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The Duchess of Cornwall attends the launch of GrandFest

27th April 2016

The Duchess of Cornwall at the launch of GrandFest

The Duchess of Cornwall at the launch of GrandFest

The Duchess of Cornwall attended the launch of GrandFest in London today, a festival aimed at celebrating the heritage skills that the older generation can share with the younger generation.

The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) is holding GrandFest in June, a one day festival that celebrates the heritage craft skills of talented people over 70. Her Royal Highness became the President of The Royal Voluntary Service in December 2012.

The RVS is one of the biggest volunteer organisations in the country, supporting more than 100,000 older people each month with its services like meals-on-wheels and books-on-wheels that help alleviate loneliness and help older people.

During the event in June, older ‘GrandMakers’ will run masterclasses to pass on the craft skills that they have learnt and perfected over the years to the younger generation. Now in its second year, GrandFest is expected to be even bigger and better than last year, with 12 GrandMakers running master classes in cafes, shops and museums in East London in everything from crochet to wood turning, bread making to weaving.


HRH with Patricia Routledge at the GrandFest launch

HRH with Patricia Routledge at the GrandFest launch

The launch event today at the Geffrye Museum in East London showcased GrandFest, along with GrandMakers and their skills, to The Duchess of Cornwall, Ambassadors and long standing supporters. On arrival at the museum, The Duchess was met by RVS CEO David McCullough before touring the stalls.

Septuagenarians who showed off their skills to Her Royal Highness included Sandra Talmey, 74, a knitter from Nottingham who has been volunteering for The Royal Voluntary Service for 12 years. The Duchess also met 72 year old Arthur Martin from Surrey, who has been interested in woodturning for most of his life. Mr Martin, who will be showcasing his crafts at GrandFest, showed Her Royal Highness a carved ball and cup game which he had made along with some small wooden mice. 

The Duchess of Cornwall also attended a reception and met guests, including actress Patricia Routledge who is an Ambassador for The Royal Voluntary Service and GrandFest supporters. Ms Routledge commended the charity on their work with older people, explaining that their positivity towards the older generation was extremely beneficial to people’s wellbeing.