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Downton Abbey Actor Impressed by Care Home’s Community Engagement

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville has praised a new community meeting room sponsored by a Sussex care home.

Hugh, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the popular historical drama, toured the Colten Care Wellington Grange Learning Room during his official unveiling of the newly restored Graylingwell Chapel in Chichester.

The independent charity Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) has raised almost £2m to help transform the Chapel into a café, meeting and workshop rooms, with children’s play area and open space used by the community during the day, and functioning as an events space in the evenings.

The Chapel is close to Colten Care’s Wellington Grange home, which was delighted to be approached to sponsor the creation of an internal meeting room to host both residents and different groups from the community.

Hugh, who lives in Midhurst, close to Chichester, admired The Wellington Grange Learning Room and called it ‘impressive,’ adding: “It complements the building very nicely.”

Home Manager Helen Smith said: “The residents are very excited to visit the new Chapel and The Wellington Grange Learning Room and were thrilled to hear that Hugh Bonneville, one of their favourite actors, was so impressed with it.

“It’s wonderful that this historically important building has been so lovingly restored. Our residents have received membership cards to attend the events at Graylingwell Chapel and there are some very interesting talks coming up. I’m sure it is going to provide many talking points for everyone. As ever we are really pleased to be connected with community projects such as this one.”

Claire Robinson, Partnerships Co-ordinator at Chichester Community Development Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to Wellington Grange and its residents for their support. It’s wonderful that residents will be spending time here, along with other groups from the community and we look forward to hosting some cross-generational activities which everyone can enjoy together.”

Officially cutting the ribbon to open Graylingwell Chapel, Hugh said: “It is a pleasure to see this very positive project brought to life.”