His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales,Patron of The Whiteley Homes Trust, has sent a Christmas video message of support to Whiteley Village congratulating villagers and staff on their “resilience” and “indomitable spirit” during the pandemic which he said had, “shone through even on the darkest days”.
With so many Christmas events cancelled due to Covid, the Trust produced a video which was sent to villagers, staff and volunteers today to reflect back on 2020 and to remind everyone about all the amazing things achieved, despite the challenges. The Trust was therefore delighted when His Royal Highness agreed to submit a message of support for inclusion in the video.
In the video, The Prince said the Village had met the challenges of the pandemic with great “resolve” and that villagers and staff, “…should all feel truly proud of what you have achieved together”. He expressed “particular gratitude” to care and nursing staff for their “inspirational commitment”, and to “all those working behind the scenes” delivering other services. “The special hot meal and grocery service established during lockdown was a really marvellous example of staff and volunteers working together to support the most vulnerable in the Village”, he said.
The closure of so many of the Trust’s public facing services, such as its café and wedding and conference facilities, has hit the charity’s income hard while the costs of ensuring adequate PPE to protect residents and staff from the virus have spiralled. The Trust launched its Never Alone appeal to raise funds and recruit volunteers and was overwhelmed by the response from the community but also from villagers and their families.
Continuing his message, His Royal Highness said it was “…incredibly heartening to hear of the donations of crucial protective equipment, such as face visors hand made by local students, schools and colleges, the hundreds of meals provided for villagers and the video call devices which helped reconnect residents to family and friends”.
During the pandemic Villagers have also done huge amounts to support each other and those outside the Village, and His Royal Highness commented on how they sewed face masks for Whiteley staff and the NHS as well as, “sharing gardening and dog walking and formed telephone teams to support those who are housebound or shielding”.
The Prince concluded by congratulating residents and staff for meeting the challenges of the pandemic with “great spirit and resolve” and wished them “…a particularly happy and healthy Christmas and a safer and more encouraging new year”.
Rachel Hill, CEO of The Whiteley Homes Trust said: “We’re so grateful to His Royal Highness for his support. I know his message will mean the world to our residents and staff after such a difficult year.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Whiteley and how everyone has pulled together this year – residents, staff and volunteers, to help keep our services going and protect the Village. With just a handful of Covid-19 cases amongst our almost 450 older residents to date, it really has been an incredible achievement. The Whiteley spirit in action!”