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Royal Patron The Countess of Wessex, joins a video call with Treloar’s student, family and Treloar’s staff

By 12/07/2020 No Comments

On Tuesday 7th July HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO joined a video call with Treloar School student, Poppy, and her family at their home in Wales.  Shortly after, The Countess joined Treloar’s staff to support and congratulate them all for their outstanding work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Poppy has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and set herself the goal to do a half-marathon of laps in her garden to raise money for Treloar’s in Alton, Hampshire.  Poppy’s dad, Rob, and her eldest brother, Sam, joined HRH on the call too.  Sam has been involved in Poppy’s previous challenges for Treloar’s including the Brighton Marathon in 2017, where he pushed Poppy around the course.  

During the conversation with Her Royal Highness, Poppy and her family discussed topics as diverse as Poppy’s feelings on lockdown, her cooking expertise – Poppy shared her recipe for CocaCola Cake, the use of PPE by Treloar’s staff on her return to School and how it will affect Poppy’s communication methods as Poppy lip reads, vegetable growing, her dog, Stanley – who joined the call at one point – and virtual quizzes.

Rob, Poppy’s dad said: “Treloar’s focus on enablement has made the world of difference to Poppy, building her confidence and independence.

Poppy has been very good at organising her time during lockdown and is great at her school work.  She has not missed out at all and Treloar’s is such a great school and she has really been able to achieve such a lot.  Treloar’s has really had to think on its feet and had a very difficult job.”

The Countess later joined a video call with members of staff from the charity who have been working relentlessly during the pandemic, and thanked them for their hard work, fortitude, selflessness and kindness shown during this difficult time adding “I am always so impressed with the work of Treloar’s and this just shows that you have stepped up and coped with what has been hurled at us all out of the blue.  The families must be so pleased that their children are lucky enough to go to Treloar’s and so grateful. This makes me even prouder to be part of Treloar’s.  Thank you so much.”

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, Treloar’s has continued to provide high quality education, care, therapy and medical support for young disabled people. Despite this difficult time, students’ needs have remained at the heart of Treloar’s work and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure their needs have been met as fully as possible.  

Provision has been given through a mix of on-site support and care services, virtual teaching and in some cases, staff have provided door to door support for the most complex and vulnerable students.  The Treloar’s campus remained open, even in the Easter holidays, at the height of the pandemic to support residential students living on site. 

Yvette Walker, Paediatric Senior Staff Nurse: “We ordinarily operate 24hrs, 365 days a year. During the pandemic it has been necessary to additionally have a back-up rota in place should there be any suspected COVID-19 cases.  This would ensure 1:1 nursing to keep 

infection rates down.  Due to our exceptional care and nursing staff we have had no cases at Treloar’s which considering how close and intimate we have to be with student care this is amazing.”

Treloar’s CEO, Simon Birch, thanked The Countess of Wessex and said “it has meant a lot that Her Royal Highness has been thinking of us.”

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For more information, please contact Communications and Marketing Manager Cat Fyson – 



  • The Treloar Trust was founded by Sir William Purdie Treloar while he was Lord Mayor of the City of London. Now, 110 years later, it supports Treloar School (for pupils 2-16) and Treloar College (further education for students 16+). Both School and College are specialists in providing education, care, therapy, medical support, independence training and opportunities for young people with physical disabilities from all over the UK. 
  • Treloar School and College support approximately 170 students each year. Treloar’s students have complex and sometimes multiple physical disabilities. They may also have a communication or sensory impairment or associated learning difficulties. 
  • Over 40 disabilities are represented at Treloar’s – the most common are cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. A vast majority of students use wheelchairs, almost half have little or no speech and approximately 20% have a life-limiting condition.
  • As the largest non-maintained specialist provision of its kind in the UK, Treloar’s relies on private donations to sustain the level of care the students receive. 
  • The Treloar fundraising team has to find around £2M per year to provide therapies, equipment and services not covered by statutory funding, for inspirational young people. All donations are invested in the young people to help them lead as independent, pain free, healthy life as possible. Your help will help us change a life forever: