This year is an extra special one for us – it’s our 220th birthday! Our services have been celebrating with a flurry of summer parties, with the biggest held in Leatherhead earlier this month.

Leatherhead is a historic location for us, as it is where our organisation was located when we received Royal Patronage in 1911 by King George V to become The Royal School for the Blind. Now over 100 years later we have five services there, three providing residential support, one supported living service and one day service. It is this long history of seeing and supporting people’s abilities and achievements that we are celebrating throughout this historic year.

There was a special atmosphere at the party, with people’s achievements and abilities highlighted. The Millennium Centre hosted the party, using their large car park area all decorated with balloons, SeeAbility flags and colourful displays.

The people we support at our five Leatherhead services (Derby Lodge, Leatherhead Support Service, The WillowsSurrey Views and The Millennium Centre) all invited their families and friends to join in with the fun.

There was music playing throughout the day, which really got everyone in the party mood, as well as live guitar playing and songs from local entertainer Hedley Kay. Hedley led a singalong, prompting a few people to get up later and sing a duet with him. Other were happy just dancing to the music in pairs.

Also entertaining the partygoers were the Wild Cats drama group from The Millennium Centre, who performed a scene and some of the musical numbers from their recent production of ‘The House of the Baskervilles’.

Brian, who is supported at Leatherhead Support Service cut the cake and then gave a fantastic speech. We have providing Brian’s support throughout most of Brian’s life, so his speech was incredibly interesting, covering the history and changes he has seen during his life.

Our CEO Lisa Hopkins also gave a speech, entertaining our guests from R Bensons, the Greater London Fund for the Blind (GLFB), Family Building Society and some philanthropists who have been extremely supportive of our work over the years.

Thank you to everyone who made this party such a success. We are looking forward to hearing about all the rest of the parties happening at our services this summer!

Leatherhead 220 Party for SeeAbility