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Care home veterans receive special message from The King

His Majesty The King passed on a special message to Royal Star & Garter residents when he met Nurses working for the charity.

King Charles III asked Walter Chikanya to pass his regards to all veterans living at Royal Star & Garter, during a Buckingham Palace reception he was hosting to celebrate Nurses and Midwives working in the UK.

Walter, who is Head of Care at Royal Star & Garter, was one of three Nurses from the charity present at the event, held on 14 November.

High Wycombe Home Manager, Reggie Ballos, and Surbiton Clinical Nurse Educator, Grace Nabus, were among the other Royal Star & Garter Registered Nurses attending the reception, which was part of NHS 75 celebrations and fell on His Majesty’s 75th birthday.

Over 400 Nurses and Midwives attended from the multitude of backgrounds and cultures which contribute to the UK’s Health and Social Care sector. In addition to British Nurses and Midwives, His Majesty also met a selection of international Nurses and Midwives currently working in the UK.

Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, from Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe.

Walter was invited to represent social care Nurses. Reggie and Grace, who qualified in the Philippines, were part of a group representing internationally educated Nurses.

Walter spoke to His Majesty about his 1982 visit to the charity’s old Home in Richmond, which The King said he clearly remembered. It was during this conversation that King Charles III gave Walter his message for Royal Star & Garter veterans.

The reception ended with a surprise Happy Birthday song, performed by the NHS choir.

Walter later said: “I wasn’t expecting a message from The King to our veterans, and I’m very happy to pass it on. It was an incredible experience, and an honour to talk to The King about my work with the charity, and the importance of the social care sector. I was proud to be there, representing the sector, and representing Royal Star & Garter and its residents.”

Reggie said: “It was wonderful to be in a room full of so many Nurses. It was an honour and I felt very proud to sing Happy Birthday to The King. It’s good to know he recognises internationally trained Nurses.”

Grace attended the event wearing traditional Filipino dress. She said: “It felt very special that The King would choose to spend his birthday with us. It was an amazing night.”

The three Royal Star & Garter Nurses had been invited to the reception by Professor Deborah Sturdy, the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care for England.

Royal Star & Garter is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to work for the charity, go to www.starandgarter.org

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