The Duchess of Cornwall was on hand in Bath yesterday as St John’s Hospital officially changed its name to St John’s Foundation after 843 years in operation.
Established in 1174, Bath’s oldest charity is led by Chief Executive Sue Porto who said of the change: ‘Today is a momentous day in our Charity’s history, as we officially announce our change in name to, St John’s Foundation Est.1174.
‘This change in our identity recognises our heritage and experience, while better reflecting the breadth of our work as it has evolved over our 843-year history.
‘It reaffirms our commitment to providing a foundation of support for people and organisations throughout Bath and the surrounding area.’
The Duchess of Cornwall has been a patron of the charity since July 2009, and during her visit, she officially opened Rosenberg House. The former almshouse has recently undergone a complete structural refurbishment with the redevelopment helping to improve accommodation so that residents have the support they need in state-of-the-art facilities, allowing them to live as independently as possible.
During the visit, the Duchess also had the opportunity to meet the Silver Swans – a ballet class for over 55s – as well as staff, volunteers and representatives of other charities that have received funding from the St John’s Foundation.
Of the royal visit, Chief Executive Porto said: ‘The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit is a timely opportunity for our Patron to see first-hand, the positive impact our work is having in the community and to celebrate this significant milestone for Bath’s oldest charity.
‘The refurbishment of Rosenberg House endorses our charitable commitment to helping people to enjoy an excellent quality of life through supporting them to live as independently as possible.’
The change in name was heralded with the launch of a new website which aims to provide a trustworthy signpost to allow people and charities across Bath and the surrounding area to get the support they need when they most need it.