The Countess of Wessex Helps Orbis UK Launch ‘See My Future’ Appeal

Also today, The Countess of Wessex as Global Ambassador of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, attended a Reception for Orbis UK at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall in London. At today’s reception HRH helped Orbis UK to launch the ‘See My Future’ Appeal.

photo by Ben Stevens/i-Images courtesy of Orbis UK

After press release by Orbis UK: On Thursday 28th March, HRH The Countess of Wessex joined blindness prevention charity, Orbis UK, to mark the launch of their See My Future appeal in central London. For three months, until 23rd June, all public donations to the appeal will be doubled by the UK government.

photo courtesy of Orbis UK

In many parts of the world, avoidable sight loss means children are dropping out of school. Issues such as refractive error, cataract and strabismus (severe squint) can all impede a child’s ability to see the blackboard, their text books and their teachers. In some cases children are dropping out of school to care for an adult with sight-loss.

photo courtesy of Orbis UK

See My Future aims to raise £850,000 and the UK government will match every pound, up to £2 million, which will help save the sight of thousands of children and adults around the world. All of the money matched by the UK government will go directly towards expanding Orbis’s project in Nepal which screens and treats children with sight loss, enabling them to attend school and face a brighter future. All individual donations will support the charity’s vital sight saving work across the world, wherever it is needed most.

photo by Ben Stevens/i-Images courtesy of Orbis UK

The Countess of Wessex, who is a global ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, is a longstanding supporter of Orbis. She has seen the charity’s sight-saving work first hand, visiting Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital programmes in Kolkata in 2013 and Bangladesh in 2017, observing everything from a cataract surgery using basic cost effective techniques, to a complex prosthetic surgery on a man who had not been able to see for fourteen years.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

Access to proper eye care can be life changing for a Nepalese schoolchild. Unchecked visual impairments can lead to blindness, meaning the child is forced to leave school, and potentially faces a lifetime of unemployment and poverty.

By giving them basic eye-care, the UK Aid-backed See My Future appeal will help give a future to more than 300,000 children across Nepal.

UK Aid Match will double every pound, up to £2m, which the Great British public donates to this campaign, meaning their generosity will go twice as far.

Rebecca Cronin, Orbis UK CEO says:

With a simple eye exam and a pair of glasses, a child’s life can be transformed. Clear sight opens up a future of possibilities – children can return to school, play with their friends and contribute to society, breaking the cycle of poverty.

With the UK government’s Aid Match scheme, our See My Future appeal really will have twice the impact – just £5.50 doubled to £11 could provide two new pairs of glasses for children struggling to see in school.”

Orbis UK’s See My Future appeal runs until 23rd June. You will learn more about the appeal by clicking here.

Outfit & jewellery:
New, Floral-print cloqué dress by Peter Pilotto in marine.
Earrings, no ID.
Tiffany T bracelet.
Watch by Chanel.
Clutch bag by Sophie Habsburg.
Prada pumps.

 

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The Countess of Wessex hosts a reception at St. James’s Palace to celebrate the achievements of global eye health leaders

Today (28th March) The Countess of Wessex as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust hosted a special reception at St. James’s Palace to celebrate the achievements of global eye health leaders in their efforts to bring vision to everyone, everywhere. 170+ eye experts from around the Commonwealth attended the event to celebrate their work.

photo shared by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

The Queen, as Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, sent a message to those at the reception, which was delivered by The Countess.

I am pleased to welcome you to St James’s Palace as you come together to celebrate the work of the Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium.

Through collaboration and partnership over the past five years, the Consortium has helped many thousands of people throughout the Commonwealth, and has positively affected the way eye health is delivered.

Without the work and support of each and every partner organisation, this would not have been achieved. Whether you are involved in research and development, the delivery of training, or working as an ophthalmologist, I extend my thanks on behalf of those whose sight you seek to save.

I wish you all an enjoyable and successful meeting.

ELIZABETH R.

Afterwards, Dr Simon Arunga, an Ophthalmologist from Uganda, shared how the consortium has helped him and his colleagues develop their eye care services. ‘We are receiving training, working together and learning from each other, so that we can provide better eye care to everyone we serve.’

photo shared by the Royal Family

Today’s reception celebrated the achievements of global eye health leaders like Dr Hillary Rono. You can watch documentary titled “Double Joy” which tells the story of Dr Rono – a Kenyan Ophthalmologist and beneficiary of the Trust’s fellowship programme – who conducts research into the effectiveness of smartphone-based eye care in rural communities in Kenya.

