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Award-Winning Care Home Welcomes Mayor after COVID Restrictions Ease

Councillor Jill Bray, Mayor of Reigate, and Banstead celebrated the efforts of local healthcare workers with a visit to The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society last month (April 19) as visiting restrictions finally lifted for care homes.

Since being elected in 2021, Cllr Bray has made it her goal to recognise as many individuals and organisations as possible for their contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including volunteers, healthcare workers and health professionals. She spent time meeting staff members at the Society’s care home Belvedere House, showing gratitude for their tireless efforts throughout the challenging couple of years health and care workers have faced.

The Surrey-based care home operator and charity has provided housing, residential and nursing care to former seafarers, their widows, and dependants since 1865.

Cllr Bray, whose father was in the Army, took time to speak with the Society’s residents and tenants, sharing stories and playing games. Being an avid gardener, she also planted a pear tree in the orchard to mark the Queen’s Jubilee later this year – a permanent reminder of the visit.

Belvedere House is currently undergoing an extensive renovation and modernisation project, with work due to complete in Summer 2022. Before departing, the Mayor also had a tour of the building work and was one of the first people to see some of the newly refurbished rooms and facilities.

Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, CEO at The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, said:

“It is wonderful to be able to start welcoming visitors to The Royal Alfred again, after what has been such a difficult period over the last couple of years, especially for those who work in the care sector. Councillor Bray’s visit was very special for all of the staff and residents especially given her efforts to support charities, healthcare workers and family association with the Army. We were delighted to welcome her and show her some of our new facilities.

“We all hope that this visit marks the start of many more like this throughout the year, and I would like to thank Councillor Jill Bray for taking the time to visit The Society.”