Opening of the Phase 4 Warehouse at Omega PLC and Beacon of Light’s Stadium Park in Sunderland.

Yesterday in the afternoon, The Countess of Wessex opened the Phase 4 Warehouse at Omega PLC in Thorne, Doncaster, and was received by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire (Mr Andrew Coombe). The warehouse facility is a result of £20 million investment in this new purpose-built building and factory machinery.

photo Omega PLC shared via Facebook

Omega PLC is a brand leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high quality fitted kitchens and furniture supplied via kitchen specialist outlets across the UK. Operating from a 315,000 sq ft, purpose built complex, Omega PLC has been manufacturing quality kitchens since 1996, with its head office located at Thorne, near Doncaster.

photo Omega PLC shared via Facebook

The Countess of Wessex as Patron of Foundation of Light, subsequently opened the Beacon of Light’s Stadium Park in Sunderland, and was received by Her Majesty’s
Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear (Mrs Susan Winfield). The Foundation of Light (Previously called the SAFC Foundation) is the independent charitable foundation of professional football club Sunderland A.F.C.

photo by Russell Ward (@Russ__Ward) shared via Twitter

It is the biggest football charity in the UK. It was founded on 6 September 2001 by Sunderland chairman Bob Murray. The charity’s patron is HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex and the Chief executive officer is Lesley Spuhler OBE. The Beacon of Light is a sports, community and education facility, located in Sunderland, Tyne & Wear. The £19m facility was commissioned by the Foundation of Light.

photo by Russell Ward (@Russ__Ward) shared via Twitter

It became the headquarters of the charity when it opened in September 2018. The beacon is located in Stadium Park, alongside the Sunderland Aquatic Centre and the North Stand of the Stadium of Light. Articles about the opening of the facility, including photos and videos of Sophie’s speech (that was a lovely moment!!) can be found here and here. Another two videos from the opening can be found here and here.

Lesley Spuhler OBE, who is CEO of Foundation of Light, said:

It’s a real honour to welcome Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex GCVO and our other esteemed guests to our official opening ceremony. The Beacon of Light has been a truly collaborative effort made with the support of so many people and organisations, and it is fantastic to bring them all together to celebrate our achievement.

The Countess of Wessex, Patron, Foundation of Light, later attended an Awards Dinner, followed by a Show, at the Beacon of Light. Faye Tozer (Brit Award winner, singer, actress and television star) co-hosted this special awards evening to celebrate the achievements of local children and families.

photo by Richard Salkeld (@richardsalkeld) shared via Twitter

Faye joined Sky Sports presenter David Jones at Foundation of Light’s first ever Gala Dinner showcasing the positive impact the charity has made to North East lives through their inspirational and heart-warming stories. Speaking ahead of the event, Faye said:

I am honoured to be co-hosting Foundation of Light’s Gala Dinner and really looking forward to a special evening. Through my support of the Foundation, I have seen first-hand the positive difference the Foundation has made to so many people’s lives and I’m excited be a part of an event that celebrates this. Also being a huge fan of musical theatre I am thrilled to be part of this celebration with entertainment from the legendary Tim Rice and friends.

The Gala Dinner, sponsored by the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, was followed by ‘An Evening with Sir Tim Rice and Friends’ where the renowned songs of Foundation Trustee Sir Tim Rice were performed live by West End artists, alongside behind the scenes stories from the Academy Award-winner himself. To learn more about the event, click here.

Outfit & jewellery:
Bespoke blue cashmere coat by Suzannah.
New to me blouse, no ID.
New Vesper floral-print crepe midi skirt by Erdem.
Earrings worn before, no ID.
Croi Sliogan Designer Silver Shell Pendant on snake chain by Martina Hamilton.
Clutch bag by Sophie Habsburg.
Suede pumps most likely by Prada.

Evening:
New to me dress, no ID.

The Countess of Wessex becomes President of The Royal Smithfield Club

On the 29 January, The Countess of Wessex as newly elected President of The Royal Smithfield Club, attended a Conference at The Palace of Westminster in London. Club Chairman William Bedell said: “We are honoured that Her Royal Highness has agreed to be our President and we look forward to working with her in what will be a year of important developments for the Club.”

