Published: 09:53, 28 June 2010
| Updated: 16:05, 02 May 2019
by Katie Alston
Jaws dropped as Hollywood A-lister
Hugh Grant paid a special visit to Faversham to celebrate the
opening of a new home for adults with learning disabilities.
The Four Weddings and a Funeral
star rolled into town in his sleek black Audi on Saturday
afternoon. Rumours that the patron of the Fynvola Foundation was
unable to make it had circulated, and staff said they didn’t know
until an hour before his arrival that he would be joining the
The event was organised to
celebrate a milestone in the charity’s history of the opening of
the new £1.8m specialist residential home. Lady Dane Farmhouse, in
Love Lane is the first purpose-built residence for learning
disabled adults in the country. The home, which has 15 rooms, will
operate under a flexible structure to ensure residents needs are
fully catered for until the end of their lives.
The Fynvola Foundation, named after
Hugh Grant’s mother, was set up in 2007 by Jenny Gurney, who’s work
in setting up five care homes for younger sufferers, has already
earned her an MBE.
The grandmother of eight, who lives
in Faversham, has been working with learning disabled adults for
almost 40 years. She got involved in the cause after her eldest
daughter, Susie, was born with Down’s syndrome.
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Hugh Grant drops in at a
Mrs Gurney said: “Over the years I
have discovered there is almost no provision for older learning
disabled people needing nursing or palliative care, or with
“Hopefully this home will go some
way as to bridging the gap or even showing others what can be
“It is lovely to have Hugh on board
and brilliant that he was able to join us. Like the other patrons
and trustees, he has been extremely generous to the foundation.
“It has taken a lot of hard work
and it is great to have been able to start moving residents
As well as pledging his full
support to the foundation Grant has also given financial support.
He said: “The home is unbelievable. I can’t believe all this has
been done in such a short space of time.
“I’m very proud that the Fynvola
Foundation is named after my mother. This is a brilliant charity
and I’m right behind it.
“I got involved as a close family
friend had Down’s syndrome, and Jenny is very persuasive.
“She is an incredible woman and
very special, she twisted my arm to get me down here. She is a
force of nature. I never do anything nice for anyone and she made
me do this. I am very grateful for getting me here and I feel a
great pride in the work that has been done.”