Yesterday, 20th March, The Countess of Wessex visited Bells Piece Supported Living in Farnham, Surrey. Bells Piece (run by Leonard Cheshire Disability), is a welcoming and attractive home offering 24-hour support to adults with learning difficulties. Founded in 1980, Bells Piece is a characterful detached building, situated on the Surrey/Hampshire borders within extensive grounds and gardens leading into Farnham Park. This home has a family atmosphere with lots of visitors, staff and guests.
|photo via Leonard Cheshire website – click on pic to be redirected & learn more about HRH’s visit|
There is a lovely activities centre onsite offering a range of activities such as gardening, arts and crafts, literacy, IT classes, healthy eating programmes, music and games. Bells Piece’s home is very sociable, with lots of evening and weekend activities for its residents to get involved in. Leonard Cheshire Disability is a charity supporting disabled people in the UK and around the world to fulfil their potential and live the lives they choose. It was founded in 1948 by Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, who dedicated most of his life to supporting disabled people, combining this with lecturing on conflict resolution.
|photo courtesy of DMWS|
Later, as Patron of Defence Medical Welfare Service, The Countess attended the Farnham Festival 2018. it is a four-day feast of young musical talent at the Farnham Maltings. Taking place from March 19 to 22, the Farnham Festival is a non-competitive event offering a rich and diverse programme of six unique concerts. More than 1,200 local young people are expected to take part or attend this year, up from around 500 performers in 2017. The Farnham festival’s principle objective is to give local young people aged five to 19, of all abilities and backgrounds, the opportunity to perform music written especially for them by contemporary composers.
|photo courtesy of DMWS – HRH with Nicky Murdoch MBE|
It is organised by a committee of volunteers who have a wide depth of professional experience and who are committed to continuing the legacy of providing a festival of exciting and inspirational concerts and workshops. The festival was inaugurated in 1961 by two local visionaries – Alan Fluck, the former head of music at Farnham Boys Grammar School and Raymond Krish, a local solicitor and arts patron. They both passionately believed music was central to education. Festival relies solely on fundraising, sponsorship and community support to ensure sustainability and enables the provision of free tickets to those 16 and under and £5 to all those over 16.
|picture posted with kind permission from Patrick Barrett (@pmpbarrett) of Farnham Youth Choir (@FarnhamYouthChr)|
This year’s festival concert programme will include jazz, choral and orchestral performances which will feature new work commissioned especially for the young musicians taking part. Sophie attended the ‘You Raise Me Up’ concert, at which children from The Ridgeway Community and Abbey Schools have teamed up with Luminosa Young Voices and Farnham Junior Youth Choir. The Countess of Wessex visited the Farnham Maltings ahead of the You Raise Me Up performance in the Great Hall. Farnham Maltings is a cultural organisation, based in south west Surrey, that exists to encourage the people of Farnham and further afield to participate in, shape and understand the world in which we live.
For video of Sophie’s arrival, click here. There is nothing in press.