Local charity Surrey Community Development Trust (SCDT) celebrated the official opening of a new housing project on Tuesday 8 March, with a visit by HRH The Countess of Wessex.
The Countess, who is the Royal Patron of Surrey Community Development Trust, visited the charity’s newest housing project on Kingston Road in Staines. She took a tour of the property, which provides supported accommodation for eight vulnerable people, and met some of the residents.
This visit was followed by a royal reception at Spelthorne Borough Council’s offices, where the Countess was introduced to SCDT staff, clients, partners and supporters. She unveiled a plaque to celebrate the official opening of the property.
Paul Mitchell, Chief Executive of Surrey Community Development Trust, said:
"The successful completion of this project is a key achievement for Surrey Community Development Trust and means that eight vulnerable people have somewhere safe and affordable to live in Spelthorne. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project. We are extremely grateful to our Royal Patron HRH the Countess of Wessex for attending today’s celebration and for all the support she gives us."
Surrey Community Development Trust has helped more than 15,000 people to transform their lives since it was founded in 1972. The charity and housing association has worked in Spelthorne since 1992 and now provides supported accommodation for 127 people in the area.
During Tuesday’s event, the Countess met SCDT resident Lucy Jones, who was only 17 when she was referred to SCDT after difficulties at home. Lucy explains how support from SCDT helped her turn her life around:
"I went back into education and am now in my second year of a part-time university course. I am doing a work placement as a youth worker, which I want to continue doing. I honestly don’t know where I’d be now without the help SCDT have given me. It’s helped me realise there is a future."
Tuesday's visit was filmed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as part of a documentary about the British royal family.
The event was sponsored by Hystar Construction Ltd and Playle & Partners LLP.