The Countess also met Dr Subhadra Jalali who has saved the sight of 20,000+ babies and counting in India. HRH will meet Dr Jalali again on a visit to Hyderabad at the end of April to see how Ophthalmologists are tackling avoidable blindness there. The Countess will also see the outcome of programmes set up by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in India.

photo shared by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust – HRH with Dr Jalali

Dr Jalali is instrumental in the delivery of the Trust’s programme to tackle retinopathy of prematurity across India. There’s also a documentary titled “A life with sight” about Dr Jalali. India is home to the highest number of premature births in the world. Two decades ago, as efforts to improve neonatal care accelerated, more and more cases of blindness began to emerge.

Dr Jalali, a world-class ophthalmologist, mother and mentor, has been leading the fight to tackle preventable blindness in premature babies across India. “The Trust is honoured to work with Dr Jalali to ensure that every child born prematurely in India has the chance to see.”

photo shared by the Royal Family – HRH with Dr Rono

Worldwide 253 million people are blind or visually impaired, yet 80% of these cases could have been avoided. The Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium was established in 2015 by the Trust in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to bring quality eye care to those who need it.

Today’s detailed coverage, again courtesy of Royal Family Twitter. The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust shared a press release and details about the event via Twitter – thank you.

HRH The Countess of Wessex joins Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium Year Five Meeting

Today (27th March), HRH The Countess of Wessex as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust attended a meeting of over 170 eye health experts from 27 Commonwealth countries as they are aiming to expand and develop eye health services across the Commonwealth.

photo shared by the Royal Family

The Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium was established in 2015 by the Trust in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to bring quality eye care to all those who need it. The Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium is a network working across the Commonwealth to develop national programmes to tackle major causes of avoidable blindness.

photo shared by the Royal Family

Now in its fifth year of operation, and for the first time in its history, over 170 people involved in the Consortium have come together in London to share their knowledge and experiences and look at how together they can expand their work and create a world which is free from avoidable blindness and poor vision.

photo shared by the Royal Family

The Countess first saw the Consortium’s work in action when she visited the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on the occasion of her fiftieth birthday in January 2015, in what was her first engagement as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Trust.

photo shared by the Royal Family

The Countess of Wessex is passionate about eradicating avoidable blindness and has seen first-hand the difference organisations with the right knowledge, experience and funding can make on a global scale. As Patron of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight and Global Ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, HRH has carried out visits to countries such as Bangladesh to see first-hand the impact of avoidable blindness around the world.

photo shared by the Royal Family

At today’s meeting, The Countess spoke with leading ophthalmologists and health professionals and heard about how their work is changing the way eye care is delivered in some of the most under-resourced areas of the Commonwealth. Dr Daksha Patel works at LSHTM and Dr Shalinda Sabherwal is attending The Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium from India.

photo shared by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

Nigerian ophthalmologist Dr Chimdi Chuka-Okosoa talked to The Countess about current training opportunities for ophthalmologists from East and West Africa and the moves to develop specialist training centres across the region.

Peek Vision CEO, Dr Andrew Bastawrous, said to The Countess:

Our dream all along was to help people like Dr Rono serve his community. It was just a PowerPoint presentation to begin with. Now, Botswana is the first country in the world to commit to screening every school child using Peek.

The Countess also met Aubrey Mankaka Banda – Eye Programme Manager from Malawi. HRH visited Malawi in 2017, as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and this year wrote an open letter to the people of Malawi to congratulate them on their work to prevent avoidable blindness. There is a post on my blog about that message.

photo shared by the Royal Family

As part of the visit, The Countess also witnessed how eye health professionals supported by the Consortium are gaining access to vital new skills. Her Royal Highness has tried out specialist surgical training equipment to simulate eye surgery which is being used to train eye doctors from all over the Commonwealth. Worldwide 253 million people are blind or visually impaired, yet 80% of these cases could have been avoided.

photo shared by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

Tomorrow, The Countess will host a reception at St. James’s Palace for participants of the Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium, High Commissioners, policy makers and eye health experts to celebrate the achievements of global eye health leaders in their efforts to bring vision to everyone, everywhere.

photo shared by the Royal Family

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust works across the Commonwealth to end avoidable blindness and empower young leaders. It was established in 2012 to mark and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s sixty-year contribution to the Commonwealth.

Today’s detailed coverage courtesy of Royal Family Twitter, here‘s the post on the official website. The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust shared a press release and details about the event via Twitter – thank you.

Outfit seen before.

 

Opening of the Cardiac Hybrid Suite and Children’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner at Leeds Children’s Hospital by HRH

Yesterday in the morning (26th March), The Countess of Wessex as Patron of Leeds Children’s Hospital, opened the Cardiac Hybrid Suite and Children’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner at Leeds Children’s Hospital. HRH was received by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire (Mr. Edmund Anderson).

photo courtesy of Leeds Children’s Hospital shared via Twitter

After Leeds Children’s Hospital on Facebook:

Yesterday we were delighted to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex to officially open our brand new MRI and Cardiac Hybrid Suite.

