We were honoured to welcome The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Diane Hawkins, to Walthew House last week, for her first official visit in her new role. She was appointed on 4th July 2022 after serving as a Deputy Lieutenant since 2008 and as High Sheriff during 2021/22, and has agreed to continue the tradition to become President of Walthew House.
You can learn more about the role of the Lord-Lieutenant in our BSL interpretation of her interview with the Stockport Talking Newspaper here:
Our charity has a long-established connection with the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy, starting with the first Lord-Lieutenant, Sir William Downward. Sir William cut the ground for the extension of Walthew House in 1987, when Lieutenant Colonel Haldon Hole (who served as a Deputy Lieutenant) was the Chair of the charity’s trustee board.
During her visit, the Lord-Lieutenant was given a tour of our building. At the time, our visually impaired Monday social group were enjoying arts and crafts with refreshments in the main hall, and our volunteers were in our on-site Resource Centre to be able to explain more about the assistive aids and technology we provide for people living with sight or hearing loss.
Our steel band leader, Janice Turley, was also able to give the Lord-Lieutenant a quick lesson on playing the steel drums, and explained how our blind and deaf service users are able to play together as a band, with practice sessions taking place every Tuesday. The band are already booked to make a public appearance at this year’s Bramhall and Woodford Rotary Club Duck Race in May.
Also during her visit, the Stockport Talking Newspaper gave a tour of their recording studio here at Walthew House. The Lord-Lieutenant kindly agreed to give a short interview, which was then included in the weekly talking news which is distributed to visually impaired people across Stockport. You can listen to the recording here, or watch our British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted video at the top of this page.
We hope to welcome the Lord-Lieutenant to Walthew House again in the near future.