The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will visit Alnwick on June 22 to attend a special party that is being held in the town to recognise the work of the county’s carers and volunteers.
During the visit, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will also open the new youth hostel in Green Batt, and will walk down Bondgate to meet local people.
In recent weeks invitations from the Lord Lieutenant, The Duchess of Northumberland, have been dropping through the letterboxes of thousands of volunteers and carers around the county inviting them to attend a special party in Alnwick to celebrate and recognise their important work.
The invitations hinted at the presence of VIPs and this week it has been confirmed by Buckingham Palace that The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will be present at this party.
The special event, which is to be held in the grounds of Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden, is being organised by Northumberland County Council and the Duchess of Northumberland, in her capacity as Lord Lieutenant. It is thought to be the biggest of its kind ever to be held in the region.
Fittingly, the event follows on the back of National Carers Week 2011 (June 13-19) which aims to raise awareness of the UK's six million unpaid carers, as well as celebrating the incredible contribution they make.
The county’s volunteers, who selflessly work to support or raise funds for local causes, are also being recognised through this event.
“There are so many people in Northumberland who give their time to help others. This is our way of saying “thank you” for that commitment and contribution” said the Duchess.
“In recent months, I have been working closely with various organisations to try to ensure that we invite the right people to the event. Obviously, it is difficult to find everyone who gives their time as a volunteer or carer but we have approached those organisations that are best placed to help us create the invitation list and we hope we have not missed out anyone. If you are a carer or volunteer in Northumberland and have not received an invitation and wish to attend, then you should please contact the Garden Party helpline 01670 534876” she added.
An estimated three in five people in the UK will become carers at some time in their lives. Those people who look after a loved one who is ill, frail or disabled save the UK an estimated £85 billion annually by relieving pressure on health and social services.
Councillor George Todd, Chairman of Northumberland County Council, said: “There are many extremely generous and extraordinary individuals in the county who give up their time to help those in need. They come from all walks of life and backgrounds, but what they all have in common is their incredible hard work and dedication to help others. The party promises to be a special and memorable day for them.”