Photo by The Royal Smithfield Club –  HRH The Countess of Wessex pictured with (L-R) John Dracup Industry Strategy Director Royal Smithfield Club, Andrew Laughton Chief Executive National Beef Association, Prys Morgan Procurement Director Kepak-St Merryn, Tom Kirwan Chief Executive ABP, Robbie Galloway CEO Scotbeef, David Gunner Chief Executive Dovecote Park, Mark Allan Dawn/Dunbia, William Bedell Chairman Royal Smithfield Club

In her first engagement as President of The Royal Smithfield Club, The Countess attended a red meat industry supply chain forum in London, hosted by Baroness Byford and organised by the Club. The Forum, held to discuss key industry issues and how to address them, was attended by more than 70 representatives of the livestock and red meat sectors.

Photo by The Royal Smithfield Club

The Royal Smithfield Club was instituted as the Smithfield Cattle & Sheep Society in 1798 and founded as the Smithfield Club in 1802. Granted Royal Status in 1960, its Patron is Her Majesty The Queen. The Club promotes knowledge and education to advance best practice in the meat and livestock industry. To learn more about this event please click here & here.

Outfit & jewellery:
Black blazer.
Emilia Wickstead dress.
Club’s badge.
Black boots.

NSPCC’s Graded Care Profile 2 Conference at Harrods

On the 24 January The Countess of Wessex as Patron of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, attended the Graded Care Profile 2 Conference at Harrods 1st Floor Crown Court in London. Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) helps professionals measure the quality of care being given to a child. It’s an assessment tool that helps them to spot anything that’s putting that child at risk of harm.

Photography by CPG Photography Ltd/NSPCC via Charity Today

It’s important to find children who are at risk of harm as early as possible so they can get the right help. GCP2 shows: strengths, weaknesses, what needs to be changed. By working out what parents can do better, it’s easier for the person working with a family to get them the right support to improve the life of their child. To learn more about this tool, click here.

photo by Rachael Doyle (@RachaelDoyle3) shared via Twitter

19 local authority areas who have adopted this tool from the NSPCC came together at Harrods London offices, for the ‘Community of Practice’ event along with key staff from the NSPCC and the original author for the tool, Dr Prakash Srivastava. The event recognised and celebrated the excellent practice delivered across the UK on a daily basis to reduce the population of neglected children.

Photography by CPG Photography Ltd/NSPCC via Liverpool LSCB Twitter

The event also enabled NSPCC and other organisations to recognise outstanding practice in using GCP2 through the annual ‘GCP2 Elephant Practitioner Awards’, where The Countess of Wessex awarded the winners with a certificate on stage. Addressing the practitioners in the room, HRH The Countess of Wessex said:

Without you, this amazing tool would not be delivered to as many people as we want it to be. I understand how very hard it must be to deliver the care you do, you’re right at the front line and you’re probably under the radar. So the daily work that you do goes often to the general public as completely unnoticed yet you’re working really hard, often in extremely difficult circumstances. I thank you on behalf of the families and the young people you care for on a daily basis.

You will find more details about this event in Charity Today’s press release. Click here. Also here.

Outfit & jewellery:
Brown/purple sweater, no ID.
CHAiNGING Berlin Earrings | g o l d by Lucia Odescalchi.
E, J & L pendant and chain by Felt London.
Emilia Wickstead Richie pleated snake-print silk crepe de chine midi skirt

HRH visits Surrey – The Children’s Trust, Amber Foundation & Silent Pool Distillery

Yesterday, 28th February, The Countess of Wessex officially opened the new multisensory music room at the Children’s Trust in Tadworth – UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. The Music Zone is a specially designed music facility for children with brain injury undergoing rehabilitation.

Her Royal Highness met with the children supported by the Trust and their families to learn more about the work the charity does. Her Royal Highness also visited The Children’s Trust national specialist rehabilitation centre where children undergo a range of different therapies. Full press release about the visit can be found here.

Dalton Leong, Chief Executive of The Children’s Trust, said:

“It was a huge honour to have Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex join us today. Children, staff and volunteers were very excited about her visit, and it’s been great to show Her Royal Highness why music and our new Music Zone, generously funded by Simplyhealth, is such an important facility for all of the children here.”

The Children’s Trust runs a range of specialist care, education and therapy services for children and young people from across the UK, including the UK’s largest rehabilitation centre for children with acquired brain injury (ABI) and has three buildings at its Tadworth Court site.

In 2012 The Children’s Trust launched an on-line support centre for families of children affected by acquired brain injury – The Brain Injury Hub. This website offers a wealth of practical advice and information about a condition that’s often misunderstood. There is also an on-line forum giving families the opportunity to share their stories and experiences.

