Surrey Care Home Welcomes Mayor

A national maritime care home has enlisted the help of the local mayor to cut the turf for a major refurbishment taking place to mark the start of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, based in Banstead in Surrey, this year celebrates 150 years of providing nursing care and accommodation support to elderly, sick or disabled seafarers, their widows and dependants.

In no way put off by the heavy rain at the start of the anniversary year, the Royal Alfred team were joined by the Mayor of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Councillor David Pay, and Captain Duncan Glass on Thursday 8th January. The Mayor ‘cut the first turf’ witnessed by the Society’s Chairman and other representatives from the charity, along with building contractor David Rose.

The home is currently embarking on a refurbishment project coinciding with anniversary celebrations to ensure the charity continues to provide the best possible care for all the residents at its Surrey based home.

In 1857, the business and shipping community in London, together with The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, started raising funds aimed at establishing a home for former British merchant mariners, due to the hardships suffered resulting from a life of often terrible conditions at sea. From this, foundations were laid to establish The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society with the Belvedere Institution formed in 1865, and Prince Alfred its first royal patron in 1868.

The home has adapted over the years to remain at the forefront of residential care and today includes a specialist dementia annexe for residents living with the condition and sheltered housing for independent living.

The latest refurbishment project will see a new day room with balcony for residents to relax in and enjoy views across the Society’s extensive grounds, kitchen extension and modernisation along with much more. Anne, care home manager at Belvedere House, recently celebrated 30 years with the Society caring for ex-seafarers, and received the ‘care home registered manager’ award at the Nursing and Residential (NRC) awards for her exemplary commitment to the charity and its beneficiaries. It is Anne, and all the other team members at Royal Alfred, who provide superb care to seafarers in need and take particular pride in upholding high standards at the home.

Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society Chief Executive, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, said: “To be a part of the Society’s 150th anniversary year is something very special and all here including trustees, staff, residents and volunteers are looking forward to the year ahead immensely. It’s an excellent opportunity to share with the public the achievements and rich history of the society and of course look forward to the next 150 years. We extend our sincere gratitude to the Mayor and Mayoress of Reigate and Banstead for visiting us today and helping us start the anniversary year and refurbishment project in such style.”

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