The Duchess of Cornwall carried out engagements in Somerset today, recognising valuable services in the county for those in need.
To begin the day, The Duchess visited Frome Medical Centre, where she saw first-hand the work of community groups and volunteers who together are trying to end isolation and loneliness in the town.
The project, sometimes known as Compassionate Frome, connects people to support networks, groups and services throughout Mendip. It has resulted in a reduction in emergency hospital admissions.
Frome Medical Centre senior GP partner Dr Helen Kingston, Co-Founder of the initiative, said:
We recognised that well-being is more than simply the absence of disease. Loneliness and isolation can exacerbate and lead to health problems.
Her Royal Highness also paid tribute to Gerald Franks, who set up the Frome and District Day Centre Lunch Club in 2000.
It offers a hot meal and friendship to older people who are unable to cook and take care of themselves.
As she presented an honour to Mr Franks, The Duchess said:
Here's an award for all you do. You're doing a fantastic job.
Her Royal Highness also met a variety of groups who provide services to the community, including the Health Connectors and volunteer Community Connectors.
Also in Frome, The Duchess visited Frome Men's Shed, which offers a work space where people can work on practical projects with others.
The Duchess heard how people can learn new skills, sharing existing ones with others, or work on projects of their own at the shed. The club now has over 120 members, with both men and women using the shed's facilities, and all tools and materials have been donated by the public or local businesses.
Finally, Her Royal Highness toured Hauser & Wirth’s Somerset gallery and met local schoolchildren taking part in creative activities.
Hauser & Wirth Somerset welcomes school groups on a regular basis and is centred around a core belief in education and sustainability. The gallery has an extensive learning programme for local schools, young people and families and hosts talks, seminars, workshops and screenings,
The gallery is currently exhibiting new paintings by Catherine Goodman, Director of the Royal Drawing School.