In the afternoon HRH visited the Amber Foundation in Ockley. Sophie visited Surrey residential centre, Farm Place, to learn more about foundation’s work with homeless, unemployed young people. Amber Foundation helps people in crisis gain the confidence and skills to find direction in life, employment and accommodation.

photo by Joe Denyer, courtesy of The Amber Foundation. Photo shared via Twitter.

Based at three residential centres in Devon, Wiltshire and Surrey, Amber offers a supported housing environment that’s a little bit different. Not just training and support to address specific personal issues but new experiences and opportunities that raise aspiration and challenge residents to take responsibility for their lives and move forward positively.

 

Based around its model of ‘dreams and desires’ Foundation provides each individual with a bespoke, practical programme of activities that builds their skills and qualifications, develops their resilience and purpose, improves their confidence and wellbeing and focuses firmly on their strengths and interests.

photo by Joe Denyer, courtesy of The Amber Foundation. Photo shared via Facebook.

Young people who come to Amber are aged from 17 to 30 and share their home with a community of around 30 others. The average stay is 6 to 12 months but there is no fixed limit. To learn more about Amber Foundation, click here.

Photography by Jake Darling courtesy of the Silent Pool Distillers

The Countess of Wessex later opened the new distillery at Silent Pool Distillers at Albury, Surrey. During her visit the Countess met all of the staff and key suppliers, she also toured the new distillery. Silent Pool Distillers is named after the crystal-clear, natural spring lake nearby, which also supplies the water for Silent Pool Gin.

Photography by Jake Darling courtesy of the Silent Pool Distillers

The distillery is founded on principles of sustainability, which is why the team sourced and reclaimed an old English wood-fired steam boiler from the 1970s, which now powers the still the traditional way. Sustainable hardwood is sourced from the local Albury forest and gives the whole operation a very low carbon footprint as well as truly local credentials.

Photography by Jake Darling courtesy of the Silent Pool Distillers

For video about the distillery, click here. Isn’t this place beautiful?! Interesting details about the distillery, including its haunted lake, click here. Daily Mail’s coverage can be found here. Hello coverage is here.  I will update my post with more pictures if/when I’ll receive such permission.

Outfit & jewellery:
Victoria Beckham Virgin wool coat.
Baker polka-dot wrap-around silk dress by Diane Von Furstenberg
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg Design.
Tiffany studs paired with citrine drops from Heavenly Necklaces.
Gold chain bracelet.
Pumps by Prada.
New to me scarf.
The Children’s Trust logo pin badge.

The Countess attended the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Conference at Wilton Park

Yesterday, 27th February, The Countess attended the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Conference at Wilton Park. The Countess was greeted by Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon – the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.

photo shared by the Royal Family via Twitter

The conference brought together legal experts, representatives of governments and NGOs, and survivors. At the conference, The Countess learnt what the UK Government is doing to prevent sexual violence in conflicts around the world and what is needed to deliver justice for survivors and hold perpetrators to account.

photo shared by the Royal Family via Twitter

Recently, HRH has met with people working to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict. HRH attended the PSVI Film Festival in 2018 with Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Development & Minister for Women & Equalities and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

photo shared by the Royal Family via Twitter – HRH with Penny Mordaunt, 2018

In November 2018, The Countess also met with Nobel Peace laureate Denis Mukwege, who helps women and girls subjected to this crime in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

photo shared by the Royal Family via Twitter

PSVI was launched in 2012 to raise awareness about the extent of sexual violence against women, men, girls and boys in conflict – and rally action to end it. Sexual violence in conflict continues to be used as a weapon of war around the world – devastating the lives of individuals, families and communities.

photo shared by the Royal Family

Later this year, the UK will host the international meeting on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative #TimeToAct. To learn more about the conference and HRH’s involvement in this initiative, please visit Royal Family website, by clicking here. More information can be found here.

In the afternoon, Her Royal Highness as Patron of the Toronto General and Western Hospital, held a Meeting.

Outfit & jewellery:
Blazer seen on many occasions since 2012 or so, no ID.
New, Tamzin floral-print silk-satin midi skirt by Erdem.
Earrings by Dior.
Hermes Constance charm in rose gold set with 65 diamonds.

