Banbury family centre is treated to a rare Royal visit - Duke learns sign some sign language and talks to children

Banbury's Sunshine Centre was treated to a rare Royal visit when the Duke of Gloucester travelled to Banbury for the engagement last Friday.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 2:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 2:38 pm
The Duke of Gloucester, who visited the Sunshine Centre in Banbury last week. Picture by Getty

The Duke, who is HM The Queen's cousin was welcomed in to the Edmunds Road centre by Lord Lieutenant's Cadet, Shannon Gilkes who was herself a member of the Sunshine Centre as a child.

The Royal visitor was officially received by Sir Tony Baldry, High Steward of Banbury who presented Cllr Les Sibley, Vice Chair of Cherwell District Council, Cllr Shaida Hussain, Town Major of Banbury, John Bridgeman, Chair of the centre's Trustees and Jill Edge, Centre Manager. Marjorie Glasgow, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, also joined the group.

The Duke of Gloucester visited the nursery, engaging on conversation with both staff and children. The visit continued through the centre where the Royal visitor experienced a variety of services available to families living in Banbury. He also spoke with parents who attend the centre and learnt some sign language.

Staff, trustees, partners and volunteer representatives then had the opportunity to speak about the history and work of the The Sunshine Centre, which has served the community of Bretch Hill and beyond for over 23 years.

Jill Edge manager of the Centre said: “We felt highly honoured to be chosen to receive such an important visitor and I have to say a little nervous. The visit went very smoothly, and His Royal Highness put us at ease with his engaging manner. The Duke was genuinely interested in our work and we hope he left with a good impression of Bretch Hill, Banbury and The Sunshine Centre.”