It’s been an emotional couple of weeks here at Step One Charity, across the nation and across the world. Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences are with all the members of the Royal Family at this very sad time.
We have been enormously privileged to have enjoyed Her Majesty The Queen’s patronage for 75 years, and we are immensely grateful for her continued commitment to our work in supporting people with mental health issues and hidden disabilities to live more independently.
Our association with Her Majesty The Queen began when she first visited St Loye’s Foundation (as Step One was formerly known) in 1946, as Princess Royal.
Shortly after that first visit, she became our patron and her support for Step One and the work we do was unwavering in the very many years of her patronage.
Over the years, The Queen made several visits to us to open facilities and meet our staff. Her last visit to Step One was in her Diamond Jubilee year in 2010, when The Queen visited our Exeter offices with His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
We were honoured to have a representative from Step One Charity attend the late Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday 19th September.
Sue Sutherland, OBE, Chair of Trustees at Step One Charity, comments on her attendance:
“I felt so privileged to be able to represent Step One at Her Majesty’s state funeral. She has been our Patron since 1946 and it was an opportunity to give thanks and express our gratitude for her unstinting support over so many years.
It was a momentous occasion and so well organised. I was sat in the Nave and although the guests in the Abbey included so many Heads of State and other VIPs, it felt very much as if we were all equals and humbled by the event.
The service focused very much on Her Majesty’s inspiring service to the Nation and the Commonwealth and her commitment to the causes she held dear, which of course included Step One. It was such an honour to be there.
It was a very emotional experience, with the most heartfelt moment being the Queen’s Piper playing ‘Sleep Dearie Sleep’ as the congregation left Westminster Abbey.”