The Duchess of Gloucester has paid a special visit to Papworth Trust as part of the charity’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

Staff, volunteers and customers across the charity joined together to celebrate the special birthday of the Trust, which started life as a tuberculosis colony in 1917.

They were joined by the Duchess, a patron of Papworth Trust, who visited an exhibition detailing the rich history, held at Papworth Everard’s village hall and attended by members of the charity and local dignitaries.

She was also given a commemorative anniversary book, entitled ‘100 Stories’, which features historic anecdotes alongside interviews with staff, volunteers and customers about what Papworth Trust means to them.

Rob Hammond, chair of trustees at the charity, said: "It was an honour and a pleasure to welcome Papworth Trust's patron, the Duchess of Gloucester, to visit on the day we celebrated our 100th anniversary.

"As always when she visits, the Duchess was keen to spend time meeting as many of our customers, staff, volunteers and supporters as possible and it was a delight to show her around the exhibition and welcome local dignitaries.

“We were delighted that so many supporters joined us on the day from the local community as well as local councils and organisations.

"We are very grateful for all the support the Trust has enjoyed in the past. We will certainly need as much support as we embark on the second 100 years of the Trust's work in a very challenging environment."

Papworth Trust also organised a ‘Virtual Birthday Party’ on Wednesday where businesses and the charity’s centres showed their support by hosting a cake-themed event and sharing photos on social media using the #PapworthTrust100 hashtag.

The celebrations included:

  • An exhibition of historical artefacts from Papworth’s past took place in the Village Hall and attended by trustees, local civic dignitaries and Centenary Circle members
  • Our Housing and Care teams got together and held a tea party in the Vinter Rooms in Papworth Everard
  • The Papworth Trust centre in Lowestoft hosted a tea party for all customers and users of the day centre and groups who use the venue
  • The Ipswich centres in Foundation Street and Museum Street hosted their own tea parties on the day with all local customers invited from our various services
  • In Haverhill, the tenants at Vange Place held a celebratory BBQ
  • Afternoon tea was enjoyed at the West Suffolk Disability Resource Centre in Bury St Edmunds
  • Our Peterborough work office organised a Jobs Fair to coincide with the virtual birthday party as well as fundraising activities to support one of their clients who is taking part in the Great East Run in Peterborough
  • A bake sale took place in Kettering with historical references along with balloons, bunting and a film for customers
  • A cake sale also took place in our Cambridge centres
  • See our full list of events - including the local businesses who joined in the celebrations

The 100 Stories anniversary book includes excerpts and news cuttings detailing how the charity was formed by Sir Pendrill Varrier-Jones and the many Royal visits, starting with Queen Mary in 1918.

It also includes interviews with many disabled people supported by the charity as well as staff members, volunteers and local supporters.

A digital version of the 100 Stories book can be viewed at http://online.flipbuilder.com/afjd/zokx/mobile/index.html.

To view images from our big birthday, visit our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/papworthtrust.