Sexual assault centre visit & elderly craft for Camilla

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has been busy these past few days, as she marked two of her charities’ anniversaries, and then today got involved with the GrandFest in London.

In Manchester yesterday, Camilla paid a visit to St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), a centre which provides forensic, counselling and aftercare service to men, women and children who have been victims of sexual assault or rape.


This is a cause the Duchess has not been afraid to tackle, despite its sensitive nature. Camilla was seen chatting with staff who support those who come to the centre, and even had a one-on-one chat with a female victim. She was there in her capacity as president to mark its 30th anniversary.

The Duchess then moved on to officially open the first cancer support centre in the city, as president of Maggie’s. The £6 million centre is to help cancer sufferers and their families at the difficult time. It will offer psychological support, benefits advice, nutrition workshops, relaxation and stress management, as an extension of nearby Christie Hospital.

In a speech, Camilla said “I can’t imagine a more welcoming or comforting sanctuary.”

Still in Britain’s third city, the Duchess made an appearance at the Big Manchester project for Barnardo’s 150th year. The 68-year-old is president of the organisation. The Big Manchester project supports families in north Manchester.

Today, however, the Duchess was back in London at the launch of GrandFest at The Geffrey Museum of the Home. Here, Camilla met with the crafty over 70s who will take part in the one-day festival on 5th June.

She was there as president of the Royal Voluntary Service, which supports GrandFest to inspire the younger generations. Twelve ‘GrandMakers’ will demonstrate their talents in the hope that young people will continue their skills; this is just the second year of the festival.

One craftswoman had taken up a wartime hobby – weaving from dog hair! Mrs Lee from South Wales took a course in spinning and it escalated from there.

“I have always had Samoyeds [dogs] at pets and, as you can see, they are terribly fluffy,” she explained to the Duchess.

“I have to groom them most days so decided to see if I could put the fur to good use. It seemed a shame to waste it.”
Camilla was fascinated by the task but said she thought she would would get herself ‘tied up in knots’.

David McCullough, chief executive of the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “The hipsters of Hoxton…didn’t invent this! We just want to demonstrate that our older generation is full of wonderful, transferable skills.”

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