Absolutely Fabulous star, Joanna Lumley, opened the newly-refurbished building of The Grange Centre for People With Disabilities, Bookham, on Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Joanna Lumley is a patron of The Grange, which supports people with disabilities to live independent and fulfilling lives.

Lumley unveiled plaques thanking charitable trusts and foundations and individuals who raised the £440,000 needed to make The Grange’s Victorian building accessible to people with restricted mobility.

Thanks to its supporters, The Grange now has:

  • Space for more people to learn valuable skills for life. Eight new people have joined already
  • The Karten CTEC Centre – a state-of-the-art IT suite
  • A new room for its fudge mini- business
  • A multi-media arts room with film animation and mug printing
  • A room for Makaton and communications training
  • A Heritage Room for its collection of antique textile collection and royal letters

The whole building is now accessible with wider corridors, automatic doors and a brand new lift.

Joanna Lumley toured the new facilities and met people in the Horticulture, Woodwork, Catering and Creative Arts departments.

She said: “I love what they do at The Grange,’ she said,’ its friendliness and supportiveness – it’s a flourishing community and helps not just people with disabilities but their families too.”

“It’s sometimes hard to get recognition for people who need support so that they can live independent lives. I feel very passionate about preserving funding for adult social care.”

“The Grange is expanding and its next project is a building in which to offer new people  skills training and a respite care service. The cost will be around £1 million ‘but we’ll do it!”

For more information about The Grange Centre, visit www.grangecentre.org.uk.