The Countess visits Somerset – Gordano School, The Fashion Museum and Radstock Museum

On the 26th February The Countess of Wessex was with a visit to Somerset. First HRH visited the Gordano School in Bristol to see the student-led First Aid in Schools Pilot Project and to officially open school’s new Dining Hall & Languages Faculty. HRH was welcomed by The Lord Lieutenant of Somerset.

photo by Gordano School

Gordano School is a public funded school with academy status located in Portishead, North Somerset, England. In 1999, the school was awarded Specialist schools Technology College status. Gordano School has pupils aged 11 to 18 with an Ofsted rating of outstanding.

photo by Gordano School

During the visit, The Countess met students involved in a pilot First Aid in Schools project that the school is running alongside The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and St John’s Ambulance. Gordano School is one of three pilot schools chosen to take part in the Somerset First Aid in Schools Scheme.

photo by Gordano School

The aim of the project is to spread knowledge of first aid, including CPR as widely as possible to Somerset’s school student population. Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet Charlie Gazzard and a group of Bronze D of E students demonstrated some of the lifesaving skills for the Countess during her visit. For full press release, click here.

Afterwards, The Countess visited The Fashion Museum in Bath. HRH toured the museum galleries and viewed one of her own outfits on display – the ensemble that she wore to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April 2011, which was personally selected by The Countess for museum’s Royal Women exhibition.

photo by Fashion Museum Bath (@Fashion_Museum) shared via Twitter

Wives and daughters, sisters and mothers; none of the Royal women featured in the exhibition was monarch; yet each played a key role in the British monarchy. Royal Women examines how these roles influenced their choice of dress. To learn more about this exhibition, click here. For full press release on HRH’s visit click here. More pics from the visit here.

photo by Fashion Museum Bath (@Fashion_Museum) shared via Twitter

The Fashion Museum Bath holds a world-class collection of contemporary and historic dress. The Museum of Costume was opened in the Assembly Rooms on 23 May 1963. It was founded by Doris Langley Moore, a designer, collector, writer and scholar, who gave her famous private collection of costume to the city of Bath.

Sophie concluded her Somerset visit at The Radstock Museum to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Radstock Co-operative Society and the 20th anniversary of the Museum becoming established in the Victorian former Market Hall. This award winning Museum celebrates the history of the Somerset Coalfield in the Victorian era.

photo by Somerset Lieutenancy (@SomersetLL) shared via Twitter

After Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum on Facebook:

“What a lovely treat for all of the museum volunteers who work so hard to keep your museum and all your local history alive and well. The Countess was absolutely lovely having a chat with all the volunteers many dressed in Victorian costume and in role play in the miner’s cottage, the mine, the blacksmith’s shop the scullery and the old Co-op shop. The Countess even joined in with a Victorian school lesson.”

HRH toured the Museum accompanied by Don Morris, CEO of the Radstock Co-operative Society and by Dr Nick Hall, Chair of Trustees at Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum. During the visit, Her Royal Highness met local schoolchildren, dignitaries and volunteer workers.

photo by Somerset Lieutenancy (@SomersetLL) shared via Twitter

At the end of her visit The Countess unveiled a commemorative plaque and signed the Visitors’ Book. Dr Nick Hall said: “Everyone associated with the Museum is thrilled to be able to show Her Royal Highness around our very special building and displays of life in the former Somerset Coalfield.”

For more photos from visit to Gordano School click here. Hello coverage is here. Daily Mail’s is here.

Outfit & jewellery:
New, OSCAR DE LA RENTA Bloom-print silk-satin midi dress.
Loewe Collarless V-neck coat.
CHAiNGING Berlin Earrings | g o l d by Lucia Odescalchi.
E, J & L pendant and chain by Felt London.
Tiffany bracelet & gold chain bracelet.
Watch by Chanel.
Prada suede pumps.

 

The Countess visited Merlin MS Centre and Wheal Martyn in Cornwall

On the 7th February The Countess of Wessex was with a visit to Cornwall. First HRH opened the new Primrose Hydrotherapy Pool at the Merlin MS Centre in St. Austell. To learn more about this project, go to this link. The Cornwall Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, aims to deliver a wide range of treatments and therapies to people living with MS.

photo by Greg Martin for Cornwall Live, posted with kind permission from photographer ‏

During her visit, HRH was also shown an adult sensory integration therapy space and unveiled a commemorative plaque.  Official pictures of HRH’s visit will be shared soon, I believe there also will be a coverage at Cornwall Live in due time.

The Merlin MS Centre, formally the Merlin Project, was founded in 2001, by Derek Murphy, a retired Medical Doctor, and his wife Eileen, whose daughter-in-law had MS. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.

The cause of MS is still unknown – scientists believe the disease is triggered by an as-yet-unidentified environmental factor in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease.

