New Directions proudly welcomed His Royal Highness Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex to visit its latest development of supported living homes for 21 people with learning and physical disabilities at Gateway Court in Rugby on 9th October 2014.

The charity was delighted that His Royal Highness has chosen to visit this dynamic part of New Directions’ many services as part of his day’s tour of the West Midlands. The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Timothy Cox introduced His Royal Highness to local dignitaries that included Cllr Ramesh Srivastava, The Mayor of Rugby, Mark Pawsey MP and Wendy Back, Chair of New Directions.

The Earl of Wessex was shown around the complex by Doreen Woodward, Chief Executive of New Directions. His Royal Highness met service users and heard how their lives have been transformed by having their own home with the right support to enable them to be as independent as possible and to live life the way they want to. New Directions provides flats for 21 adults with learning disabilities at this innovative supported living scheme that also has a communal space for activities, socialising and training events.

The Earl watched a lively dance performance by service users with a poppy theme and was presented with a framed embroidery picture of a field of poppies that was made by a service user for him. His Royal Highness also unveiled a commemorative plaque for the charity as a permanent reminder of his visit.

CEO Doreen Woodward said “We were honoured to welcome HRH, The Earl of Wessex to New Directions and tell him more about the valuable work of our local charity. We are committed to providing and developing the best opportunities, support and accommodation for the people we support so they can have healthy, happy and fulfilled lives and are part of their local community. I am sure that our service users, staff and guests will cherish the memories of this visit for years to come.”

Wendy Fabbro, Warwickshire County Council’s Strategic Director of People Group, said: “Our partnership with New Directions is built on a common vision that every single individual should be able to attempt to realise their aims and ambitions. With suitable support focused on the individual, we can assist those with needs, to help them to live a life that has independence, choice and personal control.”

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