HRH cuts a cake at Abbeyfield's 60th anniversary reception
The Prince of Wales hosted a reception at St James’s Palace in London today to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Abbeyfield, a national charity that offers older people a secure home where they can find friendship and support.
The first Abbeyfield house was established in 1956 by Richard Carr-Gomm, who recognised that many older people were living alone and feeling isolated in their own communities. Today the organisation has more than 500 houses and homes manned by staff and volunteers in the UK.
The Prince became Abbeyfield’s Patron in 1979.
His Royal Highness met beneficiaries, staff and supporters of the charity, including 90-year-old Winifrid Spoor, who lives with Abbeyfield in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Singer Aled Jones treated both The Prince, who marked his 68th birthday on Monday, and Abbeyfield to a rendition of Happy Birthday.
Jones is also an Abbeyfield Patron and at the end of the reception he was invited on stage to lead the guests in song.
The Prince of Wales said during the reception: "It is one of the great examples of how elderly people can be cared for and thank goodness you're there to do exactly that.
"So, Ladies and Gentlemen, many congratulations and I hope there will be many, many more years of even greater success in looking after elderly people."
The reception also saw the launch of a new initiative called Golden Moments, to counter the growing epidemic of loneliness felt by the elderly.
Abbeyfield Chief Executive Natasha Singarayer said: "It is time to generate possibilities for older people across the country which is why we have created Golden Moments.
"And what could be a greater 'Golden Moment' for us all to treasure than hearing Aled singing Happy Birthday to His Royal Highness and Abbeyfield.
"At Abbeyfield we champion optimism in later life, which is what Golden Moments encapsulates. It is about providing activities and events to look forward to, allowing older people to join with others to share fun, food and laughter and to try new things."