Surrey care centre users create international charity’s official present for the Queen

20 December 2016

The centre piece and the card for Her MajestyBells Piece activities and life skills centre in Farnham put their creativity to royal use this winter, producing a beautiful festive centre piece for Her Majesty the Queen.

The table wreath, full of seasonal decorations, has been delivered to Her Majesty as the official Christmas present from charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, for whom Her Majesty is the patron.

Leonard Cheshire’s Bells Piece centre originally set work on festive centre pieces earlier this winter, by using the resources they already had in their horticultural department, including pumpkins, twigs and dried leaves.

Sue, who was involved in the making of Her Majesty’s present, said:

‘I had a good laugh, as so many different things were involved. I like emptying out the pumpkins.’

David, who was involved in the making of the centre peices, said:

‘I enjoyed sticking on the twigs to the flowerpots. We had a system of someone cutting the twigs and I was sticking.’

Duncan, who was also involved in the making of Her Majesty’s present, said:

‘I always sweep the leaves in the autumn, it makes a change for them to be collected and used in a different way.’

Sue, David and Duncan were part of a 35-strong group to work on Her Majesty’s present.

Davina Scott, their team leader at Bells Piece, said:

‘As soon as we received the centre piece request we started to research.

‘The issue was how to make something that would last a reasonable length of time without water.

‘We’d plenty of pumpkins left that our day centre users had grown and plenty of autumn leaves in our garden, so decided to use those.

‘We found that by trimming the leaves we got a ruffle effect and we achieved a better finish.’

As well as making and sending a centre piece to Her Majesty, Bells Piece also created and donated 14 other centre pieces to the famous Varsity rugby game between the Oxford and Cambridge earlier this month.

In total, they spent a week making the 15 centre pieces, and a few days beforehand planning how they would keep the finished product looking good.

Her Majesty’s centre piece, sent just ahead of Christmas Day, was accompanied by a card designed by residents at Leonard Cheshire’s Holme Lodge in Nottingham.

The Queen has played an influential role in Leonard Cheshire Disability since becoming the charity’s patron in 1980.

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