Barnardo’s ‘old girl’ Diane enjoys Royal day to remember

Diane and Alan Miller ANL-160526-125338001

Diane and Alan Miller ANL-160526-125338001

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A Barnardo’s old girl from Holbeach enjoyed a day at Buckingham Palace with her husband to celebrate 150 years of the charity helping disadvantaged children.

Diane (79) and Alan (80) Miller were invited to a royal garden party hosted by Barnardo’s president Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Diane Miller at 78... and 13. ANL-160526-125349001

Diane Miller at 78... and 13. ANL-160526-125349001

Diane grew up in the charity’s homes from 1940 to 1951, living in homes in Essex, Shropshire, Leamington Spa and Hexham in Northumberland.

She told the Guardian: “My father left my mother when she was pregnant with me and my mother needed to work, so I went with my brother to the Barnardo’s home in Kelvedon in Essex when I was two and I stayed in Barnardo’s care until I was 13.

“All of my memories of the homes are happy,” she says. “I felt proud to be a Barnardo’s girl because they always looked after you.

“We had a lovely day at the Palace – it was a beautiful sunny day and it was wonderful to be a part of the 150th anniversary celebrations.”

Barnardo’s no longer runs children’s homes as the charity’s work evolved to help children to stay with their own families, increasing fostering and adoption work, setting up family centres and working to improve the lives of youngsters with disabilities.

Barnardo’s director for the east region, Steve Oversby, said: “The garden party was a wonderful opportunity for us to thank our dedicated staff, volunteers and supporters for their hard work and commitment over the past 150 years.

“We were pleased to share it with so many people like Diane whose lives have been touched by the work started by Thomas Barnardo.”