Star of stage and screen, Dame Judi Dench, visited Smallfield’s Centenary Hall on Thursday, to unveil a piece of quilted artwork that recognises the site’s valued contribution to the recent vaccination programme. The creation has been made and donated by a group of volunteers who helped the venue run so smoothly during the past year.
The piece of ‘living history’ will take pride of place in the much-loved community space, and celebrates how the community came together and helped deliver more than 52,000 vaccinations to local residents.
Christina Botting, who is a Smallfield resident and Health Champion for Smallfield Surgery came up with the idea for the quilt and rallied the community to get involved. She has since used the momentum and interest generated to start a craft club at Centenary Hall.
Dame Judi Dench said at the event: “This gives me an opportunity to…. thank everyone so sincerely for keeping us safe.” Before unveiling the quilt she added: “It is something we can always refer to, we can always see it any time and it will remind us of a time that was rather grim but out of that time has come something that I believe is very beautiful.”
GP Federation, Alliance for Better Care (ABC), worked closely with Burstow Parish Council to manage the vaccination site, alongside a host of volunteers and local supporters.
“We have been continually overwhelmed by the support of the local community and this is such a fitting way to mark their outstanding contribution to our programme. Huge thanks to Dame Judi Dench for joining us as part of this celebration,” said Katherine Saunders, CEO, Alliance for Better Care.
The hall has now been handed back to the community, with ongoing demand for vaccinations in the area serviced by local Horley GP practices.
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