of Cornwall, President, will visit Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft to view their Typography exhibition ‘Kitching in Ditchling’ and meet artists and craftspeople in the William & Margaret Rowling Gallery before seeing their new exhibition Disruption, Devotion + Distributism. HRH will then meet school children using their Clore Learning Space.

On arrival Her Royal Highness will be met by Ms Stephanie Fuller, Director & CEO of the museum and Mrs KilBride, Chair of the Friends. HRH will then tour the William + Margaret Rowling Gallery and view the current typography exhibition (Kitching in Ditchling: The London Series) and meet Adam Richards, the Architect who designed the museum, which went through a major redevelopment in 2014.

HRH will then view the ‘Disruption, Devotion + Distributism’ exhibition in the Main Gallery which is due to open on the 19th October. During the tour of the exhibition, which includes never before seen work by Eric Gill, HRH will meet the Curator, Donna Steele and the museum’s Board of Directors.

HRH will then meet children from Ditchling (St Margaret’s) CE Primary School who will be engaged in a drawing activity. The children will be sketching items from the museum’s collection that speak to the history of the village, including a Copper Tea Kettle, awarded during the annual Ditchling Gooseberry and Redcurrant show.

HRH will then meet staff and volunteers in the Cart Lodge before departure.

The Duchess of Cornwall has been President of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft since 2006 and last visited on 26th March 2014. HRH also went to school in the village.

Throughout the 20th century Ditchling attracted artists and craft workers of national repute including Eric Gill, Hilary Pepler, Desmond Chute and Joseph Cribb. This museum provides the opportunity to see the works in the place where they were made.

In 1985, when they were 78 and 76 years old respectively, Joanna and Hilary Bourne bought the former school in the village of Ditchling and opened Ditchling Museum. The sisters had spent their childhood in the village and mixed with the children of many of the artists whose work would eventually be included in the museum’s collection.

In 2013 Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, formally opened Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft after a major £2.3m refurbishment.

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft has a frequently changing programme of exhibitions and displays alongside a growing permanent collection.

Current Exhibitions

Kitching in Ditchling: Inspired by the bold typography of Hilary Pepler, contemporary letterpress maestro Alan Kitching presents Kitching in Ditchling: Further details to be given on the day to the media.

Disruption, Devotion + Distributism: Further details to be given on the day to the media.

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

The Prince of Wales

Previous articleThe Duchess of Cornwall will be Undertaking a Number of Literacy Engagements
Next articleThe Duchess of Cornwall to Visit Bath