Also today The Countess visited Wheal Martyn, the UK’s only China Clay Mining Heritage Centre. The museum tells the story of Cornwall’s largest mining industry, which is still alive today. The museum, set in 26 acres of grounds, incorporates a preserved Victorian clay works and gives a fascinating insight into this important industry which shaped the lives, landscape and economy of Cornwall’s Clay Country and beyond.

photo by Sally Adams for Wheal Martyn, posted with kind permission from photographer

Wheal Martyn Trust is a charity, incorporating a fully Accredited Museum which cares for an extensive collection of industry artefacts, a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The charity works to provide opportunities for everyone to learn, be inspired and engage with this important aspect of Cornwall’s mining history.

photo Wheal Martyn shared via Twitter

In the evening, as President of Truro Christmas Primestock & Produce Society, HRH attended the Truro Primestock Show Annual Dinner at Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes, Cornwall.

Outfit & jewellery:
New Custodi double-breasted brushed wool coat by S MAX MARA.
Brown sweater, no ID.
New Posada striped wool and cashmere-blend skirt by GABRIELA HEARST.
New earrings, no ID.
New Maya Torque Ivory & Gold Bangle by Halcyon Days.
Some delicate gold bracelet.
Watch by Chanel.
Brown suede boots by LK Bennett.
Clutch bag by Sophie Habsburg Design.

HRH visits Cumbria: Farrer’s, Bendrigg Trust and Lords Plain Farm

Today, (6th February) The Countess was with a visit to Cumbria. First HRH visited John Farrer & Co Ltd in Kendal. The visit was to mark 200 years of independent coffee merchants, Farrer’s, one of the oldest blenders and roasters of the finest teas and coffee in the United Kingdom, established back in 1819.

photo courtesy of John Farrer & Co and photographer Steve Barber – thank you!

In today’s modern times the coffee is now roasted in a modern unit on the outskirts of Kendal. Farrer’s primarily sells pure origin specially graded beans, a high percentage of which is high altitude grown Arabica, which comprises 70% of the world’s coffee production and is renowned for its flavour and complexity.

photo courtesy of John Farrer & Co and photographer Steve Barber – thank you!

At the coffee production facility, HRH met with master roaster Steve Cane, who explained the coffee-making process, and invited The Countess to officially begin production of a special 200th anniversary roast. During the visit The Countess also opened the new Wessex Training Suite, where HRH found out more about the coffee training courses offered by baristas Brian and Ash.

photo courtesy of John Farrer & Co and photographer Steve Barber – thank you!

HRH was then invited to practice some coffee art herself. According to Tim Rookie (one of the photographers who captured the visit), HRH became the first member of The Royal Family to take a Barista course. To conclude her visit, The Countess also unveiled a commemorative plaque. For video, click here.

photo courtesy of BendriggTrust/Adamedia, click on pic to be redirected & view more images of HRH’s visit

Her Royal Highness then visited Bendrigg Trust, a residential activity centre specialising in high quality courses for disabled and disadvantaged people, of any age or ability. During her visit HRH The Countess met with some local children benefitting from the courses and found out more about the Trust’s work in the local area.

photo courtesy of BendriggTrust/Adamedia, click on pic to be redirected & view more images of HRH’s visit

The Countess of Wessex also launched Bendrigg’s ‘Adventure for All’ Sponsorship Fund, which supports the neediest people to experience life-changing opportunities, improving their mental and physical health and well-being. This project is only possible thanks to the kind funding from the ScottishPower Foundation. To learn more, click here.

photo courtesy of BendriggTrust/Adamedia, click on pic to be redirected & view more images of HRH’s visit

Finally, Her Royal Highness attended the judging of the Westmorland Agricultural Society’s Annual Silage Competition, in her role as President of the Society. Silage (as Wikipedia explains) is fermented, high-moisture stored fodder which can be fed to cattle, sheep and other such ruminants.

photo shared by the Royal Family via Twitter

HRH attended the visual judging at Lords Plain Farm, where she met judges and exhibitors. Record entries of almost 100 have been submitted for the competition, which sees silage samples analysed by sponsors, Carrs Billington, for nutrient content and scored against a matrix of the “ideal” fodder.

photo shared by the Royal Family via Twitter

Shortlisted entries were then visually judged by an independent panel who also look at management on farm before arriving at the overall winners. The 2019 event also included educational workshops for secondary school pupils looking at the role livestock nutrition and animal welfare plays in the production of food.

photo shared by the Royal Family via Twitter

Christine Knipe, chief executive of Westmorland County Agricultural Society, said: “We are delighted and privileged that the Countess of Wessex is attending the Society’s Silage Competition. We are all really pleased to have her support and it is wonderful for all concerned with the Westmorland Agricultural Society”.

