East Sussex; Camilla Makes Another Visit

26 March 2014, 14:26

The Duchess of Cornwall is officially opening a new hospice in Eastbourne and visiting a revamped museum in Ditchling today.

At the start of a day of engagements in East Sussex, Camilla will visit St Wilfrid's Hospice in Eastbourne.

She will speak to staff, patients and their families during a walkabout of the hospice's new premises which opened last year.

Its staff care for more than 1,000 ill people each year, and the hospice has provided services in the area for more than 30 years.

Its new centre has a 20-bed in-patient unit, treatment rooms, a physiotherapy gym and provides a hospice-at-home service.

All of the care at St Wilfrid's is free, but its £10,000-a-day running costs are only partially met by the NHS. The rest comes from donations.

St Wilfrid's chief executive Kara Bishop said she was looking forward to showing Camilla around, adding: "It will be an extremely proud day for all of us.''

Later, Camilla will visit Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, which was reopened in September last year following a £2.3 million redevelopment.

It holds a nationally-important collection of works by artists and craftspeople, including Eric Gill, David Jones, Edward Johnston and Ethel Mairet.

Camilla will tour the museum, and meet staff, supporters and local schoolchildren who will take part in activities in its education space.

Camilla went on to sample a sparkling rose wine during a tour of Plumpton College, where she is a patron.

The college is the only higher education institution in Europe to offer degree courses in wine business and production.

Since being introduced in 1996, graduates have gone on to secure jobs as vineyard managers and wine-makers, and wine buyers and importers.

The college has recently expanded its Wine Education Centre, and built a wine research centre, enabling the college to now offer MA courses in Oenology (wine-making).

Camilla donned a white laboratory coat as she spoke to students about their courses, and saw vines being kept at different temperatures.

The Duchess, who is also patron of the UK Vineyards Association, went on to see the bottling plant before unveiling a plaque to mark her visit.


Camilla arrives at Plumpton College