Birthday present fit for a Queen

Lauren Mullarkey (Royal School Manchester Artist in Residence), Daniel Follon (RSM student)
Lauren Mullarkey (Royal School Manchester Artist in Residence), Daniel Follon (RSM student)

Profoundly disabled students have made the Queen a magnificent piece of art to celebrate her 90th birthday on Thursday, April 21.
Seashell Trust will be sending the present to Buckingham Palace as thanks for her longstanding support as Royal Patron of the charity since 1952.

Mark Geraghty, chief executive of Seashell Trust, said: “We are proud of our long relationship with the Queen and were thrilled when she visited in 2004. The students and staff were very keen to mark her milestone birthday with a unique handmade gift.”

The trust, which began life as the Royal School for the Deaf, has enjoyed royal patronage since 1897.

It now cares for and educates children and young people with complex physical and learning disabilities from all across the country.

Lauren Mullarkey, the artist-in-residence at the Seashell Trust-run Royal School Manchester, has been working with students to produce an embellished felt artwork.

The piece is inspired by landscapes around the charity’s Cheadle Hulme campus.

Lauren, who runs the trust’s creative arts programme, said: “Creative arts of all forms are so important to our students because they offer a wealth of accessible routes to more effective communication and personal expression.

“We encourage our students to be curious by providing them access to a range of cultural experience and opportunities to collaborate. This undoubtedly enhances creativity and wellbeing.”

Daniel Follon, aged 19, from Widnes, is one of the students who helped to create this artwork.

He, along with four other lucky Seashell Trust students, will be celebrating Her Majesty’s 90th birthday at the Patron’s Lunch on the Mall with 10,000 representatives of some 600 charities that enjoy royal patronage.

Daniel’s mum Maxine and older brother Carl will also be enjoying the royal street party in London on Sunday, June 12, with the other Seashell families and support staff.