The Countess is a keen supporter of agriculture, farming and food production. The 2019 Westmorland County Show will be held at the Showground, Lane Farm, Crooklands near Kendal on Thursday September. 12. For Daily Mail coverage click here, another reportage can be found here.

Outfit & jewellery:
New, Victoria Beckham Virgin wool coat.
Brown turtleneck, no ID.
New skirt, most likely High-waist wrap-effect wool-crepe midi skirt by Valentino.
New earrings, no ID.
New Maya Torque Ivory & Gold Bangle by Halcyon Days.
Some delicate gold bracelet.
Watch by Chanel.
Boots by Prada.
Clutch bag by Sophie Habsburg Design.

Opening of the Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill

Today, The Countess of Wessex, The Brendoncare Foundation‘s Patron, attended official opening of the Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill. Brendoncare is a registered charity, dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people through their 10 care homes and 90 friendship and wellbeing clubs.

photo @Brendoncare shared via Twitter/Facebook

Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill that was opened today by HRH, is a pioneering dementia service, unique in the UK, that enables couples to stay together and receive full care and support, as and when it is needed, throughout their journey with dementia. According to its official website, the spacious site near Chandler’s Ford offers three interconnected services:

  • Otterbourne Court: a care home providing personalised nursing and dementia care, as well as planned and emergency respite support.
  • Otterbourne Mews: dementia-friendly apartments for couples or individuals living with dementia.
  • Otterbourne Club: a community hub where residents and local people can enjoy a range of facilities, activities and social opportunities.
photo @Brendoncare shared by The Royal Family via Twitter

During her visit The Countess mes Geoff and Jean Groves, who are residents of Otterbourne Mews – the new dementia-friendly apartments for couples or individuals living with dementia. The Countess also toured Brendoncare’s new facilities as well as met family members, staff and supporters.

photo @Brendoncare shared by The Royal Family via Twitter

At the official opening ceremony, The Countess of Wessex unveiled a commemorative plaque, and received a posy from Mary, one of Brandoncare Foundation’s residents. The Countess has been Patron of Brendoncare since 2003, and last visited Otterbourne Hill site in 2016 to mark the start of the new service’s construction.

Outfit & jewellery:
ROLAND MOURET Millington wool-crepe coat.
Croi Sliogan Designer Silver Drop Earrings by Martina Hamilton.
Hippo Splat necklace by Patrick Mavros.
Turtleneck sweater.
Black trousers.
Black boots, UFO.
Clutch bag by Sophie Habsburg Design.

HRH becomes Patron of Thames Valley Air Ambulance

The Royal Family announced today, that The Countess of Wessex has become a Patron of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, a life-saving charity that delivers advanced medical care across the region. As Patron, The Countess of Wessex will continue to support TVAA in raising awareness of the charity, which relies entirely on public donations.

photo Sean Dempsey/PA, shared by the Royal Family via Twitter – HRH with Thames Valley Air Ambulance helicopter pilot Andy Busby (left) who in 2001 flew her to the hospital and paramedic Tim Goddard, who also attended to her.

The Countess’s appointment as Patron reflects Her Royal Highness’s long-standing involvement with the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Her Royal Highness has been supporting the charity for many years, having personally experienced the vital care of the Air Ambulance emergency service in 2001.

Back in 2001, Sophie was airlifted to hospital from her home in Bagshot Park, by Thames Valley Air Ambulance, when she suffered a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy. HRH, who was six weeks pregnant at the time, underwent a two and a half hour emergency operation at the King Edward VII’s Hospital, but sadly lost her baby.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance charity said in a statement about HRH’s Patronage: “Having personally benefited from its expert crew in 2001, the countess knows only too well how every day, anyone in the community could be in urgent need of the organisation’s vital emergency service.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s Chairman, Sir Tim Jenner added:

We are delighted that Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has accepted our invitation of Royal Patronage. It reflects her long-standing interest in our service and formally recognises how vital our emergency service is to our community. With The Countess’ support, we will continue to push the boundaries of advanced pre-hospital care to give our patients the best possible chance of survival and recovery.

For press release on royal website, click here. For press release by TVAA, click here.