Princess Diana 'found the people that needed help' says Bextor
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Dated July 30, 1985, the diary entry – written by Eileen Nicol – documented the Princess of Wales’ day visiting an Activenture centre, a holiday camp for children with disabilities in Sussex, run by the British Red Cross. The entries detail Diana’s unsurprising love for the children.
Ms Nicol wrote in the diary: “[The Princess] was charming.
“She has so much compassion for the children.
“She spoke to every one of them and got right down on the ground to look at a collage and to speak to the little ones.
“It rained, but that didn’t seem to matter.”
She continued: “She asked me how I got away with not wearing a hat.
“She hates hers. She wanted to know how to raise the money for the holiday.
“She had certainly done her homework.”
Ms Nicol – who is now 87 and still a supporter of the British Red Cross – still looks back fondly on that day.
She said: “I remember everyone being very excited.
“She spoke to every one of us and she spoke so well.
“The children loved her, and she loved the children.
“She told me she wishes she had my job. It truly was a marvellous day.”
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Another document – a letter from the Princess of Wales written in 1993 – has also been released to celebrate what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday.
The letter, which was sent a couple of years later read: “As Patron of Red Cross Youth, I have had many opportunities to see for myself the work of the British Red Cross in this country and overseas.
“I have always been greatly encouraged by the splendid efforts of volunteers and staff in providing help for those most in need.
“The work of the British Red Cross is just as important today as it has ever been. Increasing demands on resources and ever-changing needs at home and abroad mean that the Red Cross must work to increase the level of its voluntary income.
“That is why your support today is so important.
“I wish you all a most enjoyable evening.
“Your generous help will enable the Greater Manchester branch to provide even more help for people in need.
“With many thanks, Diana, October 1993.”
Ms Nicol also recalled how Diana was “so approachable” because she was so relaxed and went on to say the Princess of Wales’ legacy is “one we should hold on to”.
She said: “I think her legacy is one we should hold on to because of her humanity.
“She was ahead of her time.
“Her work with removing the landmines and the stigma around HIV/AIDs would resonate today with young people because young people are, I believe, much more aware of these kinds of atrocities and the subsequent damage.”
Mehzebin Adam, Curator at the British Red Cross added: “Throughout her life, Princess Diana was a dedicated humanitarian who championed causes in the UK and overseas.
“From making connections with young people in her role as Patron of the Red Cross Youth, to campaigning against landmines, she was one of our most dedicated supporters, using her public profile to make positive change.
“The impact of her work is not only remembered on what would have been her 60th birthday, but continues to have a lasting impact today.”
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