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Dame Vera Lynn charms RAF veterans

Forces' sweetheart and World War Two legend Dame Vera Lynn visited Princess Marina House in Rustington on Thursday 7 July, as special guest at the home's annual garden party.

On the day Dame Vera met Sir Robert Wright, Controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund, as well as staff and guests of the home, which is our flagship welfare break centre.

Dame Vera Lynn with Sir Rob Wright

Dame Vera was introduced to several guests including Joan Owen, who served in the RAF during WW2 as a plotter. She also met the RAF Guinea Pig Mr Jack Perry and his wife Mary, who are frequent visitors to the house.

Joan said: "I am so honoured to have met Dame Vera today. She was an inspiration to us all during the war and her example makes one feel proud to be British – especially the way she continues to support the Armed Forces!"

Shirley Steeples, general manager of Princess Marina House said: "We are delighted that Dame Vera could join us today for our annual garden party. This event is a great chance to thank the local community for their support and to raise awareness of the work of Princess Marina House with both serving and former RAF families from across the UK.

"Last month we opened Beachside, offering respite for members of the RAF family with short term memory loss. This unit will make a massive difference to carers and those with mild cognitive impairment. 

"At the end of the year we plan to open our second respite cottage Shencot House for RAF families in need of an affordable break. Many thanks to all who attended and made the day such a success. We really do enjoy spectacular support from the people of West Sussex."

Princess Marina House offers short welfare breaks in a relaxing environment for anyone who has ever served in the RAF, as well as their partners and dependants, with 24 hour care on hand if required.

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