Royal estate at Highgrove in Gloucestershire opens tearoom as a warm bank to help vulnerable people

  • Watch Eli-Louise Wringe's interview with Costa Innemee, Highgrove Director

The dining room of a royal residence in Gloucestershire has been opened to vulnerable people to help combat the cost of living crisis.

The Prince’s Foundation has launched a Winter Warmers initiative to help combat the effects of the economic crisis and social issues among people across the UK.

As well as locations in Ayrshire and Caithness, the gates to Highgrove, near Tetbury, are being opened for those in need to access hot drinks and food.

Every Tuesday, at King Charles' home in Tetbury, 60 people can book in for a free lunch and social afternoon.

The Orchard Room, which looks onto the gardens of the royal estate, is being used to bring people together to share meals, conversation and to take part in activities including board games and knitting.

Juliette Crosby, the Hospitality Manager of the Orchard Room says: "This is absolutely the bread and butter of hospitality.

"A lot of the events we do here are completely different, they're set up differently, the whole aspect of them.

"So it is really lovely to step outside of our comfort zone to do something like this."

However concerns have been raised over the accessibility of the service, which is in a rural area and needs to be pre-booked online.

Chris Walker from Age UK says: "I might go to an affluent area with food vouchers for instance and people would say to me 'oh I don't need those', you know a little bit too proud.

"But depending on how you work with people they might come back the following week.

"So it's really building those relationships at a grassroots level."

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