Funded by generous donations from our charity partners Leeds Cares and Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, the new theatre suite has created a dedicated environment for children’s cardiac surgery and neurosurgery.

photo courtesy of Leeds Children’s Hospital shared via Twitter

The new theatre complex will improve the care provided to young patients with complex congenital heart disease, and those undergoing neurosurgery by supporting the internationally recognised work of our expert teams.

The cardiac hybrid theatre allows cardiac surgeons and cardiologists to perform surgery at the same time which means the skills of both specialists can be employed together, reducing treatment time for patients.

photo courtesy of Leeds Children’s Hospital shared via Twitter

The intra-operative MRI scanner allows scans to be done during neurological surgical procedures. This means surgeons will be able to see straight away how much of a brain tumour has been removed rather than scanning at a later date to discover that additional procedures may be required.

As a result, young patients will need fewer general anaesthetics, MRI scans and surgical procedures.

photo courtesy of Leeds Children’s Hospital shared via Twitter

The new theatre suite links directly to existing theatres in Clarendon Wing thanks to work undertaken by Leeds-based contractor BAM Construct UK.

Leeds Cares is the charity partner of Leeds Teaching Hospitals – helping to provide exceptional healthcare. Leeds Cares supports all the causes and appeals currently raising money for Leeds Teaching Hospitals. You will find more details by clicking here.

photo courtesy of Leeds Children’s Hospital shared via Twitter

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund supports children and adults born with congenital heart disease across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. Working alongside the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit at Leeds General Infirmary, charity is funded by generous donations from the general public, corporate supporters and by the amazing efforts of the fundraisers.

photo shared via Twitter by Major General Paul Nanson (@ArmyComdtRMAS) – nurse Chantelle Whelan received the QARANC Talbot-New Cup from HRH

In the afternoon, Her Royal Highness, Colonel-in-Chief of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, attended the Chief Nursing Officer Symposium to discuss the Corps’ past and future at Defence Medical Services in Lichfield, and was received by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire (Mr. Ian Dudson). HRH handed out prizes to those recognised for their outstanding work over the last year. Tiny article can be found here.

Outfit & jewellery:
Custodi double-breasted brushed wool coat by S MAX MARA.
Baker polka-dot wrap-around silk dress by Diane Von Furstenberg.
“S” necklace.
Leeds Children’s Hospital pin/badge.
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg.
Suede pumps by Prada.

Reception at Guildford Cathedral to celebrate the Centenary of the Women’s Royal Army Corps Association

Yesterday in the afternoon (22nd March), The Countess of Wessex attended a Reception at Guildford Cathedral to celebrate the Centenary of the Women’s Royal Army Corps Association. HRH was received by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey (Mr Michael More-Molyneux).

photo shared by Surrey Lieutenancy (@SLieutenancy) via Twitter

The Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) was the corps to which all women in the British Army belonged from 1949 to 1992, except medical, dental and veterinary officers and chaplains, the Ulster Defence Regiment which recruited women from 1973, and nurses (who belonged to Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps).

photo shared by Women’s Royal Army Corps Association via Facebook

The WRAC was formed on 1 February 1949 by Army Order 6 as the successor to the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) that had been founded in 1938. For much of its existence, its members performed administrative and other support tasks. HM The Queen Mother became Commandant in Chief of WRAC in 1949.

photo shared by Women’s Royal Army Corps Association via Facebook

In October 1990 WRAC officers employed with other corps were transferred to those corps and in April 1992 the WRAC was disbanded and its remaining members transferred to the Corps they served with. For detailed history of WRAC organization, click here.

photo shared by Women’s Royal Army Corps Association via Facebook

Yesterday, WRAC Association held a Canapes Reception in the Nave of Guildford Cathedral, in order to cement their relationship with Guildford and its Cathedral, as the Association’s ‘Mother city and church’. Reception was attended by The Countess as VIP guest.

photo shared by Surrey Lieutenancy (@SLieutenancy) via Twitter

For the Association’s Centenary Year, the Grand Reunion is being held in Southampton during this weekend. More pictures from the event will be available on WRAC website next week. For blog post about the event by The High Sheriff of Surrey click here.

Outfit & jewellery:
Custodi double-breasted brushed wool coat by S MAX MARA.
Earrings seen before, no ID.
Burberry Prorsum Camel Animal Print Silk Scarf.
Clutch bag by Sophie Habsburg Design.
Prada suede black boots.

Wellbeing of Women Reception attended by HRH

On the 20th March in the afternoon The Countess of Wessex as President of the Royal Smithfield Club attended a forum at Convocation Hall in London. According to Meat Managment article:

HEATHE1
photo via Meat Managment, click on pic to be redirected; L-R: David Gunner, Joint Chief Executive Dovecote Park Ltd, Heather Jenkins, former Waitrose & Partners director, HRH and William Bedell, Chairman Royal Smithfield Club.

