Care char­ity cel­e­brates as duchess is back for sec­onds

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

THERE WAS a royal re­turn for Jewish Blind and Dis­abled when the Duchess of Glouces­ter opened its £10.6 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment in Bushey, Ce­cil Rosen Court, on Wed­nes­day.

For the duchess had also for­mally opened the char­ity’s orig­i­nal Ce­cil Rosen Court — named af­ter the JBD founder — in Wem­b­ley 20 years ago.

She un­veiled a plaque and met ten­ants and their fam­i­lies at the new­est of the seven prop­er­ties run by JBD, which has a ca­pac­ity of 60.

The aim of all the char­ity’s es­tab­lish­ments is to al­low those with phys­i­cal disability or vis­ual im­pair­ment to lead in­de­pen­dent lives in a sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment.

“I’m re­ally de­lighted to be here to open Ce­cil Rosen Court for a sec­ond time,” the duchess said. “I have had real plea­sure in meet­ing the res­i­dents and I’m quite im­pressed you are nearly full, hav­ing only opened a short time ago.

“To see you all set­tled in so well says an aw­ful lot. I want to con­grat­u­late ev­ery­one who has made it pos­si­ble.”

Among those liv­ing in the state-ofthe-art property is Karen Davis, 47, who said: “I’ve been in four or five dif­fer­ent res­i­den­tial places and this is the most won­der­ful. I moved in on the 12th of March and I’m not mov­ing out. The people here are a mix­ture of young old and ev­ery­body helps each other. I’ve made friends and have a great so­cial life.”

James Haf­tel 25, who has cere­bral palsy, was one of the first to move in and likes both be­ing close to his fam­ily and feel­ing “part of such a won­der­ful com­mu­nity.

“But what is re­ally great is that

‘I’ve been in four or five places and this is the most won­der­ful’

be­ing here gives me the op­por­tu­nity to be in­de­pen­dent and that is re­ally im­por­tant. It is a safe place where I can tackle the chal­lenges of life,” Mr Haf­tel added.

An­drea Stacey, who has mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, said be­ing at Ce­cil Rosen Court had res­cued her from lone­li­ness and isolation af­ter the death of her hus­band.

“I couldn’t cope on my own but here I have an in­de­pen­dent life and I feel safe,” she said. “If I want to mix I can mix. If I don’t, I know I am safe in my home.”

JBD chair John Joseph told guests: “We can­not sit back on our lau­rels. We must stand up to the chal­lenges that we need to solve and we have high de­mand for more ac­com­mo­da­tion like this.

“So if any of you have a spare acre of land you want to give us, don’t hes­i­tate.”

PHOTO: MARC MOR­RIS

The duchess meets James Haf­tel, watched by JBD chair John Joseph

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