The Royal Smithfield Club’s president HRH The Countess of Wessex has presented the Royal Smithfield Club Bicentenary Trophy which celebrates the bi-centenary of the founding of the Smithfield Club in 1798. The trophy is awarded each year to a person or organisation deemed to have made a significant contribution to the UK meat industry. Full article can be found here.

In the evening HRH attended a Wellbeing of Women Reception at Working Title Films in London. At the event, Sophie joined charities Wellbeing of Women and The Urology Foundation to celebrate raising £153,000 for men and women’s health through Hike For Hope.

Photography by John Dick, courtesy of Wellbeing of Women.

As a supporter of Wellbeing of Women the Countess presented the cheque and met with the intrepid hikers who completed their adventure at the end of last year. The Hike for Hope trekkers tackled the Simien mountain range over seven days and on the final day reached the summit after a 3.30am start and a gruelling 14-hour ascent to the top in November 17 – 28 2018.

Photography by John Dick, courtesy of Wellbeing of Women.

The trek was led by the Queen’s former Surgeon Gynaecologist and Wellbeing of Women Honorary president Sir Marcus Setchell (who recently celebrated his 75th birthday), and renowned prostate surgeon Professor Roger Kirby (68). Sir Marcus  and Roger took part in the last of their Hike for Hope Series which to date has raised £1.4 million. They were joined by friends, colleagues and supporters.

Photography by John Dick, courtesy of Wellbeing of Women.

More than a decade ago Sir Marcus Setchell, Wellbeing of Women’s Hon President, and renowned prostate surgeon Roger Kirby embarked on their first Hike for Hope in order to raise funds for both gynaecological and urological charities. Since then they have completed six treks across Jordan, Kenya, the Sinai desert, India, the Atlas Mountains and the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. To learn more click here.

Photography by John Dick, courtesy of Wellbeing of Women.

Founded 55 years ago, Wellbeing of Women is one of the only charities finding cures and treatments across the breadth of female reproductive health, including pregnancy & childbirth, fertility, gynaecological cancers, and overlooked areas like endometriosis, PCOS and the menopause.

Photography by John Dick, courtesy of Wellbeing of Women.

Many of the routine tests and treatments that form everyday clinical practice can be traced back to charity’s work, such as the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and the importance of taking folic acid for the health of the unborn baby. Wellbeing of Women also funded Professor Henry Kitchener, who linked HPV to cervical cancer which led to the HPV vaccination program in schools, making cervical cancer preventable for the first time. Only 2.48% of publicly funded research is dedicated to reproductive health and childbirth which makes charity’s work vital.

Photography by John Dick, courtesy of Wellbeing of Women.

The Urology Foundation (that was also present at the event and took part in the trek) is the only UK charity to help improve the diagnosis, care and treatment for all urological conditions through research and education for urology professionals.

Photography by John Dick, courtesy of Wellbeing of Women.

I also wanted to thank Sarah and Wellbeing of Women team for their swift response, providing me with images and additional information about the event – very kind of you all!

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photo: © Beaumont Photography courtesy of The Wallace Collection

Later in the evening, The Countess of Wessex as Patron of the Wallace Collection held a Dinner at Buckingham Palace. They never shared anything from their events, so I stopped asking. To my huge surprise, today – 28th March, The Wallace Collection shared one photo from this event with such information:

Celebrating the bicentenary year of Lady Wallace’s birth, our Royal Patron HRH, The Countess of Wessex hosted a gala for the Wallace Collection at Buckingham Palace. An exciting week for the Wallace and great way to end #WomensHistoryMonth!

Outfit & jewellery:
Joseph Nessie jacket. No longer available. Sophie had it for several years.
Past season Oscar De La Renta Jaquard Dress.
The Circle of Love ‘Diamond’ Stud Earrings by Heavenly Necklaces.
Watch by Chanel.

The Countess of Wessex attended a Lunch at The Caledonian Club

On 19th March The Countess of Wessex as Patron of British Wheelchair Basketball, in the morning held a Meeting at St James’s Palace. Later in the afternoon HRH attended a Lunch at The Caledonian Club in London.

Update, additional info courtesy of Susan W.:

Just to let you know that I was fortunate to give the Countess of Wessex flowers as she arrived at the Caledonian Club on Tuesday. Sophie looked very elegant in a black leather jacket over a patterned chiffon dress. Her hair was swept up to the side and held in place by a jewelled hair clip. There were no photographers outside the event due perhaps to their covering the joint visit of The Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge at Kings College and later the Duchess of Cambridge at the Foundling Museum. Such a shame! I do not take photos myself.

Sophie works very hard and does not always receive photo coverage or recognition for this work ,

I was only able to find one tweet by GP Family Offices (@GPFOffices):

Thank you to everyone who attended the MedTech Lunch yesterday at The Caledonian Club. It was great to see the Countess of Wessex too!

That’s all I have.